Day 9: Serbia
It’s a lot of fun to drive far away from your neighborhood to seek out exciting and exotic foods. I enjoy the thrill of hunting down authentic regional dishes and scouring menus with no English whatsoever. It’s interesting, it’s educational and it takes you out of your comfort zone. But every once in a while it’s nice to be able to go to your unassuming local cafe which serves burgers, sandwiches and salads— and get a nice plate of Serbian food.
Metro Cafe in Culver City is a place where you’re more likely to see a plate with a turkey burger and a slice of cantaloupe than you are to see a massive schnitzel which barely fits on the already large plate. But they do serve it here and it’s mighty tasty. At lunch with GirlfriendBites, Bosque and his friend “Danielle”, we enjoy a spread of homey Eastern European fare. GirlfriendBites doesn’t eat pork or beef, (“I’ll eat pork and beef when we get married.”) so she opts for the chicken Vienna schnitzel while Danielle goes with veal. They both come with a “Serbian salad” (essentially a Greek salad without the olives) and french fries. Always having a soft spot for goulash, I decide to give it a whirl and find it nice and tasty. Bosque gets the gold star for today though, for his order of chevapchichi.
A quick googling lets me know that chevapchici is translated roughly as “forcemeat sausage”, which I think means that the meat is forced into the shape of a sausage by hand, not by being stuffed inside of an animal part. The sausage is really dense and delicious and is served with onions and fried potatoes, but the tastiness certainly doesn’t stop us from making a long line of “forcemeat” jokes. “Does that mean a hamburger can be called a forcemeat sandwich?” “Who’s up for an In ‘N Out forcemeat sandwich?” But then of course, no humor would be complete without a foray into the scatological. This time that requires a “Don’t worry. It all comes out looking like forcemeat sausage in the end” joke. In case you haven’t realized it yet, my friends and I are all twelve years old.
(For further example of this, allow me to throw in the following food related jokes. There’s the Chinese barbecue restaurant (courtesy of my dad) called “Szechuan Fire” (you might have to work that one out phonetically), the Son of God cooking show called “Jesus Woks” and the really thin pancake stand called “Statutory Crepe” whose specialty is, of course, the date crepe.)
So there you have it. We ate a lot of tasty food from Eastern Europe, met the very nice Serbian owner of Metro Cafe, (who pointed out that people who write up the restaurant love the food, but say the service sucks. His reaction? “I like things to be laid back.” Me too.) and everyone left very full and very happy. So for all the interesting and far away places that I will hunt down for this Personal Food Project in Blog Form, I’ve got to say it is a real treat being able to go somewhere close by every once in a while. I just hope I don’t use them all up in the next few weeks and find myself tearing my hair out and sweating out gas prices around day 65. But that will probably be fun too.
11188 Washington Pl
Culver City, CA 90232
Food Breakdown: 2 non-alcoholic beverages, 4 entrees
Distance From My House: 1.9 miles