Friday, April 3, 2009

And then Jodie danced...

On Friday night, we went to a Bulgarian Folklore restuarant. This was a really fun experience. To start off, although we've seen the mountains surrounding Sofia since we've been here, this is the first time that we've come close to them. We weren't quite sure where the restaurant was (recommended by one of my co-workers), but the taxi driver knew where to go. We were glad that it was still light out, so that we could enjoy the forests as we drove up the slopes of Mt. Vitosha, climbing steadily up the mountain. (The infrastructure on the roads here is horrendous, and this narrow winding road was full of potholes.)

The Vodenitzata restaurant is right near the Dragalevtsi ski-lift. It's a pretty wooden building in the mountain forest , on the site of an old mill (that's what the name means). We came in, and immediately noticed the decor - lots of stuffed animals, from chickens, rabbits, deers' heads, foxes to the wild boar head overlooking the tables. There were even a few stuffed pigeons on the "roof" above the bar. In addition, there were traditional Bulgarian outfits and musical instruments hung decoratively on the walls.


Reading the menu took some time, even though the dishes were listed in English as well. Where does one start? Ellis started with breaded tongue, which could have been a meal in itself. I had the fried pieces of zucchini served with yoghurt and dill. Outstanding. For the main course, we both chose lamb, and it was probably the best we've ever had. Ellis had the lamb "Balkan Style", which meant a filet of lamb covered a bed of spinach, and I had the lamb "St. George", served with rice and lettuce. It was excellent!


There was a grill barbecue at the back of the room. The waiters brought the prepared plates to the grill and the chef quickly grilled the meat or fish right there. The table next to us had grilled fish. It was the first time we've ever seen the waiters fillet the grilled fish for the guests and remove all the bones before serving it!

At 9:00, the entertainment started. Young dancers and a band of musicians provided us with enjoyable, traditional Bulgarian entertainment. The singer at the end was a bit past her prime, with her very low-cut dress, but she did have a nice voice. And I even got up to dance with the dancers in their line dance around the room.





Even the bathrooms were fun. The ladies' room had funny cartoon murals on the walls, in a room that felt a bit like an old stone cottage. Ellis reported that the mens' room gave a very different experience. There were icecubes in the urinals, and when you used them, the ice melted! Not quite sure where this idea came from, but it was different!

Even after such a filling meal, we needed something cool and refreshing to end the night. Ellis ordered the Crem Caramel, and I chose the Fruit Salad. What I received was a mountain of whipped cream, with a few pieces of orange, apple, and kiwi underneath.

We ordered a taxi home and headed down from our mountain side Bulgarian folklore meal and show.

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