Man alive, did we have trouble finding this place. All of the info from Google maps and Happy Cow is WRONG. Like, wrong sections of the city wrong, not just wrong side of the street wrong. The restaurant is actually located just off the main street in the Old Town, across from Caffe Libris and generally behind the Old Synagogue. Luckily, there was a clapboard sign on the main road leading to the alley.
We had such a hilarious time here. First of all, when we walked in, the owner proclaimed, “Bosnia is out of chickpeas.” It was kind of hysterical. She explained that there was something of a chickpea shortage going on, resulting in exorbitant prices, and they were out of them that day. I was on the verge of tears, because it had been almost a week without hummus. Luckily, she checked for me, and found some hummus and falafel stored in the fridge from the day before. Yay!
"Bosnia is out of chickpeas"Carrot soup
Next, she brought us elderflower juice. This was amazing. She said this glass was mixed with some other flowers. The juice was just sweet enough, and really pleasant.
The best food we ate, by far, was the zaatar manakeesh, a pizza dough-like flatbread with zaatar spices and olive oil on top. When I was in Jordan, I fell in love with this dish. It’s everything you could want from fluffy dough. Delicious. This version was really hot and the crust was awesome. Want now.
While we ate, the woman was frantically dealing with a million different things – she was on the phone with her supplier (arguing about chickpeas, I assume), doling out assignments to employees, seating customers and discussing the menu, and conducting a job interview with the poor guy sitting near us, waiting nearly throughout our entire meal to talk to her. During all this, she spent considerable time talking to us about her life in Bosnia, her husband, her years spent in America and Asia, and more. I kind of love her.
ZAATAR & CO, Sarajevo
- Water speed: I had to ask for it a lot, but she was incredibly busy. My standards for water became much, much lower in the Balkans.
- Bathrooms: It’s downstairs, again past the kitchen. I guess that’s common in Bosnia.
- Service: Slow, but worth the comedy.
- Food: Good for lunch.
- Bonus: The owner is a character. Also, once you find it, it’s very convenient to a lot of sights.