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After a recent meeting at SCU, I stopped by this Balkan outpost before going home. I'd first learned of it last year at the Serbian food festival in Moraga ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/920245 ) as the source of its cevapcici. It was a little hard to find, as the signage and entrance are behind the building and not on streetside, but I spotted the parking lot when I circled the block. First, I went into Euro Market to browse the food stuffs. You have to love a place that stocks this many brands of ajvar. I was counting them and think I got up to at least 18 when the proprietor came over and said, "I know, I know, too many kinds, everyone gets confused." He pointed to a particular jar saying it was the best one.
This was my chance to ask him from which part of the Balkans he came. He said this was a Bosnian business.
In turn, I pointed to my feet and said, "Since I'm wearing my walking shoes made in Bosnia-Herzegovina today, this was the right day to stop by here." Then I headed next door to the restaurant, Euro Grill.
To start, the Cold Meat Platter, $6.99. This included some cubes of feta, kalamata-type olives, sudžuka, and slices of smoked beef.
The sudžuka reminded me of the Thuringer beef summer sausage of childhood. A bit more smoke influence and the cure was less tart. It's comparable to Armenian-Lebanese soujouk but this was fattier and less dry.
Cut into thickish slices with the grain instead of across, the smoked beef was impossible to cut with a table knife. Rather moist and very salty, this seemed to be a less smoky relative of Armenian bastirma without the fenugreek and chile spice. Of the two meats, I much preferred the sudžuka.
While I was not that enthused about the smoked meats, the warm, housebaked lepina made everything right with the world. I've not had bread as good as this since Rihab retired seven years ago. Chewy, open grained, full of yeasty flavors from multiple rises.
To drink, Cockta rose hip soda from Slovenia. This tasted mostly of the caramel coloring, plus some citrus notes and herbal nuances.
Finally, my whole reason for coming here, the cevapi. Available as a half-order for $4.99 with five pieces of the lamb-beef finger sausages, mine actually had a sixth hidden in there. While the man in the market recommended one of the jars as the best, I've got to believe that the housemade ajvar served with this sandwich can top it.
For the sandwich, the lepina was lightly toasted on the cut edges. The cevapi had good grilled flavor and an addictive taste. They were a bit rubbery in texture.
Even ordering the half-portion, this was still more than I could finish. Looking around the room, I noticed that everybody leaves with a to-go box, as servings are big. Or maybe they all save room for the Palačinka dessert crepe that graced nearly all the tables. I could tell that most were regulars here, and with the quality of food and low prices, it's easy to see why.
980 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050
SimSportPlyr's report, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9042...
More about lepina/lapinja http://www.europeancuisines.com/Balka...
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