Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Traditional Eats in an Unusual Setting

Going out for dinner on Wednesday nights has become somewhat of a tradition this year for a group of my friends.  We normally can be found at Ciao in Caglavica but tonight we decided to try something different.  Mehana (Mexaha in Cyrillic) is a traditional Serbian restaurant that can be found near the monastery in Gracanica.  If you turn left after the bridge on the main road and just before the monastery, there is a small road that will lead you down to another bridge that crosses the "river" (it's more like a stream) will turn left at the bridge (it's almost a u-turn) and the restaurant is basically right in front of you.  You might not think it is a restaurant because it's just a big house...but there is a sign above the door reading Mexaha :o)  For the real traditional dishes, you need to call the restaurant ahead of time at 064 530 0000 or the owner Dejah (Serbian language is probably best) at 064 455 4755.

The traditional dishes that we had last night are a far cry different that the grilled meat selection found at most other Serbian restaurants.  We started out with Ivar (mashed roasted red peppers that is perfect for spreading on bread), corn bread (it was a bit hard...but maybe that's the way they make it?!), domestic cheese, Russian salad (that's the English name for it!), and a mixture of cheese and peppers in a spreadable paste.  After clearing the appetizer plates, out came the dishes of sarma (ground meat and rice rolled in cabbage leaves.  They were so big that I thought they were baked potatoes at first!) and Serbian goulash with mashed potatoes.  The goulash was not like other soupy types but rather was more like meat in a gravy sauce...and excellent!  Of course, we drank raki and vranac wine over the course of the meal.

The decor is nothing to rave about.  The restaurant has only been open for about a month and it looks like the owners just took the ground floor of a house and converted half into a seating area and the other portion into the kitchen.  The seating area is not large so it would be best to give a call ahead of time if you are planning on going with a group of people.  The other thing that I might caution people about is that towards the end of the evening it did get a little smoky as there was only one fan for ventilation but of course our company wasn't completely innocent in the cigarette department :o)  Still if you are interested in trying something new, I would recommend giving Mehana a try as the food was excellent and the service was quite friendly (the raki is not bad either! The guys say it is some of the better that they've had in Kosovo!)

If you are looking for information and/or telephone numbers to some of the best places in Kosovo, check out my Kosovo restaurant guide! I have a couple places that I've been meaning to check out (especially the new restaurant that the owners of Home opened in Sunny Hill!) so maybe there will be some more updates next week!