Russian Food Festival 

St. Seraphim of Sarov, an 18th century Russian monk and mystic, was not swayed by pleasures of the flesh. A devout ascetic, he was known for his resolute self-denial--eating only once a day and sometimes not at all--and he once prayed for 1,000 nights in a row perched on a rock with arms stretched toward the sky.

Named after the celebrated Russian monk, the St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church in the North End is hella more laid-back than the saint for whom it's named. On Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15, the church will encourage folks to indulge in massive amounts of authentic homemade Russian grub at its annual food festival. The hot menu includes beef stroganoff, piroshki (turnovers filled with beef, eggs or apricots), blini (pancakes wrapped around meat or cottage cheese), shish kebabs and chebureki (deep-fried dumplings with spiced meat.)

Or, if you're Russian to get somewhere, you can also purchase a variety of items--including cabbage rolls, borscht, mushroom soup, baklava and Mad Ivan's honey vodka mix--packaged to go.

Friday, May 14, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. FREE, St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church, 872 N. 29th St., 208-345-1553,

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