Why: The Bosnia Restaurant serves authentic Bosnian cuisine six days a week during the lunch and dinner hours. The whole family is welcome at the quaint restaurant, which offers indoor and outdoor seating.
Atmosphere: The restaurant is moderately sized with a cozy atmosphere. Dark wood and brick panels create an Old World vibe. Booth seating is to the right of the entry, and tables with sturdy, chunky chairs fill the dining room to the left. Photos of places of interest from the region and traditional clothing decorate the walls. Lighting is low-key from sconces along the walls. Outdoor, covered patio dining is available as well.
What I tried: My dining companion and I decided on the two main featured items on the menu, the Cevapi and the Bosnian Burek.
Bosnian Burek is made with dough and specially seasoned meat. It is a pastry, sort of a spiral pretzel, or roll of sorts. The meat is encased within the full length of the dough, wound up, and baked. As you eat this, which you can easily do without a fork, you can’t help but appreciate the care and time that must go into its creation. My dining companion and I tried both a meat version and a spinach-filled version (zeljanica) of this specialty. The meat burek had a flavor that reminded me of pot stickers; the spinach tasted similar to quiche. I really liked the texture of all the elements, and before I was done I had ideas of stocking up on these for some delicious lunches. Almost every traditional cuisine has some version of a sandwich pocket, and I equated this as the Bosnian one.
Cevapi is a Balkan dish of grilled minced meat. The meat combines two types of minced beef, which is then formed into sausages and placed in a fluffy, bread-like pita. Alongside is a dollop of sour cream, a dollop of a minced red pepper mixture which had a roasted flavor, and crunchy, fresh minced onion. This dish was hearty and tasty. The multiple combination options of the ingredients provided varied flavors.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, and Wednesday through Sunday.
Where: 2902 N.E. Burton Road, Vancouver. Information may be found on Facebook.
Health Score: Bosnia Restaurant received a score of 5 on Oct. 28, 2016. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The Pljeskavica is a Bosnian-style burger. Siring is comprised of a dough filled with ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Other dishes, such as the Piletina, Raznjici, and Kobasice consist of meat with fries. The Peke U Lepini is thin-sliced beefsteak with Bosnian pita bread. The Mjesano Meso is a large portion of mixed meats sure to please meat lovers. Beverages include wine, beer, Pepsi products, buttermilk, and coffee, including one of my favorites, Turkish coffee.
Other observations: The restaurant is spotlessly clean and possesses an “outside of Vancouver” appeal. The service is very polite and friendly, and the food is worth many return visits.
Cost: The Cevapi is available in small, medium, and large portions for $7 to $12. The Burek cost $7 each. All other options are $10 to $25. Beverages range from $1 to $4.