Mama Papa Lithuania Introduces A Lesser-Known Country’s Delicious Cuisine

Mama Papa Lithuania Introduces A Lesser-Known Country’s Delicious Cuisine

By Pamela Sosnowski As one of Eastern Europe’s smaller countries, Lithuania and its culture isn’t as familiar to Americans as its bordering Baltic cousin Poland is. But in Alameda, diners are gaining at least a little education about the nation’s cuisine, thanks to Mama Papa Lithuania, the West Coast’s only restaurant dedicated to Lithuanian food. Owner Vaidas Sukys opened the restaurant in 2013. “The are many reasons for my inspiration to open a Lithuanian restaurant and the main one is that the Bay Area is so colorful and has all kinds of restaurants, but it was missing a real Lithuanian one” he says. “Now, we are like an ambassador of Lithuanian cuisine.” A serving of fried rye bread pictured above is presented with every meal. Like most food found through Eastern Europe, Lithuania’s specialties are hearty, filling, and represent the best of the country’s natural food sources. Some of the favorites on Mama Papa Lithuania’s menu include the borscht with mushroom, the traditional red beet soup served with a dollop of sour cream, deep fried pierogies (dumplings filled with melted cheese and mushrooms) and stuffed cabbage rolls, which contain seasoned ground pork, rice, and a homemade tomato sauce. The latter is served with boiled potatoes, dill pickles and marinated pickled garlic in chili pepper. Potato pancakes with or without meat, homemade sausages, and Lithuanian-style chicken goulash are also sure to satisfy and delight. Pictured above is their potato dumpling served with mushroom sauce. The restaurant’s atmosphere is meant to reflect the rustic feeling of Sukys’ native country as well as the food. The tables and chairs are made of heavy reclaimed redwood and oak, and the building features exposed wooden beams, brick walls, and a majestic metal chandelier. Outside the restaurant sits a beer garden surrounded by flowers, fruit treats, and nautical-inspired touches. Here, guests can relax and enjoy Lithuanian beer served with fried garlic black bread, and watch a soccer game during the World Cup competition. One of the more unique offerings on the menu is the amber tea, which is actually prepared using real amber, a hard translucent fossilized resin that the Baltic area is known for and which is often worn as jewelry. Pictured above are some of their specialties including stuffed cabbage and potato pancakes. “According to ancient Baltic tribes, which Lithuanians derive from, amber is a very powerful stone and it has healing properties that can protect your stomach from inflammation and other benefits,” explains Sukys. “Amber tea is a great way to get necessary minerals via hot water. Also, it can be enhanced with real local bay area honey if someone likes sweeter drinks. Besides minerals there is solar energy trapped inside amber and that is also passed via hot water while enjoying amber tea.” Be sure to save room for dessert. A favorite among customers is the restaurant’s medutis, a beautifully layered,...

Read More

Mama Papa Lithuania featured in SFgate.com

Mama Papa Lithuania featured in SFgate.com

LITHUANIA Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant, Alameda. Step inside this cozy restaurant with peasant tables, extraordinary heavy chairs, wrought iron chandeliers, and lacy curtains, and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped inside a rustic cottage down the road from a medieval castle. The atmosphere at the only Lithuanian restaurant outside the Western United States will transport you to the tiny Baltic country, and so will its menu featuring cold cucumber salad, creamy mushroom soup, potato dumplings stuffed with minced meat (cepelinai) and layered honey cake (medutis). 1241 Park St., mamapapalithuania.com...

Read More

How the Kuciukai Crumbles: Alameda Now Home to the Only Lithuanian Bakery on the West Coast

When Vaidas Sukys first opened Mama Papa Lithuania (1241 Park St.) in 2013, I wrote about how the quaint little restaurant in Alameda was the only Lithuanian restaurant on the entire West Coast — the only place I knew of in the Bay Area where a potato dumpling lover could throw back a couple of Svyturys lagers and munch on dark rye bread imported from a village in Lithuania. Now, Sukys is once again on the cutting edge of the Bay Area’s Eastern European food scene: About a month ago, he opened Mama Papa Lithuania Bakery (1239 Park St.) — apparently the only full-fledged Lithuanian bakery on the West Coast — in a space formerly occupied by a barber shop, right next door to the restaurant. Oh, you didn’t know Lithuanian baked goods were a thing? Sukys is more than happy to give a primer on the large selection of cakes and pastries that Danute Sukiene — the bakery’s namesake “mama” and, not coincidentally, Sukys’s real-life mother — cranks out each day. The showstopper is a dessert that longtime patrons of the Mama Papa Lithuania restaurant know very well: the delicate, seven-layer honey cake known as medutis, which combines cake infused with the smoky sweetness of roasted honey with a tangy sour cream filling. As of Monday, the Mama Papa website boasted that 24,528 slices of the cake had been sold since the restaurant opened. But at the bakery, you can buy a whole cake — gorgeously decorated, and big enough to serve four to six — for a modest $20. (Larger sizes are also available.) I might just have to order one the next time my birthday rolls around. But Mama Papa Lithuania Bakery sells all kinds of Old World treats you won’t find at any other bakery in the area — from recipes Sukiene mastered when she ran a bakery back in Lithuania. According to Sukys, the confection that catches the most eyes is something called a Boletus Mushroom, named after the mushroom species (aka the porcini) it bears a striking resemblance to — so much so, Sukys said, that customers often ask if it’s a real mushroom. These are big, iPhone 6-sized cookies made with honey dough, with “caps” that are coated with chocolate and “stems” coated with meringue. In Lithuania, these are a traditional festival treat. “Kids would walk around, and instead of lollipops, they ate mushrooms,” Sukys said. MAMA PAPA LITHUANIA BAKERY The only Lithuanian bakery on the West Coast opened in Alameda about a month ago. Meanwhile, Christmas is apparently a big deal in Lithuania, and perhaps you’re wondering if the only Lithuanian bakery in town is doing anything special for the holidays. You’re in luck: Starting this week, Sukys said, the bakery will sell the Christmas biscuits known as kučiukai for about $3 a container. Each of these little pastries is about the...

Read More
Dear Customers,

We continue operating everyday 11-3 and 5-8 for taking outs or welcome to use delivery companies such as Doordash, Caviar or Ubereats and placing your meal order via them. In case if we have missed out on your call, just keep trying to call us back again due to a shortage of manpower not always are able to answer the phone, but it does not mean we are not open. Wishing you all to be safe and healthy! Mama Papa Lithuania Restaurant