Sampling Balkan Comfort Food at Balkanika
Click on image to enlarge
Cevapcici (left) are delicious flame-grilled skinless beef sausages, sided with a Turkic bread, red-pepper paste, a yogurt dip, and salad.
This week, Counter Cultures slides in to Balkanika, a Hell's Kitchen spot with probably the fullest selection of wine-bar eats you've ever seen. While the cheeses and cured meats are doctrinaire for this type of establishment, the bread dips are not, and the place also offers some Balkan comfort-food standards that are difficult to find in most parts of the city.
Served with yogurt, bureks are spiral pies filled with a choice of spinach, beef, cheese, or leeks and potatoes.
For spud lovers, the goulash not only contains potato cubes, but also rests on a bed of mashed potatoes.
Lamb kofte kebabs are served with rice, charred tomato, and salad.
Moussaka is a eggplant casserole that, unlike its Greek cousin, adds layers of potatoes to the mix.
A stuffed and roasted pepper is the essence of mellow.
Balkanika 691 Ninth Avenue 212-974-0300
Follow me on Twitter if you dare -- @robertsietsema
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to New York dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.