Lithuanian lucky charm fails to inspire simple if unspectacular food
It is a traditional Lithuanian folk belief that a horse-shoe hung over the door will bring good fortune, and it is this tradition that Senoji Pasaga (or Old Horse-shoe), a small restaurant facing Vilnius Cathedral, appeals to in its name.
The name fits, if only because whether or not you are left satisfied with what you order may be down to luck. While the run-of-the-mill herring snack plate I ordered was satisfactory, my šaltibarščiai, an equally ubiquitous and popular Lithuanian dish that's also difficult to muck up, was too watery and bland.
Your fortunes may turn, however, depending on the dish. One of my colleagues ordered soup and crepes with cheese and meat from the daily lunch menu and was happy and satisfied with his choice, though not blown away. Another was disappointed by the lack of meat in his lunch selection. All, however, agreed that the spiced fried bread (Kepta Duona) we shared amongst ourselves was a delicious and above-average take on a delicious Lithuanian classic.
The prices weren't too high either with a wide selection of dishes on the menu seems like it's worth exploring further.
The interior is slightly cramped and coloured orange by a strange choice of tiling, but if you're visiting in the spring or summer, head straight on through to the back for the restaurant's rear courtyard, which is a great choice when it's nice weather out. This, along with the restaurant's prime location across the street from Vilnius Cathedral and the National Museum of Lithuania, put it in the best spot you could possibly hope for if you want to catch your breath when touring Vilnius' bustling summertime Old Town.
Senoji Pasaga is not the best choice if you want to experience a culinary masterpiece but given its prime location, its price and its rather wide selection of dishes, it's a good option for anyone looking to take a break while still being in the heart of it all.