With the rich diversity of the menu including over 450 different choices of food and drinks, the Izvora (which means The spring). Folk restaurant gives it's guests the possibility to enjoy the traditional Bulgarian cuisine in a number of ways. The restaurant, which was awarded Restaurant of the Year 2003 in Bulgaria, is divided into three distinctive areas, two inner spaces and the spacious garden and its water spring.
The best things about the city of Arbanasi is that all buildings from the outside look the same, all built from stone and wood. You you wont feel any difference unless you access the inner court. The ambiance is nice as you walk into a large garden and long lit trees where tables are planted around the artificial lake. A nice and cozy setup perfect for a romantic dinner.
- Bizarre kind of black wooden chairs constituted of three legs
- Red and green textiles covering the tables
- A waterfall accompanies you all night long with its musical relaxing sounds
- A bridge adding more flavor to the ambiance
- Trees lit in green
- A typical village decoration like old mountain cottages
- Many paysan items hanging from the ceiling
- A welcoming note thanking the guests for choosing Izvora and also asking them to contact the management for any inquiry or comment
- The choices are diverse starting with the salads, soups, starters, vegetarian dishes, dishes a la minute, fish, chicken dishes, pork dishes, BBQ, specialties, cold appetizers, garnishes and desserts.
- The drink menu is as varied as the food one: Rakia, Anisette, vodka, white wines, red wines and whiskey types.
- A true Bulgarian ambiance
- A nice decoration
- Nice food presentation
- Every dish is translated in English
- A one man show to entertain the night
- Generous portions
- A disastrously horrible service
- Low quality service and speed
- Cheap paper and nylon printed menu
- Food lacks flavors and taste
- All wines are posted on the menu without the dates of production
- Pork Kavarma served in a pot with onions, mushrooms, peper, tomato and an egg. A great mix that can have an amazing taste, Just image the flavor you can have from each of the ingredients. Unfortunately it was a bit tasteless.
- The Shopska salad: Tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, onion, white cheese, chilly and just one black olive.
- Couple of pork loins that are over cooked and dry.
- New Fried potatoes - as they called it. That's something I liked, simple potato cubes fried and served with some herbs. I didn't know why they call them NEW.
- The Rakia: is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by distillation of fermented fruit; it is a popular beverage throughout the Balkans. Its alcohol content is normally 40%, but home-produced rakia can be stronger. No country produces more šlivovitz plum rakija than Serbia. Rakija is prevalently accepted and considered to be ? national drink of Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey. Normally, rakija is colorless, unless herbs or other ingredients are added. Some types of rakija are kept in wooden barrels for extra aroma and a golden color. It is supposed to be drunk from special small glasses which hold from 0.03 to 0.05l.
- I've tasted a traditional bread across the balkans: Parlenki
- Sunflower oil is everywhere: I couldn't find olive oil on the tables. Traditionally Sunflower oil is used with salads and food preparations.
- "Coke full ice" as we call it in our region is not a tradition. Many drink soft drinks without ice or ice is served separately
- Coca light is not a trendy beverage. They drink the normal coke instead.
- Shopska salad is a traditional Bulgarian cold salad popular throughout the Balkans and Central Europe. It is made from tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, raw or roasted peppers, sirene (white brine cheese), and parsley. It's usually served at the start of every meal.
- Sirene is the Bulgarian cheese we have in Lebanon. Known as "white brine sirene" its a type of brine cheese made in South-Eastern Europe, especially popular in Serbia, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and other Balkan countries. It is made of goat milk, cow's milk, sheep milk or a combination of milks. It is slightly crumbly with a fat content of about 30–35%. It is commonly produced in blocks, and has a slightly grainy texture. It is used as a table cheese, as well as in salads and in baking.
- Pork is their favorite meat dish as for Lamb it is usually prepared on christmas and easter.
- All meat are served overcooked making them dry. Try to order your meat not as well as they cook it.
- Kaymak or kachamak is a traditional Bosnian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian,Albanian and Montenegrin dish. The dish is made of cornmeal. Potatoes, white cheese or kaymak are sometimes added. It is prepared by boiling the mixture until it is thick or runny, depending on taste, and then mashing while the pot is still on the fire. Although it was once regarded as a poor man's food, it has grown into the everyday cuisine and is often found in restaurants. In Bulgaria it is traditionally served with heated lard or sunflower oil with small amounts of browned paprika or hot pepper. Often cracklings or sirene are added to extend the taste.
One of the most exciting nights that transported me deeply into the traditions of an interesting civilisation. Visit Bulgaria, you'll fall in love with it.