It is called a coffeehouse but the name.....?: Coffee and raki.
Close to Hotel and Restaurant Pasarela (at the square in front of the Orthodox church) there is a coffeehouse where I went in for a coffee and a shot of the raki which Berat is so famous for. The coffee was of the small kind that is usual in these countries in the Balkans. But the raki!! It was heavenly, so mild in taste that it was impossible to taste the alcohol although I can assure you there really was alcohol in it! The cost for all this was 150 Leke (May 2014) to be compared the 250 Leke I payed just for a cup of coffee at the fortress earlier the same day. On the other hand that coffee was much nicer and also double the size.
The Cuci and others: Simple eating arund town
I had a look round for places to eat. There are plenty – birek shops (esp. near the bus station), pastry shops and restaurants, but none that looked special. (Possibly you can get fish near the river – I don’t know.) The one that seemed most popular with the locals was the “Cuci”, opposite the post office, where you can order, for example, Vegetable Soup (at 100 leks), Pilaf (70 leks), Makarona (100 leks), Patate te Skuqura (100 leks), Djathi i Bardhe (150 leks) or Mish Qengji (800 leks).
Favorite Dish: Pilaf's good. It's rice with vegetables in it
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Berat, restaurant Mangalem, dinner: Berat, restaurant Mangalem, dinner
For the two of us, we had the dinner shown on the photo :
Veal cotelettes with fries.
Salad with cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, onions and olives
Tarator (almost the same than the Greek tzatziki) : sliced cucumber in yoghurt, sprinkled with olive oil and paprika powder.
Favorite Dish: On the right a special dish, which Albanian name I forgot to write. It is mutton intestine, filled with blood, making a kind of black sausage. Once cooked and the blood clot, it is sliced. The slices are grilled and served with fries.
Everything was excellent!
In 2009, the menu was different and I will not show everything.
Photo 4 is tarator, a dish that is cousin to the Greek tzatziki : sliced cucumber in youghourt with olive oil and sprinkled with sweet peper powder.
Photo 5 is grilled mutton spleen. I had never tasted it and of course had to check! That tasted almost like liver but not so smooth.
- Food and Dining
restaurant Mangalem, breakfast: restaurant Mangalem, breakfast
Restaurant of Hotel Mangalem offers various breakfasts, as shown on the second photo
For 150 lek, Mengjesi turist (tourist breakfast) with toasted bread, butter, jam, cheese, coffee
For 250 lek, Mengjesi diplomat (diplomat breakfast) with toasted bread, butter, cheese, bacon, 1 cooked egg, yoghurt, coffee.
For 200 lek, Mengjesi vegjetarian (vegetarian breakfast) with toasted bread, butter, 2 cooked eggs, yoghurt, coffee.
And last but not least Mengjes tradicional (traditional breakfast) with rice (50 lek), tripes (100 lek), tashqebap (250 lek)
Of course, I chose the traditional breakfast (why to go abroad and have the same breakfast than at home ?) with mutton tripes soup and rice (photo 3). That was succulent!
- Food and Dining
restaurant/hotel mangalemi: local food among local people
To call this place a hotel requires soem imagination - since there are only a few rooms and the building is fairly small... it's more like a guesthouse with a restuarant on the ground floor serving amazing Albanian food. Beside the main eating hall there are smaller private eating rooms (see photo) where small groups can have their lunch.
Favorite Dish: I had the most memorable kebab of my life together with grilled veggies (they even grilled some potatoes) and a simple olive and tomato salad... with the tastiest tomatoes on earth. Heavenly food.
- Road Trip
As I said, I didn't have time for lunch as the last bus to Tirana was leaving at 15.00, but in the picture you can see a restaurant that we thought to try before knowing the bus time table. I can't say anything about the service, but the view from the restaurant veranda seems to be great. It looks over Osum river and Gorrica quarter. The restaurant is in Mangalem quarter and you can use the flag tower in the castle as orientation point, see picture, the big building in the lowest part of picture.
Good food, friendly service
In one Berat restaurant, I ate very well and had a pleasant and informative conversation with the cook, a friendly and witty middle-aged woman with short hair who made jokes as she cooked for me. Her small, informal restaurant is located on the side of the river opposite the castle. With your back to the castle, you cross Berat's historic bridge, and you find yourself in front of a café. Go right up the road, this restaurant is on your left (the river is on your right). Ask somebody. It was delicious & they gave me advice on what to see in Berat. Try and learn some Albanian phrases before you go.
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