Restoran Pod Lipom – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Posted on Friday, 14th August 2009

Ćevapi - a Bosnian specialty

Ćevapi - a Bosnian specialty

A moment if I may, to share with you some of the trials and tribulations of blogging while on this trip. I am constantly on the move and my primary focus is of course to travel. So my days are filled with working out what to see, where I will go next, how I will get there and where I will stay. So I grab the odd moment when I can to write, whether it be waiting at an airport or on a bus (although the motion of the bus makes this rather difficult), etc. I then have to find an internet connection to upload my post as well as my pictures. Some of the places I stayed at were equipped with wi-fi, some weren’t. There’s been the odd café, and on one occasion I found an unsecured line (naughty I know) in a town square somewhere. And for my sins, as I was sitting under a tree blogging, a pigeon did a huge number two all over my laptop screen. There really was nothing else to say in these circumstances other than `sh*t!’, albeit I said in the context of an expletive rather than as an acknowledge of the sad state of affairs.

My next stop after Croatia was Sarajevo (and this was after whizzing through the extremely picturesque Montenegro). Nowadays, Sarajevo is anything but war-torn, although the scars of the Serbian Siege of 1992-1995 still remain for the city has not been completed restored. It’s not an exceptionally beautiful place, but it’s incredibly fascinating. An eclectic mix of East meets West – Turkish-styled bazaars sitting alongside Western European-inspired architecture – this was also the place where on 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia, leading to the outbreak of WW1. I love this sort of stuff – XX marks the spot where XX happened, to forever cement a moment in time that will alter the course of history.

Plaque to mark the spot where the assassination took place

Plaque to mark the spot where the assassination took place

Also of interest to me was the National History Museum which focuses on the abovementioned siege. To look at some of the displays at the museum was at times heart wrenching and sobering. Also worth a visit was the tunnel built under the airport. During the siege, Sarajevo was completely surrounded by the Serbs, with its only access to the outside world being this 800m long, 1m wide and 1.6m high tunnel.

The tunnel

The tunnel

Food wise, meats dominate in Bosnia, particularly veal and minced meat cooked with variations thereof. Ćevapi, minced beef (or sometimes lamb) shaped like a small sausage and grilled, can be found everywhere, and about as Bosnian-a-National dish as you can get. Typically, they are served with raw diced onions and bread. Cevapi can also be eaten throughout the rest of the Balkans, although the ones found outside of Bosnia sometimes contain pork which I have been told is not authentic in the Bosnian sense. In Bosnia, ćevapi does not contain pork as it is a predominantly Muslim country.

On my first night in Sarajevo I was drawn to Restoran Pod Lipom because of one quirky (or silly) reason – this picture:

Bill Clinton & restaurant owner

Bill Clinton & restaurant owner

Surely this place can’t be all bad, right?

This restaurant specialises in Bosnian food, ie, lots of meat (predominantly veal) and minced meat. I ordered two main courses, starting with Sarajevski sahan (9 Bosnian Marks (KM) (about £4)) which was described on the menu as a selection of Bosnian specialties. It contained braised veal shish kebab; onions, zucchini and vine leaves – all stuffed with minced meat; meat balls and potatoes. The dish had been steamed, and was served with a sauce made from yoghurt, onions and peppers. There were some nice flavours. The zucchini and onions were also quite soft which was particularly appetitising.

Mixed Bosnian specialties

Mixed Bosnian specialties

At this point I asked my very cheerful and rather entertaining waiter, Nino, about the picture. The photo was taken when Bill Clinton visited Sarajevo in 2002, and in it he is pictured with the owner of the restaurant. The painting that the owner is presenting to Bill was drawn by his uncle. Nino told me that for the entire week that he was in Sarajevo, he came to Restoran Pod Lipom for lunch and “he had the Sarajevski sahan everyday, the same dish as you!” I wasn’t convinced that this was entirely true, but he sure made me laugh.

Next I had kore, (7KM (about £3.20)). Described on the menu as a ‘Bosnian specialty meat pie’, it consisted of chicken baked with noodles, chicken broth and a little cream. The noodles were quite soft from excessive cooking, but it was reasonably tasty for the flavour of the chicken broth had been absorbed by the dish. It was a comfort-food type of dish, the kind you expect mama to make.

Kore

Kore

I went again the next night but unfortunately Nino wasn’t there to keep me entertained. This time, I had the chicken soup with okra and vegetables (3KM (about £1.40) and veal with tomato and mushrooms (14KM (about £6.40). The soup came out with a thick layer of chicken fat on top, and I ended up sitting there for several minutes skimming it before eating it. The soup was average.

Chicken soup

Chicken soup

The veal had been diced and was pretty tasty, if a little dry. It was also served with some smoked, salty beef, another Bosnian specialty. This was delicious and not particularly salty.

Veal with salted beef

Veal with salted beef

Breads here were very tasty – soft and fresh. In fact, having tried various types from the local bakery, I think the Bosnians bake better breads than the Croatians.

Restoran Pod Lipom serves pretty decent fare. It’s hardly gourmet, and certainly nothing to get excited about, but it was homely and very cheap.

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Summary information

Food rating: [xrr rating=3/5]
Service rating: [xrr rating=3/5]

Price range – 16KM to 24KM (about £7 to £11) for a starter and main. Excludes drink and service.
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Restoran Pod Lipom at:
Prote Bakovića br.4
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel: +387 33 440 700

Leave a Comment

3 Responses to “Restoran Pod Lipom – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina”

  1. Sam Says...

    I always like to try the local food when I travel, it looks like you do too. This place is an absolute bargain!

  2. 'A Girl Has to Eat' Says...

    Hi Sam,
    that’s the best bit about travelling, trying the local foods!

  3. Gourmet Chick Says...

    The pigeon story is hilarious! Sounds like you are having a brilliant trip

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