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Bosnian Burgers

Bob Martinez | | Mar 18, 2003 12:21 PM

Well, it's springtime in New York and I'm getting ready for my first visit of the year to Bosna-Express in Ridgewood. I first heard about the place on these boards about 2 years ago and the poster kindly included a review by Robert Sietsema of the Village Voice. What a great tip! (A link to the original review is posted below).

The place is tiny but there is a single table that can seat 4 people. There are also a few seats outside. I've always had the same thing - the pljeskavica. Since I can't even attempt to pronounce this, I always order it by its gringo name - the burger, aka the Bosnian burger. You can order it with raw onions, salad, cucumber and yogurt and sour cream dressing but I take a minimal approach and get it with diced raw onions and the all purpose Bosnian red sauce (Ajvar) which is not particularly spicy but has reasonable flavor.

The burgers, made of a mixture of ground beef and lamb, are large but somewhat thin. Since they're strongly flavored this actually is a good thing. Served in the Bosnian analog of pita bread, they're actually more like sausage patties than burgers and you'll definitely be full after you eat one.

Each time I show up they seem slightly surprised that an outsider took the trouble to seek them out but at the same time they're proud of the food. The hairy guy behind the counter in the tank top t-shirt looks at me, grins, and says "You like the Bosnian burger - eh? It's good - yes?"

Well, yes, it really is good. It's not quite a hamburger, but a close relation. It's a great change of pace and I think you'll be hooked. I'm craving one now. The review below is totally accurate in all respects but one. Referring to the burger, Sietsema says "It's so big, I've never been able to finish one without assistance." Not a problem for me.

Bosna-Express is located at 791 Fairview Avenue in Ridgewood. Hours are 10AM - 8PM Monday through Friday and 11AM to 5PM on Saturday. Sadly, they are closed Sunday.

They are about 1/2 block from the Forest Aven M train stop and about a 10 minute drive from the Cypress Hills St. exit on the Highway of Death (aka the Interboro).


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