Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Tax Day!

Today I headed north to Mitrovica to Sparky's American Grill (Rr. Ulqinit #195, 028 30 546) on the south-side.  Reputed to have the best American breakfast around, Sparky's offers a nice spread of American favorites like biscuits w/ gravy and hamburgers.  Ordering and getting service was bit of an experience because our waitress hardly spoke or understood any English.  Why a person would be hired to work in a restaurant who can't comprehend English is beyond me but a friend explained that the girl was a relative of the owner (and families are close-knit in Kosovo).  So basically, even if a person isn't the most qualified for a position, in Kosovo if they are family they will get a job and jobs are hard to come by in Kosovo with more than 50% unemployment.  I would imagine that there are few of the same employment opportunity laws that citizens of Western countries enjoy and in Kosovo, if you don't get the job you just don't get the job.  Thinking back though, there was a scandal at the Pristina airport about jobs for money a while maybe there are some laws in Kosovo...but I digress...back to Sparky's and our non-English comprehending waitress!
So today at Sparky's, in an effort to get ranch dressing for my Chicken Ranch sandwich, I ended up going into the kitchen and speaking to the cook as the waitress was not able to understand what any of the three Americans were trying to explain :o)  As it turns out, the restaurant was out of ranch so I ended up with just a chicken sandwich...but, I do have to say the homemade honey mustard dressing made for a mean combination in the absence of the ranch :)  The experience does remind me of the phrase that we've coined in Kosovo though "order what you want and eat what you get".  In most places, if the restaurant was out of something, they'd come tell you...but not in Kosovo...if they are out of something, you get whatever the cook decides what to substitute!  It makes dining out an interesting affair at times :o)

But would I recommend Sparky's American Grill?  Heck yeah!  With a great western (we are talking cowboys & country music!) atmosphere, nice food, and a slick pool table, I can see how the grill quickly became one of the most popular hang-outs for Americans in Mitro.  I have to admit that I'm looking forward to going back and trying the biscuits with gravy or the Spanish omelet :)

Today we were blessed with excellent weather and blue skies so I went out with my camera :)  There are a ton of new Kosovo pictures in my photo album from Pristina to Mitrovica.  Right now most of the photos can be found in the General Pictures section but I did find one special "Only in Kosovo" photo today :)  I will work on organizing the General section this week as it is getting large after all these years...but until then enjoy the many photos!