Balkan House – Cevapcici
The Balkan region of Europe comprises a number of countries but due to some negative connotations to the term “Balkan”, many often refer to the area now as Eastern Europe or Southeastern Europe. Regardless of the terminology used, the food shares aspects with traditional Slavic, Turkish, Serbian, and Greek fare.
Balkan House is a restaurant located along the busy Edmonds corridor in Burnaby and has a rather spacious interior. There’s dark leather booth seating with blue linen tablecloths. On the day that I visited, there happened to be a couple of large tables seated before me so I was expecting a long wait for my food.
Their menu listed two types of sausages: cevapcici and kobasice… not knowing the difference between the two, I asked the waitress and she said that she liked the cevapcici and that “they look like real sausages and are more popular” whereas the kobasice “are real sausages”. More confused after that statement, I decided to just go with her recommendation.
The 10 Piece Cevapcici ($12.95) came with homemade soup and bread which came pretty quickly. The soup was creamy and hearty with plenty of black-eyed peas – perfect for a cold winter. I think I might have gotten an old menu because my menu said it should only cost $11.95 but I was charged $12.95 at the end of my meal. I looked online afterwards and the $12.95 price was online so it must have just been an old menu.
My first glance at the homemade bread was rather uninspired but I have to admit that I was proven wrong. The bread was warm, soft and fluffy on the inside, and slightly crusty on the outside (not so much that you chip your tooth but just enough to give you a good bite). It held up quite nicely when used to soak up the soup.
The Greek Salad arrived along with my main course (about 15 minutes after ordering) and was fresh but tasted a bit sweeter than I’m used to for Greek salad. I think it was the ample amount of red and orange bell peppers in the dish.
On to the main course… the Cevapcici is grilled homemade sausages with ground veal and pork. The sausages themselves looked a lot like traditional breakfast sausages but were more meaty and less juicy. In all honesty, the small order (5 sausages) probably would have been enough for me because these cevapcici were very filling.
Along with the sausages, the plate consisted of french fries, rice, diced raw onions and ajvar (a type of relish). I’m not averse to raw onions but these were really strong (you might want to steer clear of these if you have an important meeting after lunch).
Service after I was served my food was much slower and I found it difficult to catch the attention of the lone waitress… probably because the larger tables were demanding her attention. Actually, one table next to me wanted to get their coffee refilled and they had to bring their cups up to the front of the restaurant to get them refilled because they couldn’t flag down the waitress.
When I got home, I wikipedia’d the kobasice sausages and found out that they look more like farmer sausages… perhaps that’s what the waitress meant.
7530 Edmonds Street