On the way to the farm this past weekend, we made a few stops—some planned and others not. It was past lunch time as we came through Webster Groves headed to Rolla on I-44. Neither Robin, JC nor I had eaten lunch. But why stop along “Burger Highway,” when we could get some mighty fine cuisine at Balkan Treat Box.
The popular new restaurant was busy, but without the usual lines. As always, owner Edo Nallic, was on hand to greet us warmly. He works the front of the house, while his wife, Loryn, keeps the wood-burning oven turning out the Balkan treats. It’s teamwork that pays off in customer happiness.
I’m working my way through their small, but flavor-charged menu. From the nine entrees, this time I went with #7. My wood-fired eggplant, or Patlidzan, came in somun (a flat bread) with cabbage, cucumber, tomato pickles, herbs, pistachios, kajmak (a creamy cheese), and apricot pomegranate molasses with chips.
Robin had the Cevapi, grilled beef sausages stuffed in somun bread along with kajmak and onion and with a side of cabbage salad. JC went with the Balkan Burger.
A side salad featured yellow cherry tomatoes, that were as sweet as candy. Edo said he got them from local farmers, but didn’t know the name of the tomato. If anyone has grown such a variety, let me know. I’d be interested for next year’s garden.
A Cone for the Road
Our car was parked in front of Serendipity Ice Cream shop, so we grabbed ice cream cones before getting on the road to Rolla, a trip of less than two hours. About midway there, we were in one of those blinding gully washers, that lasted about a half hour. Traffic slowed to a snail’s pace and eventually we had to pull off and park with other cars along the side of an exit ramp.
By the time we got to the farm, the rainstorm had passed the area, leaving just puddles, lush green grass, and overgrown plants and weeds that needed whacking.
Having a Party!
We tried a few new vegetable dishes on our 18 guests: a roasted cauliflower-garbanzo bean recipe and a roasted broccoli topped with crumbs and Parmesan. (More on those in another post.)
Pizza from the Cob Oven
On Sunday we had a party for Addie, a belated celebration, since she was at camp on her birthday. The menu was basically pizza, salad, and birthday cake. As usual, everyone designed their own pizza with various cheeses, pepperoni, onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
It takes an assembly line to keep the process moving from kitchen to cob oven and onto the table, but everyone pitched in.
Rainbow Explosion Cake (Part I)
Lisa made the mini birthday cake inspired by those sold at The Flour Shop in New York. The unique creation is called a Rainbow Explosion Cake, with each of the six layers being a different color. I’ll describe it in more detail in another post.