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blind date:
Barred windows and interior.

Unique composition of daylight lamps.

Flower shop with a great variety of plants from all over the world. In addition, a great variety of wrapping paper.

Old-fashioned bar near the canteen with the same workers as in the canteen.

Old-fashioned russian samovar in case you want some tea on lunch.

Surprisingly pleasant smell of flowers mixed with freshly mashed potatoes.
Disco for people over 30 on weekends and disco style attributes in the canteen.

Two huge palms near the window.

Enormous picture on the wall. Painted poppies could open a discussion about a landscape painting.

Background music (only Russian).

A corner bar with all facilities.

Lots of tables at the windows.
Head spinning corridors with old squeaky floors.

Young diners.

Eating in the canteen felt like sitting in a sauna.

Painting on the wall and cleanliness.

Architecturally interesting building for a walk after lunch.

Impressive pink walls.
Unexpected location for a canteen – a dormitory between skyscrapers.

Colourful carpet on the wall.

Young diners.

Exceptional service for newcomers.

Food portions with a little bit extra.

School kids, who willingly show you the way to canteen.
Microwave oven – you can use it to warm up your own food.

Company store selling sweets at the same place.

Easy to read sign of WC – you will never have to ask for the way.

A smell of chocolate and cheap candies (and somehow cheap portions of ice-cream too).

Fan-page on the Internet.

Sophisticated food that one won't find in other canteens (escalopes, Chicken Kiev, etc.).
Furniture, walls and interior details that remind of the Soviet times.

A long table always served for the banquet.

A male cook in the kitchen.

Soft and nice music.

Special enclosed corridor for the queue. Very interesting thing.

Conveyer for dirty dishes.
Very talkative canteen worker.

Most of the things in the canteen are marked with „Vilniaus degtinė“ logos.

Everything is new.

Canteen is full of flowers. Orchids included.

Various types of dishes, even after lunch time.

Cosy interior.
Vintage interior.

A cash-lady using old school cash register.

Free art and fresh gossips.

A bar with nice service.

Talkative diners.

Vintage interior.

Long conveyer for dirty dishes.

The students in the canteen are open for discussions about physics, law, economics or communication science.

A microwave oven for heating food you brought from home (though heating your food is not allowed, but when the staff doesn't see...)

Radio announcing about the situation on the roads for drivers.

No queues in the canteen during lectures.
Availability of alcohol.

Great window view.

Enormous mirror near the exit.

Lithuanian soap operas on LCD TV (it is also possible to see the view of the other canteen hall on the TV).

White tablecloths that enrich the dining experience.

Awarded a Diploma for good service.
Funny carved heart shaped chairs.

Great combination of colours! Yellow walls match blue artificial flowers.

Low door, so everyone has to lean over to enter the canteen.

Fresh coffee and an espresso machine!

A sink to wash hands.

A coatrack.
Visually handicapped and deaf people work in the canteen.

Silence during lunch time.

The location is hard to find.

Big tables if you want to have lunch with a group.

A lot of artificial flowers.

Sincere concern of a cook: „How come you’re not eating soup? That is not healthy.
Enormous work of ceramics on the wall.

Red colour that makes a place look mysterious.

80’s style corner bar with glossy lamps and curved lines.

Flowers everywhere.

Students and quite intelectual discussions among them.

A worker with plates with lunch dishes running among tables.

Long, but quickly moving queue on lunchtime.

Barely heard music.

Freshly made carrot juices.

Examples of folk art (i.e. wicker lampshades).

No tray system – all dishes are served to your table.
One won’t find two identical plates in the canteen.

If you are in a hurry, you can eat your quick lunch sitting at the bar.

If you are bored, you could try guessing the names of the plants at the windows of the canteen. I guess that would take you at least a week.

A coat rack.

A good location in a center of the city.

Air conditioning system (though, it was not working on my visit day).
EN / LT
2009-09-14
Centras, Vilnius

no map
Žveju g. 2/A
PRIE NERIES
There are not that many canteens in the city centre. And if you find this one, located on the shore of the river Neris, you'll be very fortunate. I don't know if it's the dark wooden walls or the white table clothes, but visitors come here with great pleasure. Tasty food, a nice view of the river, LCD TV - these are just a few advantages of the canteen on Žvejų street.
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Sweet cold soup. Quite special soup in the canteens. Made from dried fruits.

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Availability of alcohol.

Great window view.

Enormous mirror near the exit.

Lithuanian soap operas on LCD TV (it is also possible to see the view of the other canteen hall on the TV).

White tablecloths that enrich the dining experience.

Awarded a Diploma for good service.

The sign for the canteen is a good start (because usually there are no signs at all). You could however get lost upon entering the building. The smell of cutlets and incoming visitors will show the way to the canteen on the second floor of the building. Here you will find long tables serving for all occasions, and while not feeding hungry visitors, the canteen staff organises parties, receptions and funeral dinners.

Firstly, you find visitors with varying backgrounds, from secretaries to builders, who usually don't pay much attention to each other. Secondly, you will see some advertisements for meals you can buy (curd, various meat products).

Visitors order and get their food via the special window. The rows of bowls with soup look amazing. You just have to grab the one you want.

As I approach the till, it gets more interesting. For the first time I see some strong alcohol drinks for sale in a canteen.

Wooden walls and white table clothes pale in comparison to the view through the window, the shore of the river Neris. I honestly think I will return one day to have a relaxing lunch.

One more detail of the interior is the antiquarian telephone that is actually ringing! It seems that customers were calling to order while I was having my lunch.

Food:
Firstly, the great variety of food - you will be spoilt for choice. The turkey cutlet that we tried was served with a delicious sauce and vegetables. The meat was filled with pepper and that was a tasty and pleasant surprise (however, the cutlet could have been fried more). The cold borshch (lt. šaltibarščiai) was average, like most places. There is a large variety of buns.

Compote:
Though I really like sweets, the compote was too sweet even for me.

Lunch price: 11,90 Lt.




Vedėja Birutė


The staff have been working here for a long time. Many people have already been working for ten years.
How did you start working here?
I finished a college and got a position in the restaurant "Erfurtas". I started working as a trainee and the director used to get angry if someone from the staff let me make a dish. And when I was working in Virsuliskes district, they didn't even let me serve people at all. And even nowadays I don't like queues in my canteen. The system should be such - you come and get what you ordered. I also used to have a canteen in Geliu Street. A small one, sharing the same room with cookery. Here we have more space, we can organize banquets. They asked me to work here.
How did you start your own business?
I worked in other places before, but they all went bankrupt, so I used to make rolls and carp dishes at home. Later the owner of one cafe asked me to work, and after that I came to work here. I also remember when we opened a cookery shop in Zalgiris Street. Before opening this canteen me and my husband used to boil beetroots and supplied them for supermarkets. We were supplying pickled cucumbers to the supermarkets, too. We used to supply a lot for the supermarkets chain "Vilniaus prekyba". Nowadays we cook everything here as I don't trust any food suppliers. We even mince meat by ourselves, we don't by anything half prepared.
How many people are working here?
We have three cooks.
Is it difficult to find good workers?
Nowadays there are no people working in this sphere. But one can easily express oneself when the food for banquets is prepared. I also miss sophisticated dishes. I usually read cooking magazines and look for interesting recipes. For example, not a long time ago we made a chicken roast with sunflower seeds and vegetables - it's very delicious! We are making experiments in this kitchen.
How do the clients know about your canteen?
Usually it's word of mouth.
Perhaps they get used to some kinds of dishes? Maybe later they can not find them on your menu? Does it happen?
Well, the menu is different everyday, so the clients don't have a dish to get used to. Well, maybe cepelinai (a traditional Lithuanian dish, a type of dumpling made from grated potatoes and usually stuffed with minced meat) or potatoe pancakes with meat (in Lithuanian, Žemaičių blynai) are the same.
So this is quite a good place for gourmets, isn't it?
Of course, nowadays one can't find anything natural. No healthy food to be found - they add all kinds of chinese sauces to the dishes. I miss natural food.
How did you gather the present staff?
I am a part of the committee in the trade school, so I mostly look for workers there. As I also started as a trainee, it is important for me to teach other people, too.
What is the best way to keep people working for you?
It is difficult to have my own business, I usually indulge the cooks. Though when I was working not as a director, I never let indulge myself. In the old days everyone around was angry as most of the people came to work for me and I used to trade the most.
And how do you keep clients coming back?
Well, we reduce prices now, as there are less and less people coming. It used to be around 200 persons, and now it's about 50 customers per day.
Do you have a vision of this canteen?
Well, at the moment I am reconstructing my own house into a hall for the banquets. I am planning to make things on my own without this staff. There are no such young people as there used to be. I remember the times when I was working in the restaurant "Erfurtas" - my husband used to help me to close the place, we used to go dancing in the night club afterwards. We used to sleep for 2 hours only and used to come back to work. I also worked all night long in some places. And here, for example, I say, "hey, girls, tomorrow it is St. Valentine's Day, let's do something extraordinary!" But I don't have time for that now and the girls don't have enthusiasm.
What about your family?
Well, my husband used to be a waiter, now he is the director of our business.
Perhaps you have wone some prizes for your dishes?
I used to participate in the competitions earlier. I won a possibility to work in Germany for a while. I won the 3rd place among cooks in Lithuania. There used to be food exhibitions earlier, we used to prepare for them at nights. There are no exhibitions left. But I try to decorate food for people nowadays, too. Even now I have customers from the old days who come to eat. We cook using old recipes, we don't add any chemicals. I select the supplies very carefully. Most of the products I order from Silale town.
What is the story of this interior?
We rent this venue, no one helps us. For example, the coffee machine used to breake a lot earlier. We changed windows, brought carpets by ourselves. A lot of thefts happened there as well.. 60 chairs were stolen. We used to have metal bars that used to save the property, but not anymore. They also steal vases, tablecloths. We have set up the camera now. They steal even the toilet paper and mirrors from the wc. Well, our kitchen facilities are old and we really don't want to invest in to it, as it doesn't belong to us.


Klientai

Is this your traditional lunch place?
Well, yes. There is tasty food, some alcohol too. They wanted to make office here, but it didn't work out. There is also a possibility to use a roof for any purpose, but there is no money. Everything is getting modern, I think this will also close soon. It is not a cultural heritage, you know. We have here this clay wall with pool, but they were expanding the office and nothing is left after that. Just this nice clay wall. There used to be dances organized here. Now some wedding receptions or funeral diners are organized, but you can not talk about that. You will be accused.

Other customer
Maybe you know the story how this canteen was opened?
It was planned to have a canteen here according to a building project. The building was built for one of the Ministries. The huge canteen was planned. Here was a kitchen.
Now we see only cabinets here?
Well, not only. The canteen is here.
How do you know these things?
I started working at the same time the constructions began, so I know everything. This building is mine.




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