*This restaurant is now closed*
I know nothing about Balkan food, but after hearing good things about Balkan express, I was excited to try it out last Saturday lunch. We picked Carlos up and proceeded to the restaurant. Parking can be a little challenge but we finally found a spot. The place is painted a brightly colored yellow surrounded by glass giving it ample lighting inside. You order once you enter then proceed to find a seat.
I picked Chicken “Batak”, boneless chicken thigh topped with mozzarella cheese and served with rice. A side salad was served with tartar sauce and ketchup (which I found really weird). I found the taste of the chicken too ordinary, nothing special at all. I shared some with Irene and Carlos, while they shared their orders with me also.
Irene has Cevapcici (pronounced as Sebapchichi), grilled minced meat sausages served on a burger bun served with fries, the bun can also be changed to rice.I had a taste of this and regretted my order immediately. Carlos had a taste of this and immediately order one for himself. So I guess he planned to order something else at the start since he declined the waiters suggestion of rice to pair with his Goulash.
Carlos got the Goulash, a stew of beef, onion, spices and pasta. I loved the burst of spices from the stew as well as the melt in your mouth sensation of the beef. The pasta added a nice contrast to the beef and soaked up a lot of the spices and flavor of the stew.
Peter joined us a while later but initially did not want to eat but we convinced him to order the Cevapcici. He was happy with his order.
Not really satisfied with my order, I actually wanted to order Cevapcici also but Marko(the owner) suggested Stuffed Pljeskavica (don’t even know how to pronounce this), grilled meat stuffed with spices and mozzarella cheese. The meat was wonderfully presented atop an altar of french fries with some mozzarella cheese leaking out on top. This was good although I still liked Cevapcici better, but that just might be a non cheese lover talking there.
I was still thinking about the Cevapcici until the next day so I finally relented and went back for dinner the next day. Good thing we found a parking space quickly since the stores beside Balkan were closed already because the place was packed.
I’m glad Marko opened up a Balkan/Serbian restaurant, allowing us to immerse in other cultures through their food.
Cevapcici, I will be back!
87 Jose Abad Santos St. corner Mons St.
Little Baguio, City of San Juan
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