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blind date:
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.).
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.

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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Vintage interior.

A cash-lady using old school cash register.

Free art and fresh gossips.

A bar with nice service.

Talkative diners.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Saltoniškės, Vilnius

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Stirnų g. 25
In short, the canteen „Vilniaus pergalė" is a cozy place with delicious food and it seems that it is the first canteen that has a fan page on Facebook. If you happen to be near the Žvėrynas district, you should visit it, as great food is guaranteed. And who cares about the décor when so tasty dishes are served?




Cooking lady with director of canteen Edward Mikša.


Workers of candy and chocolate factory eating in canteen at 10 o'clock in the morning.Workers of candy and chocolate factory eating in canteen at 10 o'clock in the morning.

Workers of candy and chocolate factory eating in canteen at 10 o'clock in the morning.

Workers of candy and chocolate factory eating in canteen at 10 o'clock in the morning.


'Kibinas' - old caraim dish. Dough with choped meat inside.

That is how 'kibinas' is made. 'Kibinas' - old caraim dish. Dough with choped meat inside.
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.).

One can find the chocolate factory „Vilniaus pergalė" by following the sweet smell. As you approach, the aromas of peanuts and hot chocolate will lead the way. No surprise that you get hungry immediately.

Before visiting I already knew about the great menu of this canteen as I have checked the fan page on Facebook. Many people have tried the various dishes on the menu, so I really trust the quality of the food here.

The first thing I notice is the advertisements of cheap sweets that one can buy. Some of them are sold with a discount of up to 44 %! A bit further, I pass many doors and come to a sink where you can wash your hands. As I open the right door, I enter a small hall and I immediately see a long menu. The stall is also small, but the staff works fast, quickly delivering escalopes or steaks to the plates.

Payments are made at the bar with refreshments and cheap sweets.

The canteen is a little gloomy, but tidy. It has a fridge and a microwave oven. I noticed one visitor heating homemade cutlets and adding beetroot from the canteen. It's normal practice here.

Visitors vary from workers of the chocolate factory, via workers from a nearby PR agency and lawyers in suits, to the local supermarket staff. To sum up, there is no wonder the canteen has a fan-page on the Internet.

Food here is very varied and in-expensive. On the day of visit, I was eating an escalope and cold borshch (lt. šaltibarščiai), it was full of cucumbers, slices of eggs and beetroot. The escalope meat was succulent, well fried and melted in my mouth.

The compote made of strawberries and raspberries was cold. The intense colour reminded me of summer.

Lunch price: 12,40 Lt


How many years have you been working in this canteen?
For 12 years.
And how long have you been working in canteens in general?
For 32 years. I have been working as a confectioner and as a cook.
Do you love your job?
I never wanted to be a cook, but life made me into one (laughing). Well, now it's quite ok.
What did you want to do in your life? Or better, to work as?
I didn't become what I wanted to be. But as I started to work, I liked it. I am an old school confectioner.
What does it mean?
It means that it used to be much more work earlier. Loads of work, exhibitions. We used to produce enormous amounts of products.
Were you working in a factory of in a canteen earlier?
I was working in a confectionery factory that was making buns, cookies, cakes, and pies - everything that is sweet. A great assortment in total. I couldn't pick any concrete product.
Do you have traditional dishes in this canteen?
Well, we always look for something new and try to cook it.
Where do you look for new dishes?
In magazines or old recipe books.
Perhaps you are watching the Oliver's show?
Your clients compliment steaks „Naujiena"(en. „News"), „Intriga"(en. „Intrigue"), „Kišenė"(en. „Pocket"). Do you make the steak titles yourselves?
Yes, we title new dishes by ourselves.
When you try cooking a new dish, do you perhaps taste it with the staff first?
Yes. First we make one portion of something new. Then we check the weight. First we make a test - if we don't like the taste, the clients won't like it either. However, we try new dishes. It's the only way to know if they are tasty.
What is the most important element in a canteen?
I think it's the clients.
How many of them do come here per day?
I am not sure... Maybe 300. You should ask our cashier.
How many portions of cepelinai (Lithuanian traditional dish, a type of a dumpling made from grated potatoes and usually stuffed with minced meat) do you make per day?
120 portions.
And what is the record of making cepelinai per day?
I have made 150 portions one day.
How long does it take to make this number of portions?
It takes a couple of hours. We have a grater. One cook weighs potatoes, the other prepares the meat, the third starts to form cepelinai of all that. Sometimes I make it myself, sometimes one or two cooks give me a hand.
Can a taste of a dish depend on a cook's mood?
Yes, it can. Why not? For example, I try something and it tastes different than it did yesterday. So it depends on my mood.
Do you cook at home?
Yes. I live with my son, so I cook dishes he likes.
And what does he like?
He likes cepelinai, dumplings.
What do you think the Dutch have for their lunch?
I have no idea. I just know Danish people don't like our food too much. And the Dutch... Perhaps they like farinaceous dishes more. Not long ago we had clients from Denmark here. They said they liked the food, but some pizzas would be better for them. Though, they really loved my buns with meat.

Valgyklos vadovas Edvardas

How many years have you been working in this canteen?
For 11 years. In the Soviet period every big factory had their own canteen. It was the canteen of confectionery factory "Vilniaus pergalė" here. The staff of this factory used to eat here. In general, every bigger company had a canteen. When we started working, this room was empty and the canteen was in the place where a company store is. I knew they were searching for staff. I applied for a job and got it.
How long has the factory "Vilniaus pergalė" been working?
Over 50 years. Several years ago we celebrated anniversary of 50 years. After the Independence "Vilniaus pergalė" was reorganised into a joint stock company. When we started working, we had to serve more workers of the factory - there used to be more than 200 visitors per day.
And now?
We have less workers from the factory nowadays because after reorganisation some of them lost their posts. But we also serve food for non-factory workers, for people from the street. We have this schedule - we come to work early, we prepare everything, we open the hall at 9.30 a.m., and firstly we serve factory workers. Up to 11 a.m. After that we open the door for people from outside the factory.
Do a lot of non-factory workers, people from the street come to eat?
Most of our visitors come from the street. For exampe, our constant clients are policemen from the nearby departament. Also people from the offices near.
Are you the director of this canteen?
Yes, I am. We seperated from factory "Vilniaus pergalė" in November. I am three in one person - just like there is an instant coffee „3 in 1". I am the director, the cook and the person who washes dishes.
And how many people are working in your canteen?
We are 7 people. It's me, a part-time accountant, a lady cook-confectioner who also bakes buns and buns with meat. In general, she's a very universal worker. And there is the other lady cook Milda. There is also a cashier and a buffet lady in one person who prepares cold snacks and works at the cash desk. Also we have a person who eashes dishes and a part-time cleaning lady.
Do you wash dishes by washing machine?
We do it both - hand washing and using a machine. You can not wash everything by machine, for example, glasses. So we do handwashing mostly.
What is your daily schedule? Who is the first to come to work? Do you change the menu everyday?
We try to change our menu every day. Of course, the dishes are the same from time to time. We plan what to cook a day before. Every day we have 2 soups and a broth with meat buns. These are so called first dishes. And we have around 6 second dishes: meat, poultry, fish, farinaceous dish, and something made of potatoes.
Are you concerned about ecology when ordering product for the canteen?
It's difficult to be ecological as the ecological products are expensive. There used to be a problem with the suppliers earlier - it was difficult to find good products as everything was centralized. Nowadays the suppliers compete and try to get your order.
Do you prepare a broth every day for eleven years now?
Yes, we cook a broth every day.
And how many times per week do you prepare cepelinai (a traditional Lithuanian dish, a type of dumpling made from grated potatoes and usually stuffed with minced meat)?
Twice a week. Once with boiled potatoes and once with grated potatoes. These are really loved by clients, but we are not able to cook them more often.
What is the most popular dish?
It's difficult to say. For example, one day it's so called homemade cutlet. In general, male customers really like to eat a lot. We know our clients and we cook the ritgh amount of food, so there would not be left any. For example, today so called mexican stew was the most popular dish. It is made of vegetables and meat.
What about the interior of the canteen? An the facilities?
When we started working, there were no any facilities. We organized everything with the help of the factory. Personally, I like old-fashioned, huge equipment that refers to mass production. It's a reliable technology. For example, I own a stove that moves from one place to the other together with me like in the Bremen Town Musicians. It is a very good stove made in Finland. It has been working for 20 years now. A convection stove. We prepare both buns and stews by it. My traditional dish is a Kugel with a pork leg.
Perhaps you have some special dishes that visitors come for?
Yes, for example, everyone knows we make tasty buns with meat. I worked in a great canteen in Traku Street for a long time. There was a bar "Indigo", nowadays its a club "Pabo Latino" there. It was a good canteen there. I use most recipes from the menu of that canteen.
Does the taste of customers change over years?
Well, we never had any arguments with our clients. Yes, everything is changing. I noticed that people like natural food more. We tried to offer lots of different dishes: with pineapples, papayas, etc. These experiments were not very succesfull. I guess it happened because our clients are mostly men. They like what they are used to eat. Today, for example, we prepared a beef-steak with an egg. It used to be cooked in every Soviet canteen. And even today our clients like it. It is a good meat served with fried egg, that's it.
Do you respond to the recession in any way?
There are less visitors now. But not because of the recession. The point is that there is less construction nearby. There were many builders last year working in this area, so the business was really good. They prices are reasonable for them in our canteen. Well, we feel the lack of those builders. But we will survive somehow.
Do you cook at home?
Yes, from time to time when I am in a good mood and a wish (laughing). I cook rarely at home. I let my wife show her talent (laughing). I use my creativity in a canteen kitchen.
What is your favourite dish in general?
I'm not picky. I like everything, especially when I am hungry (laughing).
Do you use a slang in your canteen?
We are a small staff now, so we don't use any slang. We understand each other at first glance.
What do you do in your free time?
I like gardening. Actually, now I am rushing home for that. I can enjoy it only till the sunset.
Do you grow any tomatoes?
Of course, both tomatoes and paprikas. The mext time I will treat you with my own vegetables.
What are your expectations about this canteen?
It's difficult to predict. It all depends on the material basis. I passed lots of years doing this work that I like. I started as a waiter, then I worked in the bar, later lots of years in the kitchen cooking. During these years I gained many advantages and disatvantages that I carry with myself. I would be afraid to loose my job, I wouldn't know what to do. I would pity myself a bit too, because I have a diploma for this work. We are partners with Zirmunai cookery school, we invite students from it. We teach those students. Sometimes they do something wrong, well, it can happen to everyone (laughing). But a person only learns when he or she tries to do something because knowing the theory is never enough. It is always a pleasure to take a part in the exams too.
Could you tell us some stories from the life in this canteen?
Most of the stories come from the canteen in Traku Street. We used to have a schedule: two working days, two days off. We didn't like to work on Christmas Eve especially. On the 24th of December we had a few customers, but, for example, at 7.30 p.m. someone from the party would come to check if we were working. We had such a schedule and had to be in the canteen. It was also funny when on the 1st of January we had to show up at work at 9 a.m. The staff was young so no much work was going on. Only some soldiers would come to visit the girls from the staff. On these days we used to drink champagne secretely. These were the toughest moments in my life. In this canteen we also work on Christmas Eve, but we try to finish work fast. I disaporove of working during holidays. Let's remember that we are Catholics, it doesn't matter if we believe in confessions or not. There is no business during holidays, anyway. One more interesting fact is that the percentage of benefit that you could set on a dish price was fixed and the same for all in the Soviet Union. It was 10%, not more. We used to work using one approved recipes book. Now we also use the same measures. In those days the canteens were subsidized as they wouldn't survive in other way. Nowadays we can set the prices by ourselves. In those days the percentage of benefit for the cafes used to be only 20%, for the restaurants - 36%. Nobody knows why exactly 36%. But nowadays no canteen would survive with benefit of 36%.

npsqoj 2-5-2011 14:31:20
yoYbYM aaquafarbfyo

Lexus 2-5-2011 09:48:09
Real brain power on display. Thnkas for that answer!

jamesbella 29-4-2011 15:41:56
Levitra %-O besked buy hjemmeside navn tramadol =-OO

vmuagt 26-4-2011 14:26:49
JxUIsJ erwaqjfxpsoo

Nook 25-4-2011 19:35:34
I'm imprsesed! You've managed the almost impossible.

Ieva 18-11-2010 12:04:20
Kaip ir skanu, bet labai jau gyvuneliai drasus pas juos ant stalu laipioja....

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