"I don't mind. I like buckwheat porridge and cabbage soup best, but they don't have those things here."
--Levin, having a hard time ordering at "Angleterre" restaurant in Moscow
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Constantin Dmitrich Lévin Shows His True Soup Colors

(Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Part I, Chapter X)

When they entered the restaurant Levin could not help noticing something peculiar in his friend's expression, a kind of suppressed radiance in his face and whole figure. Oblonsky took off his overcoat, and with his hat on one side walked into the dining-room, giving his orders to the Tartar waiters, in their swallow-tail coats, with napkins under their arms, who attached themselves to him. Bowing right and left to his acquaintances who, here as elsewhere, greeted him joyfully, he passed on to the buffet, drank a glass of vodka and ate a bit of fish as hors-d'oeuvre, and said something to the painted Frenchwoman, bedecked with ribbons and lace, who sat at a little counter--something that made even this Frenchwoman burst into frank laughter.

Levin did not take any vodka, simply because that Frenchwoman--made up, as it seemed to him, of false hair, powder, and toilet vinegar--was offensive to him. He moved away from her as from some dirty place. His whole soul was filled with Kitty's image, and his eyes shone with a smile of triumph and happiness.

"This way, please your Excellency! This way--no one will disturb your Excellency here." said a specially officious waiter, an old white-headed Tartar, so wide in the hips that the tails of his coat separated behind.

"If you please, your Excellency," he said, turning to Levin and as a mark of respect to Oblonsky paying attention to his guest. In a moment he had spread a fresh cloth on a round table already covered with a cloth beneath a bronze chandelier, moved two velvet chairs to the table, and stood with a napkin and menu awaiting the order.

"if your Excellency would like a private room, one will be vacant in a few moments. Prince Golitzin is there with a lady. We've some fresh oysters in, sir."

"Ah--oysters!" Oblonsky paused and considered.

"Shall we change our plan, Levin?" he said, with his finger on the bill of fare and his face expressing serious perplexity. "But are the oysters really good? Now be careful. . ."

"Real Flensburg, your Excellency! We've no Ostend ones."

"They may be Flensburg, but are they fresh?"

"They only arrived yesterday."

"Well then, shall we begin with oysters and change the whole plan of our dinner, eh?"

"I don't mind. I like buckwheat porridge and cabbage soup best, but they don't have those things here."