I feel somewhat afraid to start talking about this “worn-out” topic, at this topic most people feel soreness of the mouth and their faces change. However, I’ll try to speculate a little on this subject as I see it, without pretending to the only correct view.
Another remark, today we will address this matter mainly regarding Independence Avenue, from the Main Post Office to Kalinin Square, Zybitskaya and Karl Marx street.
I’d like to build my reasoning on the system that I’ve developed for myself:
1. Convenient approach or porch (transport, parking).
2. Reputation of a restaurant or café.
3. Pricing policy.
4. Management with a face tuned to the customer.
Everything that is located on the main Minsk Independence Avenue (Праспект Незалежнасці) is practically convenient for the client. Near are all the main hotels and apartments for rent to tourists. However, if you cannot move without a car, then it is almost impossible to find parking on this line, only in the courtyards of apartment buildings – yes there is such common practice much to their residents’ chagrin.
Therefore, let’s say this way – if there is a desire to eat on Independence Avenue, it is advisable to move on foot of by public transport.
Regarding the reputation and trust for the venue.
My approach is simple: to find out how many years a restaurant or café in business. All these venues are located in the most expensive places in the city, regarding the rental of premises and the cost of electricity. Therefore, if a restaurant has existed for more than 5 years and its services are in demand, then this venue can be rather trusted. Finding out a story about a venue on the Internet is not a problem nowadays.
Here, as they say, “to each his own.” But I would add on my own that the formula “very expensive means very good” is not the rule of thumb. Often in such cases, your expectations do not correspond to the actual service received. However, owners who think and know this business also know the price of their product as well. I have an example of one venue where there is an ideal combination of management, the quality of the product being served, and most importantly, there is the preserved spirit of the restaurant, which is always popular in the business environment of Minsk – Gourman Café, on the corner of Kommunisticheskaya/Chicherina Street, which is 20 years old.
At first glance, when getting into this café you see that everything is very trivial, not exquisite, and the whole semantic appendage comes to the visitor not even the first time one visits. This is my personal experience, but it is comparable to many people. “Gourman” is just a place where the price policy averaged relative to the Minsk market as a whole. The average bill, without alcohol, is from 10 to 15 USD. Speaking about the average check along Karl Marx, Zybitskaya Street and the Independence Avenue as a whole, from about 20 to 30 USD, of course not including fish topics (the average check in this case will be higher by an order of magnitude), and also not including Restaurants like Bistro/Fast-food and self-service.
Everything is simple for me in the assessment. I always appreciate the situation, the spirit, the right staff (or such intentionally trained). What I want to say here is how naturally the service employees behave and at the same time how professional they are. It is an important issue that of hygiene. You can always pay attention to cleanliness in general, toilets, dishes. Staff communications. Nothing should annoy me (music, light, the people around me.). Democratic service, without Slavic servility, this quality is characteristic mainly of the young generation of Belarusians, so I give priority here to service personnel under 30 years old.
Regarding security. We divide this question into two sub-questions.
1. The safety of the purchased product. I take advantage of one old rule that my father taught me – when I make an order with a waiter, I try to show him my location in the conversation that he can count on a tip, in this way I enter his area of responsibility for the goods offered. Then, when I have already made my choice, I ask the question: Are you really sure that this is a fresh product, and the second – in your personal opinion, did I make the right choice? Would you order this dish yourself? Thus, I lead a person to the fact that she/he begins to understand that his help in truthful answers is an immersion in personal responsibility, and an increase in her/his financial situation. I am sure it works.
Try not to drink alcohol produced in Belarus. I get the impression that they produce it in order not to pay pensions to people in due time.
2. Personal security. Avoid casual dating in public places. You will protect yourself from many problems, random problems and possibly not as random.
If you see people next to you who are beginning to behave inadequately before your eyes, it is better to pay the bill and leave. In general, the attitude towards foreigners in Minsk is very good both among Belarusians and that of public authorities.