I don’t know about you, but I’m bored of the same 6 restaurants that people go to every weekend. Not to hate on Pastaria or Barcelona, but St. Louis’ restaurant scene is surprisingly way more diverse than you’d think. Read: Bosnian food. I recently learned that St. Louis has not only the largest population of Bosnians in the U.S., but also the largest anywhere outside of Europe. And along with Bosnian people comes (of course) deliciously authentic Bosnian food.
Bosnians in St. Louis
Bevo Mill, an old white mill with grey-blue shutters and stone chimneys, designed in Dutch style for grinding grain, is a St. Louis icon. The Bosnian War in the early 1990s, resulting from the breakup of Yugoslavia, left thousands of Bosnians homeless, many of whom gravitated toward this Dutchtown area of St. Louis, named after the mill. Charges of war crimes against Serb and Bosnian Serb leaders for “ethnic cleansing” encouraged the U.S. State Department to help Bosnian refugees settle near this area. As a result, Bevo Mill, a bustling community filled with bakeries, taverns, nightclubs, cafés, restaurants and butcher shops, is also referred to as “Little Bosnia.”
Why Grbic is The Sh*t
My favorite place to visit in Little Bosnia is a restaurant called Grbic. Think juicy, tender lamb or beef with a light creamy sauce, seasoned perfectly. Think crisp vegetables, rice and creamy potatoes. Everything is fresh and flavorful, set in a relaxing and slightly upscale atmosphere. The restaurant’s founders and owners Sulejman and Ermina Grbic grew up in former Yugoslavia. Although they serve Bosnian dishes, they stress that the restaurant truly serves American food because all of the ingredients used are local.
What You Absolutely Must Order:
This traditional Balkan style grilled beef served with Lepinja bread (Bosnian pita bread) is pure mouthwatering goodness.
The dish consists of ground beef and rice rolled in pickled cabbage leaves. These are smothered in creamy paprika sauce and served with steaming, golden mashed potatoes. My tastebuds are dancing.
If you’re not feeling the Sarma, try one of the schnitzels, a boneless meat coated with flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs, and then fried.
This crepe is a Balkan specialty. It’s filled with homemade whipped cream, chopped walnuts and a rich hazelnut chocolate sauce made with Nutella. This is served fresh and warm, and dusted with powdered sugar.
Tip: if crepes aren’t your thing, you can never go wrong with Grbic’s decadent tiramisu, buttery and sweet baklava or apple strudel.
Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” Special Menu:
The Grbic siblings competed in the Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games and won. This special menu is your opportunity to try the winning food. Items range from the traditional Burek appetizer to N.Y. Strip steak. The appetizer is a buttery and flaky pastry seasoned and stuffed with veal. Yes, this is that new Bosnian pastry served in the DUC, but the one at Grbic is way better.
Pssst. Here are some more St. Louis Secrets: