...From the Coast. Not the Dog. Which is what a teenage tourist sitting at a nearby table in Dubrovnik thought, with much indignance and too much volume. Babs and I strained not to snigger.
Anyhow, if you're in these parts -- and want a break from scarfing down the Adriatic aquarium (more on that soon) -- there are at least 2 Dalmation meat dishes you should try, which we did at Elirija, a tiny 5-table aromatic oasis of grilling meat in a street-long empire of cheap pizza in Dubrovnik's Old Town.
Cevapcici is ground meat spiced with salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper and paprika, a touch of baking soda, and sometimes a drop of anise. Then fashioned into either fingers (as pictured below) or burger patties. Some chefs make it just with beef, others I hear use a beef-pork blend. I've had what is called a Hemingway burger at Cork & Bottle, a little wine cellar in Leicester Square in London, which uses a diabolical blend of beef, pork and lamb for its burger patty. When I eventually try making cevapcici at home, that's the blend I might experiment with. (Whaddaya know, a quick search for cevapcici recipes online showed exactly this pimped up 3-meat blend.)
Raznjici is simply chunks of pork on skewers, with similar seasoning.
Grill both, preferably on an open charcoal fire. Slather on an orangey red-pepper paste that is sweeter than it is spicy. Especially amazing when the grease is balanced out with rough-chopped raw onion. So we stink for hours afterwards. It's worth it.
For a grill with a view, climb as far as the stairs will take you up the city walls to Lady Pi-Pi, a magical grapevine-covered terrace overlooking Dubrovnik's Old Town, named after the statue on your right side of the photo below.
In Zagreb, a hefty cevapcici in a doughy wrap from Mrvica M Grill (a greasy spoon at the elbow of the road from the central bus station and the road from the central train station) at ~€3.50 a person was the perfect antidote to dinner the night before at Trilogija. Situated right by the Stone gate (Kamenita Vrata), Trilojia had interesting ideas e.g. seabass and squid-ink noodles, but unforgiveably bland execution. Given its menu's ambitious prices, the chef ought to be sent to the doghouse.
Vl. Dinko Minjkovic
+385 9 709 8644
Mrvica M Grill
Kneza Branimira 67, Tržnica Branimirova
+385 461 4484
Cork and Bottle (for the Hemingway burger)
44-46 Cranbourn St
London WC2H 7AN, UK