Sarajevo’s Cockta and grilled meats tough to beat.

I am eternally grateful that my girlfriend comes along with me on these food excursions, and I’m even more grateful that she’s flexible and patient – for instance, last night’s excursion to Egyptian Nights, ostensibly (according to Voice sources) located at 35-25 Steinway Street, turned up only a pool hall across from a suburban-style movie theater, and very little in the realm of surrounding charm to fall back on. (Today, after a more thorough Google search, I have found that it’s actually located at 25-35 Steinway – a return trip will happen soon.)

Fortunately, as we were walking down 34th Avenue thinking that Greek would be our best option, we happened upon Cevabdzinica Sarajevo – a perfect coincidence, as I had been meaning to investigate the world of Bosnian grilling for some time.

Though the service was a bit reserved, we appreciated the pictorial menu (though it did take some of the adventure out of ordering). Not everything on the menu is worthy of note. One pleasurable possibility is an order of cevapi (5 for $5) – skinless grilled sausages with an oniony flavor, served with a red pepper spread and onions, as well as what seemed like freshly baked bread pre-slicked with oil. It makes a lovely sandwich. I’m sure the pljeskavica, which seemed like the same meat, would also be excellent – though, due to its enormous footprint (I struggle to describe its enormity, but it wouldn’t kindly share the plate, even on your mother’s biggest platter), it might require several people to demolish it.

We should have gotten more grilled meats (I’m aiming at veal hearts and sweetbreads on my next visit), because I was less impressed with the potato burek – also available in meat and spinach varieties, among others (a portion appears to be about $6. It’s not because I hate pastry, or that it wouldn’t have been delicious coming out of the oven, it’s just that they microwaved it instead. (I think the people who came in to get takeaway burek probably are oven-heating it at home.) The stuffed cabbage ($7 for 5 pieces) met the same appliance before hitting our table, and ended up being a bit soggy for my taste (as well as the usual temperature inconsistencies – just like leftover night!).

My ambivalence about the ungrilled foods notwithstanding, the bill came to $24 for enough food to make us very full, and they offer tiny bottles of the local cola called “Cockta.” It’s the little things in life, really.

1 Comment

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One response to “Sarajevo’s Cockta and grilled meats tough to beat.

  1. Anonymous

    Hi, I just want to clear some stuff up. The bread is called somun and it’s not exactly precoated with oil. When they make the cevape they put the somun on top to soak up all the good juices. Cockta is not local to Bosnia but rather Slovenia and is probably easier to import than other drinks.Oh and yes, the burek… the place is known mostly because of cevape and my guess is the owners wanted to have something extra to offer their customers. They probably make it at home since they don’t use (or have) ovens on site.For good burek (as every good Bosnian knows), go to Djerdan which has three locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and Astoria. It’s made slightly differently and it tastes marvelous right out of the oven. They also have an awe-inspiring selection of desserts. Ask for shampita when (and if) you go, but bring someone to share it with you.[email protected]

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