The fuckers were out of draft beers. Whatever, save room for food.
|The waiter brought us this plate of meat to preview their t-bone for the night. Somehow, it didn't entice any of us to order it.|
|Their complimentary bread isn't bad - soft, warm, brown bread - but don't fill up on it because there's great food to be had here on the cheap.|
Exotic Salad (500 Leke): Green salad, apple, avocado, pineapple, sunflower seeds, and sauce - It was a fun salad, but it was too sweet. The sauce might have just been pineapple juice.
|"Krem Salmoni" - Salmon cream soup - 400 Leke - delicious!|
|Oh oh oh.|
|Fileto Vici me Salc Porto e Portokall (1000 Leke): Veal filet with orange port sauce - Unfortunately, I couldn't taste any orange, and the sauce just wasn't that good.|
|Left to their own devices, your veal will be medium well, so just get the volcanic stone.|
|Cheesecake (300 Leke): With a jello-like texture, it was like a hospital version of cheesecake. It was less like a graham cracker crust that as animal cracker crust.|
Tiramisu (300 Leke): Every day they have a different tiramisu on the daily specials menu. This day was strawberries. It was pretty tasty, but the cup situation meant the proportions were all wackadoo.
Another restaurant, Era, offers traditional Albanian food, as well as Mediterranean, Italian, and a coupla "Mexican" and "American" things.
|Skip the bread|
|Alegria salad (430 Leke): lettuce, iceberg salad, rucola (arugula), slices of green apples, radish, strawberries or kiwis (strawberries that day, obviously), and lemon sauce - a nice, light, refreshing salad|
|The mixed platter for 2 (750 Leke) was awesome, enough for 4 of us to try 1-3 bites of every appetizer.|
|Salantino Pizza - Prosciutto, parmesan, dried mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, ricotta and mozzarella thin crust pizza - Quite good, except the muhrooms tasted so earthy, more like the taste of fun shrooms and the prsut was a little pungent for me.|
On my first night in The Balkans, my friends Cortney and Bobby took me to Piazza, a fancy-looking Italian restaurant.
|This cucumber, parmesan, something or other salad was okay, but get the arugula one if you go.|
|Seafood Special Soup - Tasty, healthful, light, lots of seafood.|
|Tomato Cream Soup - Tasty, but Trader Joe's Tomato Basil soup is one notch better.|
|Asparagus Cream Soup - Cortney likes it because it's creamy. It's pretty good, but it could use more flavor.|
|Lamb Rolls - We were all wondering what Bobby would get when he ordered "Lamb Rolls," but no one predicted their resemblance to cinnamon rolls. All savory here, though. They weren't bad!|
|Sea Breams - Healthful, light, nothing particularly interesting going on|
|Mushroom Truffle Ravioli - Because it only cost about $8 in USD, it was great! Had I paid $18 in Boston's North End, I would've said, "Meh. Another North End disappointment."|
|Frozen Tiramisu - That's how it's actually presented on the menu. Whatever, it tasted pretty good, though it's not something to go out of your way for.|
The three of us each paid about 2,000 leke aka $20 after tip (which is only about 5% for dinner in Albania). The food was great... for Albania.
Advice for Piazza: Enjoy the bread, order the arugula salad, and order a nice fish entree. That will balance out to a healthful meal and be very enjoyable. Ditto on the dessert advice from the Taiwan Center Steakhouse.
Albania doesn't have any of American's fast food chains, but it has its own versions of them:
|AFC! Albanian Fried Chicken!|
|The "Box Master"|
|And then there's Kolonat. Now serving spaghetti!|
Words to know in Albanian:
Thank you: Falemenderit
One: Një (pronounced between "knee" and "nyee")
Water with gas (Sparkling water): Ujë me gaz (pronounced Oo-ee-may-gahs)
Water without gas (Bottled still water: Ujë pa gaz (pronounced Oo-ee-pah-gahs)
*I finally found it - Mezym:
Next: An Albanian road trip