Bonsia and Herzegovina is situated in Eastern Europe between Croatia, Serbia & Monte Negro and the Adriatic Sea. It was part of a patchwork nation called Yugoslavia that was created in 1918, that later broke up after the collapse of Communism in the Early 1990s. The country was embroiled in a massive ethnic war between ethnic factions in the early 1990s which led to NATO's involvement. Following the wars the country has progressed a long way--in many ways has returned to its multiethnic roots (as it had been as a state in the Ottoman Empire). As a result, it has become a tourist destination in recent years. People go there to see the path of some of the early church fathers, take hiking tours, and even do kayaking and whitewater rafting This nation has strong influences of Greece, Turkey and Russia, and its cuisine reflects these influences and heritages. In Houston, this cuisine can be found in the Westchase area at Café Pita Plus.
Guy Fieri had discovered them and featured them on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and about the different influences of cultures within Bosnia. While she talked I overheard folks of all types talking, in Slavic, Russian, English and Spanish within the restaurant. I also noticed a fairly good swath of Houston's diverse population ordering food to go or in the restaurant, and found the atmosphere pleasant and inviting.
menu, I noted the specials they had and it read, as expected, like a fusion of Greek, Mediterranean and Baltic food. The menu includes such Slavic staples as Ghoulash (a hearty beef stew served over rice with veggies), Greek items like Mousaka (Eggplant and Zucchini with seasoned ground beef in a special sauce), Gyros and Sarma (Unlike the Greek style, not served in Grape leaves but in Cabbage leaves!). I wanted to get something that was representative of the Modern yet Traditional Bosnia and Zumra recommended the Hadzijski Cevap (Ground beef mixed with flavorful spices, in a sausage links style and veggies, sautéed in a light creamy tomato sauce). This is served with a couple of pieces of pita and you start with a Greek Style salad (mixed greens, Feta Cheese, vinegar and oil based dressing).
Report Card for Café Pita Plus:
Food & Beverage:
Greek Salad: A
Hadzijski Cevap: A
Bosnian Coffee: A+
Baklava Cheesecake: A
Dining Area: A
Men's Room: Incomplete
Atmosphere (Converted Tuscan/1970s interior): B
Overall Grade: A-
I want to thank Zumra for taking the time to talk with me and share some of her story. I always like learning about the staff and ownership of interesting local places. It's clear that Café Pita Plus has a good local following, as this was a Tuesday, I was there around 1 PM and there was a steady flow of to go orders as well as more than half the tables occupied. For those keeping count, this is 7 of my 13 Restaurants for 2013.
Cafe Pita Plus has two Houston locations
I visited the one in Westchase at:
10852 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77042
713 953 7237
Sun-Thu 11 AM to 9 PM
Fri-Sat: 11 AM to 10 PM
Eat Happy, Y'all!!!