The funny part of showing up with really low expectations is that there's plenty of room to be pleasantly surprised. The hotels we stayed at both had breakfast buffets, which was nice because we got to sample stuff before we committed to it. We managed to try a wide range of stuff from lunch meat (labeled "crispy bacon") to rice, cheese, fish, and eggs. Both places we stayed had traditional Russian pancakes called blini. I'd read about them in advance and was happy to try.
Our other meals on the other hand were a different story. Our leariness of strange foods coupled with the fact that we couldn't read signs/menus meant that we ended up eating trail mix for dinner more than once. There are times that we were pleasantly surprised though, our tour guide in St. Petersburg introduced us to Swiss-Russian salmon pies that were delightful, we would have gone back for more if we could have figured out how to get there. In Arkhangelsk we enjoyed an American style pizza at a local Italian restaurant. We also managed to find a Pizza Hut and McDonalds in St. Petersburg that were delightfully familiar, even if we did have to order by pointing to a specially made picture menu that was just for dumb Americans.
The salmon pies we ate in St. Petersburg were almost too pretty to eat.