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Best Place To Hide In The Dark At Lunch Phoenix 2002 - Bosnian Atmosphere Cafe

When it's time to escape to another world, there's no finer midday dark retreat than Bosnian Atmosphere Cafe. There's nothing fancy here, and we're happy to lounge on scuffed purple fabric chairs, taking it slow under wobbly ceiling fans. The windows are blacked out; we first guessed it was a restaurant because of the daily "specials" sign outside (in Bosnian, of course). This means the inside is dark, blissfully womblike, and the service relaxed, since, as our waitress reminds us, everything is made from scratch.

It's quiet, secretly special food, too. Svjeza kupus salata is cabbage salad sprinkled with black pepper, misted with oil, spritzed with lemon juice and capped with ripe tomato. Burek is a football-size phyllo dumpling packed with chunks of chewy beef under a dollop of bright orange paprika purée. And the cafe's signature cevapi is captivating, a thrilling sandwich of sturdy, grilled ground beef sausage links and white onion between lepina, a pitalike bread. It's a feast -- for the stomach if not for the eyes.

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