Sunday, September 19, 2010
1233 Antioch Pike
Hidden in a rather drab industrial neighborhood just north of Harding Place, you’ll find a modest tan and white bungalow house that has been converted into a restaurant. It would be tough to just happen by the Euro Grill given the location. People have been seeking it out and for one primary reason: a small, but tasty selection of Bosnian favorites. Metus and Nadja Ukaj have created a home for the Bosnian community in Nashville and a welcome change of pace for the rest of us.
Bosnian food is a collision of cultures: Greek, Middle Eastern, European and Turkish. It’s a heavily meat based cuisine, so you need to ask questions for vegetarian and your choices will be limited.
The Euro Grill specializes in burek, the baked phyllo dough dish. The meat version puts the spotlight on well seasoned ground beef. A dollop of cream cheese on the side helps to shake things up. The feta version may be even better: crispy, a little chewy and filled with tangy cheese. Good luck pronouncing some of these items. Pljeskavica is basically a lamb patty, also well seasoned and with a nice mellow flavor. It’s served between two grilled pita breads, better known as somun in Bosnia. The brush of olive oil and the thickness of the bread set these far apart from your average pita. Long and thin Sudzukice sausages are made with veal and beef for a savory combination.
Vegetable soup can be a ho-hum affair in many joints. The Euro Grill version is excellent: almost stew-like in consistency and thick with corn, carrots, peas, tomatoes, green beans and zucchini. You can eat the stuff with a fork and you may have to if you have a dining companion- chances are they won’t want to be left out.
The Bosnian choices are rounded out with chevapi (grilled beef and lamb sausages) and specials like zeljanica (spinach pie). The rest of the menu is a mish mash probably designed to appeal to the working folks in the neighborhood: gyros, burgers, quesadillas, pizza and pasta. The gyros did look good coming out of the kitchen.
It’s a relaxed place, thanks in part due to the snug nature of the bungalow and the well worn wooden floors. The staff is quick to give you the rundown of the Bosnian side of the menu, and even if you screw it up, like we did, their hospitality wins the day.
Veggie Eater: Well, I thought I had picked out an appropriate dish; looked like some sort of concoction with pita stuffed with feta and stuff. Imagine my surprise when my dish arrived as some sort of meat, stuffed with feta (we mistakenly ordered the feta pljeskavica, which is the lamb patty stuffed with feta. It looked so good I nearly cried as Nadja took it away- M.E.). The waitress was gracious, though, when she noticed my chagrin and at that point, I announced I was a vegetarian. She suggested the feta burek, which was delightful. Flaky on top, chewy underneath with pockets nestling the feta. It was quite good. Not sure I understand the need for faux brick in any restaurant interior (perhaps another topic altogether), but the space is cozy and inviting.
Meat Eater: We only have one regret and that is not having enough room for dessert. Many folks say it’s a highlight of the Euro Grill. Next time we promise to make room. They stay open until about 8 p.m. each night and yet it seems like lunch is the mainstay here. On some days you’ll find Bosnian folk music on the stereo, which is a welcome treat. We paid $25 with tax tip for two and $13 for a big sampling lunch for one. The smaller portion of the burek is an absolute bargain at $4.