Everyone seems to know Pod Lipite, one of the best folk-style restaurants in Sofia. When Jodie gave the address to the taxi company, they immediately knew where we were going to dine. The restaurant has been a landmark site in the city since 1926. We went there Thursday night with our friends Victor and Vicky.
Pod Lipite means "Under the Linden Trees", a name given to the place by famous Bulgarian author Elin Pelin, whose name is now the name of the street itself. Although the menus we received were in English, the history of the place was written in an imperfect, Bulgarian folk-style sort of way. "This pub has been part of the everyday life of those, who are no doubt given a honoured place at the Bulgarian classics nowadays." The restaurant itself was in an old house with stone walls and wooden fixtures.
Our friends helped us with our selection of dinner, as there were not too many non-pork items on the menu. Jodie enjoyed her Spinach Soup, while I opted for a Lamb Kurban Soup, and our friends started with Tripe Soup. We all shared a number of Bulgarian salads, included eggplant balls and a village salad. For the main course, our original choices were not available so Jodie and I shared a sizzling hot dish of chicken and vegetables. We couldn't go without dessert = homemade icecream for Jodie and biscuit cake for me. All this and wine and water, and our share of the bill came to a very reasonable 65 Leva.
The restaurant was crowded with both locals and some tourists, who came to get a taste of true Bulgarian cuisine. The entertainment was only a short few minutes of bagpipe music and singing, straight from the Rhodope Mountains, but the atmosphere and food made the evening a very unique cultural experience.