Thursday, February 27, 2014

Caffe Bar Arasta - Prizren, Kosovo

While visiting Prizren, Kosovo with our driver, Bekim Sadiku, and my brother's friend, Inan Mahmuti, we ate at the Caffe Bar Arasta, named after the old district and bridge in Prizren, just across the Arasta Bridge and close to the Sinan Pasha Mosque. It was a nice day so we ate outside, under a large Coca Cola canopy, with the Prizrenska Bistrica River flowing nearby, which added a nice ambiance and some coolness to the air.
Caffe Bar Arasta is to the left of the Arasta Bridge over the Prizrenska Bistrica River. 
A different view with the Sinan Pasha Mosque in the background. 
From the fortress above the city, looking down on Sinan Pasha Mosque to the left and Arasta off the second bridge on the river (indicated by the red Coca Cola canopies). 
Judy ordered a meat plate which included a huge sausage, about the size of an entire package of kielbasa we occasionally buy from Albertson's. She gave me a piece and it was cooked about right, juicy and with good flavor. I don't recall the specifics of any of the other meats, other than there was a lot of it and she enjoyed the portions she ate.  
Some very large pieces of heavy bread that came with the meal. Very good.
Judy got a small shopska salad
I got a Greek salad which was tomato, cucumber, onion and feta. It was okay, but I generally like the ingredients in smaller pieces and the dressing was not as good as others I've had.
Some serious meat on this plate. The sausage alone was enough to feed several people.
I ordered a Skenderbeg steak (named after an Albanian hero) with rolled rare beef and cheese inside a breadcrumb coated and fried shell. I think it must be a regional dish as I found another reference to it at a different restaurant in Kosovo which referred to it as "heart attack on a plate." It was unlike anything I've had before. It was very large and the breadcrumb coating was quite hard. The cheese may have been Sharr cheese, appeared packed into the middle of the wrapped layers of rare roast beef. The cheese oozed out as the roll was cut. I enjoyed it, primarily because of it uniqueness, but I think I would have liked it more without the hard coating, or with a coating that mushed more together with the meat.  
The Skenderbeg steak, like a large meat and cheese burrito.
The Skenderbeg, cut in half with cheese oozing out.
You can see how rare some of the meat is.
I believe it was at a later ice cream stand that we were introduced to Boza, a sweet drink from corn which was quite good. A Wiki article says it is made from maize (corn), wheat flour, sugar and water in Albania, primarily in the northern portion, with a sweet to sour taste and consumed as a refreshing drink in summer. Prizren is virtually all Albanian and so I'm sure that is the version we had. In other countries it is made with other ingredients and appears quite a bit different. 


  1. I love the views from and of the restaurant area. Those familiar-looking Coca-Cola umbrellas in front of a mosque are fun. From our lunch you could tell we were in a region that does a lot of meat farming. The variety and quantities were fun.

  2. Those are some massive and delicious looking meals, but one has to wonder why you would choose corn juice at an ice cream stand....

    1. I understand: when at an ice cream stand, order ice cream. Maybe one day I'll learn.