Post image for Pula marenda places #2: Bistro Sarajevo

Pula marenda places #2: Bistro Sarajevo

by Gogo on March 14, 2013

in Restaurants,Various

Two weeks ago my friend Clem and I went to check out if it is really true that Bistro Sarajevo has a very good offer of traditional Bosnian pies. It happened the rumors were true. Clem, who also writes for Manjada and is vegetarian, was more than delighted with the non-greasy zeljanica she got.
bistro Sarajevo staff
These cheerful and helpful ladies will make you feel like at home

Bistro Sarajevo is an ethnic eatery whose offer concentrates on traditional Bosnian specialties like omnipresent ćevapčići but also burek, zeljanica and sirnica can be found in their daily menu. The last three are names of traditional Bosnian pies made from a special pastry dough so thin you can read newspapers through it. Burek is filled with minced beef, sirnica is filled with young and salted cow or, even better, sheep cheese similar to feta while zeljanica in addition to cheese has spinach (although the tradition asks for some special wild edible plant).

bistro Sarajevo - A non-greasy zeljanica
Zeljanica was simply fantastic in its lightness, not greasy at all as it is often the case in many bakeries. The dough was crunchy enough and cheese was tasty and not too salted. The spinach was most probably frozen but it was good enough. Afterwards the waitress told us they were not satisfied with the Bosnian pies you can get in Pula’s bakeries so they hired an experienced Bosnian women to make these delicacies jut for them.

Of course, I also wanted to try their daily marenda offer (30 kn) to benchmark it with the offer of other joints I visited or I am going to visit. And here it was, a classic marenda dish.

bistro Sarajevo - meatballs with steamed potatoes
Polpete (meatballs) in tomato sauce with steamed potatoes. The meatballs were tasty but a bit too stiff for my taste, I prefer when they fall apart when you touch it with a piece of bread. Maybe there was too much eggs or, God forbid, flour inside? I noticed also that the meat quality was not not at the highest level but acceptable. The tomato sauce was not bad but it had a too intense flavor – they used some flavor enhancer (Vegeta) and thickened it with roux (zaprška). If only for roux they had used olive oil instead of vegetable oil the final result would have been much better. Thumbs up for the choice of steamed potatoes as side dish.

Vegeta and bad roux are symptoms of the old-school cooking that still predominates in Croatian restaurants.

Nevertheless, although the decor of Bistro Sarajevo is a bit worn out and not very inviting, the food was tasted much better and it was much healthier than in Bistro Torta that I visited last time. I will come again here, that’s for sure.

Bistro Sarajevo
Porta Stovagnana 10, Pula
phone +385 52 418 145

Now, you want to know how the real zeljanica looks and tastes like? Then you’ll have to meet Zumra from Prokoško jezero, mountain village in Central Bosnia, who prepares the most delicious zeljanica in the whole universe! I am going back to Bosnia this summer, that is more than certain.

Zumra and her zeljanicas

Prokoško jezero in Bosnia
Prokoško jezero in Central Bosnia

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Miquel March 14, 2013 at 12:31

Okay, so my flight arrives at 09:00 tomorrow in Trieste. Can you pick me up and go straight to Bistro Sarajevo? Ha

Good lord I’ve been missing proper burek. The ćevapčići seem relatively easy to find outside of Sarajevo, but burek, those are almost impossible to find made well outside of Bosnia. The Croatian “burek” just isn’t one. I don’t even know why they call it that. The last time Èlia and I were in Sarajevo, I think we basically lived on a diet comprised only of burek.

If the burek ain’t baka-made, don’t bother with it.


Gogo March 14, 2013 at 13:26

They told me this zeljanica was made by an experienced Bosnian baka who moved to Pula after the war. You are right, in general burek in Croatian bakeries sucks but Lada and Morana claim it well made in Bosnian restaurant Sofra in Zagreb. We’ll go there when you come to Zagreb.


Miquel March 14, 2013 at 16:19

If it’s truly authentic, you will see a crazy, carnivore side of me that will be terrifying.


Daniel Curovic June 24, 2013 at 15:50

After a long day at the (svjetionik) Verudela beach, I always seem to long for a good burek, it’s just such a good ‘aperitif” 😉

Thanks for a great blog (just discovered it), will make sure to try out some of the things you write about.

One reoccuring problem with gastronomy in Pula, is that way too often a great place opens up, and then after a year (or two) the quality declines!
But as long as good places open up, I wont go hungry for long 😉
Btw, I would love to hear if you’ve tried Farabuto and if it still holds up??



Gogo June 28, 2013 at 14:55

You are completely right, the quality really drops very quickly. That’s why we at Taste of Croatia are going to launch a new restaurant review platform that will be suitable for continuous monitoring of restaurant quality. I hope you will also join our group of geeky foodies who wander around the country, post about their daily dining experience and give scores to establishments. You’ll hear about that very soon.
Last time when I was in Farabuto it was very good, this is what I wrote about it:

But, who knows, maybe the quality did not remain the same after all this time.

Thank you for following me, I’ll try to post more on Manjada. Just I am too busy with too many projects now…


Daniel Curovic July 4, 2013 at 09:52

I will most definitely follow Taste of Croatia and the reviews!
Would also be happy to contribute with a review/article or two during the holidays….let me know in case of interest.


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