I’m not sure what has taken me so long other than the fact that I severely injured my thumb while constructing a make shift shelf at the refugee aid center which has inhibited me from typing properly but that hasn’t stopped me from eating some serious noms! Some things are truly worth bleeding for though. On the bright side it was a very positive week because I was constantly giving people the thumbs up. Many thanks to the doctor’s of Info park. I’m extremely grateful I will still have full use of the finger that helps me open bananas (among other things).
Enough about my grotesque mishaps, this is a food blog after all and I would hate for you to loose your appetites. In this week’s post I invite you to let loose and enter the kooky world of one of the most unique restaurants in Belgrade, as well as another name sharing palačinkarnica, and an adorable post visa application cafe haven!
On one of these crazy weekends, Milan and I decided to take a break and enjoy a stay-cation in Belgrade, hiding overnight in an area in town so that we didn’t feel the strain of having to take the sketchy night bus back home. For perhaps the second time since moving here, Milan was in charge of picking the restaurant we would go to that Saturday night and similar to before he stepped outside of our comfort zone and chose Lorenzo & Kakalamba.
Lorenzo & Kaka what??
Lorenzo & Ka-ka-lam-ba! Sounds like a type of dance doesn’t it? As I’m assuming the name has peaked your interested as did it when I first heard of it. Whether Milan discovered Lorenzo and Kakalamba from a friend, Instagram or their repeated spread in Air Serbia’s Elevate magazine, I was extremely excited that he had made the decision and it was within walking distance from where we were staying.
Lorenzo and Kakalamba is located on the corner of Cvijićeva and Vladetina in Belgrade, a few blocks away from the Church of Saint Nikolas. The bottom floor of the beige colored building that they reside in is painted a bright yellow, with red trimming so it is considerably easy to find if you’ve already had a few drinks beforehand (as we had). A velvet VIP road leading up to their bright blue colored entrance signifies that you’re in for some serious special treatment and some serious fun.
Upon entering the restaurant I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by the kooky decorations, wall hangings and seating throughout the entryway and into the dining room. Imagine a mix between regal elegance and the outlandish charm of a contemporary art museum. From brightly colored chairs in the shape of naked behinds to upside down sheep hanging from the ceiling above the bar, Lorenzo and Kakalamba is sure to stun your senses. I was just hoping the food would prove the same.
Look at how ridiculously happy I am just to eat bread and butter. Maybe it was because they use a fancy frosting tip to present the butter…or maybe because I had a Jelen or two on the way, you decide.
First off their staff is exquisite. They even go as far as to putting the napkin on your lap and meticulously pouring your beer into your glass which when you look around at the circus-like atmosphere one might not guess their waiters were five star quality. Secondly their menu is out of this world. Every dish mentioned was making me salivate. Handmade pastas, traditional Serbian sač, and every other comfort food in between, it was turning into an extremely difficult decision. So what did we do? We ordered the Lorenzo Appetizer to assist in our decision making process of course!
After spooning a portion of each delectable looking piece onto our individual plates, our waiter then explained the contents and preferred method of how we should go about nomming the Lorenzo Appetizer. First: Don’t eat too much bread. (oops too late for that) Next, start with the pecorino cheese and chicken liver pâté crostini, then move onto the Italian prosciutto and sausage flowers and finally the tomato basil bruschette, all the while intermittently enhancing the flavors with the sweet onion jam (pictured in the center of the platter). We took his instructions and thoroughly enjoyed each moment spent with the Lorenzo Appetizer. Despite not being a fan of liver anything (believe me I’ve tried numerous times) the crostini pâté was full of flavor and the onion jam combined specifically with the pecorino reminded me oddly enough of Stonewall Kitchen in Portland, Maine.
My insatiable appetite for cheese drove me to order the handmade tagliatelle with mascarpone, spinach and parmesan. From experience tagliatelle is a pasta you can either order in a restaurant or make fresh at home. If you see it in the store in a package, hold your breath because it just won’t be the same. Once unveiled from under a silver dome, my little slice of heaven was prepared to perfection. My mouth was singing as the creamy mascarpone slowly congealed into every crevice of each beautiful ribbon of pasta. Word for the wise, take your time to truly savor this dish because before you know it you’ll feel like you’ve eaten the whole of Italy.
As always Milan’s dish was more modest, two tender chicken filets with a decadent Marsala mushroom sauce served over a bed of fresh greens. The sauce was phenomenal but needless to say he was eyeing my tagliatelle throughout our entire meal (of course I let him have a bite…just one bite). In terms of quality it’s evident that Lorenzo & Kakalamba uses quality ingredients and puts the proper amount of TLC into each dish that leaves the kitchen.
At the end of our dining experience, we were both very impressed. Lorenzo and Kakalamba is exactly the kind of place you should take a new visitor if you are looking to step it up from the usual traditional touristic restaurants around Belgrade. Within the walls of this fun house you will be able to sample a variety of incredible dishes and flavors and as I mentioned before the ambiance is completely unique to this quirky city (and that is saying something)! Nom!
Although Lorenzo and Kakalamba’s human sized dessert menu was incredibly tempting, we still had the rest of the night ahead of us and the allure of midnight city pancakes was telepathically calling our names. Just so you’re aware, I’m one of those people who when consuming alcohol will then crave nothing but Nutella. Why? Blame it on my time spent in Germany when I used to wake up hugging a giant jar of it. Did you know Nutella is an excellent hangover cure? (well maybe it’s just MY cure).
Any who, on our route home we stopped off at (Palačinkarnica) Glumac near Studentski Trg for the usual Nutella banana crepe and devoured it probably within seconds. Glumac (meaning ‘actor’ in English and appropriately named because of it’s location near the National Theater*) is always full of like minded night goers who are looking for a pancake fix. Reasonably priced and timely enough to quell the raging hanger of those having two much too drink, Glumac is a shining star in my nom book.
*note similar to the dual name issue we had in Belgrade must noms : Tri šešira & Palačinkarnice Pinokio, there are in fact two locations claiming the name “Glumac”. The first being located on Dositejeva street in between the National Theater and the new Courtyard Marriott and the other being located just a few blocks down on the corner of Francuska and Braće Jugovića. The one we visited and pictured above is from the former. Not to say that the other Glumac isn’t a good place to get crepes, I just honestly haven’t had the pleasure of comparing them yet!*
The next tid-bit is a place I came across again through copious amounts of walking around the city, constantly trying to familiarize myself with neighborhoods I have yet to discover. The ongoing lists of places I intend to pop in on is long but sometimes you just need to be impulsive, take the initiative and walk right in.
Krajl Caffee on the very end of the roller coaster street of Kneza Miloša is a prime example of a place that draws you in upon first sight. Because I am forced to renew my visa every three months (something that gives me reoccurring nightmares and trauma) I often find myself in this area of Belgrade looking for a place to dispel my application anxiety and an early morning cup of coffee.
This adorable cafe is designed in an urban like style, encased in the aromatic scent of croissants, sandwiches and freshly brewed coffee. It doesn’t take a genius to guess what I ordered (hint it rhymes with schmapuccinno) though next time I will order a coffee on ice, but what really took me for a spin was the pink frosted doughnut that by some magic found itself in front of me that morning. Immediately I am self consciously thinking in my head ‘is it that early that my serbian request for a “kapucino” sounded like “krofne”?!’
Haha, that WOULD be funny.
However my Serbian isn’t THAT bad. As it turns out (upon creeping on the customer adjacent to me) Krajl serves up a complementary doughnut with all of their coffee. A FREE DOUGHNUT PEOPLE. That is unheard of even in the States! As if that wasn’t generous enough, they also provide you with a flasche of mint and lemon infused water. FREE MINT AND LEMON WATER PEOPLE. Thank you gods of nom! I knew my endless suffering at the Foreigner’s Department would be worth it!
After my mind was blown, I happily watched the world go by from my seat at the window and enjoyed the majestic casual playlist in the background. It took me roughly a half hour to gather up the courage to test the colorful sprinkled pastry (still semi unsure if it was too good to be true…can you imagine me) which when accompanied by a perfectly prepared capp’ was heaven in my mouth. The inside was filled with strawberry jam, a sweet yet not overly sweet delight to suppress my post Foreigner’s Department stress.
In total I spent over an hour at Krajl (unusual for me)because of the overall homey environment they provide. I felt like I was taking advantage of them since the bill came out to a sum of 160 dinars (less than $2 USD) but a few days later after being forced to submit “missing” visa documents, I returned this time with Milan in tow where we feasted on croissants and mini choco-pains. Shocker, they were incredible.
See? Even an injury can’t slow my appetite down! It also didn’t stop me from making some of the most amazing brownies in existence. I encourage you to check out this recipe for instant nomgasm.
I am actually planning to post again within the next day or two so that I can highlight some of the fast-food ventures as of late. Who said delicious food aren’t allowed to be fast? Join the ranks of fellow Belgradians as we chow down on some serious street noms and take away!
Hope to see you soon!