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Fast food, FSU style

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So you're out enjoying the sights with a lady and both of you are hungry. Some will find it good news that you don't have to try an unfamiliar Russian dish at every meal. There are some foods that are shared both in the West and the East.

Like the хот-дог. You know, hot dog.

Okay, so it's a cognate, a borrowed word from another language, but she will definitely know what it is. Even if she doesn't believe a hot dog to be healthy (newsflash: Russians/Ukrainians believe that almost ALL Western foods are unhealthy), likely she'll find it fun to introduce you to a real Moscow experience--


Advertised as a "Danish hot dog."

You can find Stardogs all over Moscow and in many Russian cities. Stardogs is also in Kyiv (Kiev, Ukraine) too. Choose from small cafe "food court" type formats inside malls or try the best--a Stardogs street kiosk.

"Big French" for big appetites.

The use of an "s" at the end of the Cyrillic spelling, the relationship with Pepsi, and the familiar corporate font sizes signal to USA travelers that Stardogs is related to the Western "Nathans" hotdog chain.

The new Stardogs "Сонорa, Мексика" (Sonora, Mexico) dog features a Danish style roll with the sausage wrapped up in bacon and smoothered with poblano and Chile peppers, cheese, tomato, onions, and beans. The same "dog" can be found in selected USA markets at Nathan's locations.


--- Quote from: mendeleyev on September 04, 2010, 11:56:00 AM ---

The new Stardogs "Сонорa, Мексика" (Sonora, Mexico) dog features a Danish style roll with the sausage wrapped up in bacon and smoothered with poblano and Chile peppers, cheese, tomato, onions, and beans. The same "dog" can be found in selected USA markets at Nathan's locations.

(Attachment Link)

--- End quote ---

Sonora is a Mexican state that borders Arizona and I'm pretty sure Mendeleyev has probably visited at least once  :)

From the Mendeleyev Journal:

Knockoffs can be found in almost any part of the world and the FSU isn't about to left behind when it comes to stealing a good idea. Starbucks immediately comes to mind--a Russian company held the rights to the name and while Coffee House, McCafe and others were making a killing, Starbucks sat on the sidelines for years as legal cases slowly drug their way thru the Russian courts. Today Starbucks can be found in the FSU, but they're a baby still due to so much lost time.

One of the most common knockoffs is McDonalds, МcДональдс.

Not quite McDonalds in Ukraine's Yalta area.

There was a rumour for awhile that McDonalds was considering the purchase of one Russian ripoff, McPeak, but they haven't done so as far as I know.

McD....wait, Mak Duck?!

Another blatant knockoff is McFoxy, the Ukrainian ripoff of McDonalds.  McFoxy is Ukraine's version of a McDonalds knockoff.

Here, have a coupon for the next time you're in Ukraine:

McDonalds is suing McFoxy in Ukrainian courts.

Speaking of McDonalds and lawsuits, Mickey D recently won a land mark case in Russia, a case which observers say will forever change the Russian fast food market. For those who say that the entire Russian judicial system solely favours the home team, you may wish to think twice.

The Moscow Oblast Federal Tax Authority had set tax rates at 18% for restaurants. McDonalds sued, and won, by convincing the court that it is not a restaurant but instead, a grocery store/market for prepackaged foods.

McDonalds attorneys were able to successfully argue that their chain of stores provides no traditional restaurant services. Instead they sell preprepared and packaged food, when customers come in to order it. They were able to prove that most of their food is prepared in advance and the final packaging is completed as it is ordered by a customer.

If that a ripoff to Russian consumers? Well not really as smart businesses generally pass along increased costs and that is one cost that will not be "on the menu" however other restaurants will benefit from the same ruling. Now McDonalds, McPick, KFC, McBlin, Burger King, Wendys and many other fast food restaurants will enjoy the 10% sales tax instead of the 18%.

Just in case you're wondering, traditional restaurants must continue to pay the 18% VAT.'s not McDonalds!

We leave this report with a flashback to the day in 1990 when the first McDonalds opened in Moscow, a Canadian venture, so for this report we go to the archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:


--- Quote from: mendeleyev on July 28, 2012, 03:42:18 PM ---From the Mendeleyev Journal:'s not McDonalds!

--- End quote ---

Although they do other things as well, the basic thing they sell is the шаурма - shaurma. 

I don't know how to describe it to Americans, but for anyone else, it's basically a doner kebab in a sort of tortilla wrap instead of pitta bread.

Nick, I believe that шаурма is a Middle Eastern food and popular in major Russian cities, Caucasian areas, Armenia, Georgia, and the "Stans." Shawarma is made by alternately stacking strips of fat and pieces of seasoned meat (lamb, goat and marinated chicken) on a metal stick. The meat is roasted slowly on all sides as the spit rotates over a flame for hours. Most of these city kiosks sell rotisserie chickens as well.

This guy really gets into his watching a show while the food is prepared:


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