Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Mighty Good Eatin’

Today, I want to sing the praises of the Café Adriatic restaurant. I have three reasons for doing so: 1) They’re a neighborhood business, an easy walk from my apartment; 2) The food is really, really good; and 3) They’re going to need all the help they can get, because I’ve yet to see very many people in there and I’m afraid they may not last long if business doesn’t pick up. So if you’re A) not from my neighborhood, or B) more motivated by hedonistic than altruistic urges, I would ask you to focus on reason #2 and go there for the food.

Café Adriatic is quite new. They first opened their doors in June of this year. They’re located at 5553 N. Clark on the SE corner of Clark and Bryn Mawr. I’d wanted to post a link to their website, but alas, they do not appear to have one. They share the intersection with a Subway sub shop and a pizza joint, though Café Adriatic is clearly the class act of the bunch. One night last month, dissatisfied with all thoughts of my usual dinner options, I wandered in there and ordered an entrée to go. I had the broiled scallops and they were dazzling! I resolved then that I must go back to sit down and enjoy a complete meal, and last night was the night.

The place is fairly large. I made a rough count of about 30 tables, only one of which was occupied when I walked in at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. The first thing I noticed was the music coming over the speakers. It was pop music, but it was sung in an eastern European-sounding language I couldn’t identify. Later in the meal, after hearing the most unusual rendition of “Twist and Shout” I can recall, I asked the waitress if she knew what language we were listening to. She hesitated before saying, “Yes.”
“So what language is this?” I asked.
She hesitated again before sheepishly answering, “Serbian.” I was left with the distinct impression that she feared I would have a negative reaction to this information. I simply smiled and thanked her.

I began my meal with a bowl of vegetable soup. When it was set before me, I was surprised to see a sizable white mound in the middle of the bowl. It turned out to be sour cream. Maybe I just haven’t been around, but I don’t recall that I’ve ever seen soup served in such a manner. Though I was dubious, I proceeded to try the sour cream with the soup. It turned out to be a terrific combination that took me completely by surprise. The hearty, slightly spicy soup went with the sour cream so fabulously well that I will have no choice but to order this soup again, maybe every time I go there.

As you may know, I am quite the seafood devotee. In fact, it’s the only form of animal flesh I eat. So I took a pass on the menu’s considerable offerings in the way of poultry, pork, and beef and went straight to the seafood section. In the interest of getting a good overview of their work (and because I was very hungry), I ordered the seafood sampler. It came out as a sizable platter festooned with broiled salmon, catfish, shrimp, and calamari, as well as a generous serving of fried rice and a cooked vegetable garnish. Everything on the platter was simply delicious.

I’d hoped to complete my Café Adriatic experience by exploring their dessert offerings, but that seafood platter finished me off. I slowly ambled the two blocks to my apartment and ate nothing more until breakfast the following morning. I highly recommend that you pay a visit to Café Adriatic when you’re in the neighborhood. Come to think of it, call me up and ask me to join you there, and give me a good excuse to eat there again!

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