The best ethnic food is often the most difficult to find. So each week we'll spin the globe and search for a new other-worldly spot to expand our eating horizons around the Valley.
This week we go to Bosnia at Caffe Sarajevo.
Phoenix cold-weather temperatures might not be fur hat-worthy, but it does seem a perfect time to sample some stick-to-your-ribs Russian fare.
I was expecting some borscht and vodka on the menu, but the fare ran more toward sausage sandwiches, hearty soups, and stuffed pita breads...and sadly, no alcohol.
Authenticity-rating: I was the only person not speaking Russian in the joint.
A group of 4 men convened at a nearby table, drinking coffee and playing some sort of card game, and chatting in, what I imagine was Russian.
What to order: According to my server, the most popular dish is the cevapi, or sausage sandwich made with homemade bread, which comes in a variety of sizes. I ordered the small cevapi ($5), which arrived looking like a big bread pillow.
"How big is the extra-large cevapi," I queried, imagining an actual pillow-sized sandwich.
"Same size," my server explained, "just filled with 15 sausages instead of 5."
The bread is baked like a big pocket, and stuffed with pork and veal sausages. That's it. No condiments, just bread and meat. For 50 cents extra, you can get it paired with a dollop of sour cream or a veggie spread and a pile of raw onions, which I'd recommend.
The sandwich is a knife and fork affair. The sausage is good, but the bread is real highlight: light, fluffy, yummy. After many, many bites of sausage, bread, some onion and a dip into the veggie spread -- I was stuffed, and only managed to polish off half of my sandwich.
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