Serbian food’s not usually on my radar; I’ve had it maybe 3 or 4 times before in my life, all at restaurants in Milwaukee, but none in the last 2 decades or so. As such, it was with a spirit of adventurousness that my wife and I, along with our youngest daugher, journeyed to Old Town Serbian, in aforesaid city. Unfortunately, my son-in-law had to work, but was hoping for leftovers.
The restaurant has been there for over 45 years, and definitely has the feel of a semi-formal family joint in an ethnic neighborhood, though ethnicities have shifted recently. The menu offerings were pretty tempting, and included suckling pig, lamb, duck, goose shanks, chicken or calf liver, along with the more traditional goulashes and veal dishes.
We started out with bread and two spreads, a very nice serbian cheese flavorful but spreadable, and avjar, an eggplant and peppers tapenade, also quite piquant. We demolished it handily.
That was followed by an olive and cheese appetizer platter, some hot baked feta coated with an exquisite pepper tapenade, and chevapchichi sausages, sizzling hot and served with raw peppers and onions. Again, demolished.
I decided on a beef and cheese burek for my main course; a pie made of phyllo dough and stuffed with seasoned meat. The thing was huuuuge, flakey, and oh so warm from the oven, and most amazingly delicious. Also too large to eat the whole thing. SIL got half of it.
My daughter got the grape leaves Sarma, stuffed with ground beef, sausage, bacon, pork, smoked pork, and rice. Being the carnivore she is, it all vanished.
The Mrs. opted for the seafood special of the evening, cod in some sort of paprika sauce. While the fish was good, she found the sauce too sweet; having sampled it myself, I concur. A pity. Fortunately she enjoyed a chunk of my burek.
Dessert was palacinka, a rather thick crepe stuffed with nutella, hot from the griddle and topped with whipped cream; a restaurant tradition. Also a dish advertised as a strawberry schaum torte, but it was nothing like any schaum torte I’d had before. It was more similar to strawberry shortcake. Quite tasty on its own, but a bit of a disappointment due to its lack of schauminess.
I’d like to go back to sample their goose, their veal, their versions of musaka and paprikash. Or maybe to the Three Brothers, the other Serbian joint in town.
Life’s too short for boring food.