Saturday, September 6, 2008
Pasha - A Taste of the Balkans
Pasha - 31-01 31st Street, Astoria NY 11102
N/W Train to 30th Avenue
I mentioned that Pasha, the Bosnian grill on 31st Street and Newton Ave expanded. Now officially in it's new location, I went in to check it out and try one of their signature dishes--cevapi (minced beef-lamb kabob). This dish is special to me because it reminds me of my childhood when my family and I used to visit the former Yugoslavia for vacation. Although the cevapi at Pasha didn't exactly take me back, they were good and I'd like to come back to try more dishes.
There's not much to say about the atmosphere at Pasha--it's as simple as can be. The walls are bare and the now larger dining room lacks charm. It looks generic, desperately needing a couple of special touches to give it coziness and comfort. I was expecting the music to be ethnic at least, but disappointingly, it was the same vanilla pop songs that you hear on the radio.
I ordered a standard cevapi to go, which was enveloped in a flat-bread with a house salad and sour cream on the side. Once I put the whole thing together, stuffing the veggies and sour cream right into the pita, I was golden. The cevapi meat was soft and delicious, seasoned well with plenty of fragrant spices, including oregano. There were about five small kabobs per serving and while they would've been too meaty on their own, paired with the salad and the sour cream, they were a fantastic combination. For those of you Astorians familiar with Greek food, this will remind you of a gyro--but a bit lighter.
Service and Cost:
The waitstaff was satisfactory but not yet confident. The woman who took my order seemed confused and unsure of herself--I hope that will improve over time. One thing that surprised me was that no one seemed to be of Bosnian descent. Before walking in, I was sure that I'd hear this beautiful language spoken by boisterous Europeans but unfortunately, I heard no trace of this.
My cevapi was reasonably priced. At $5.95 plus tax, I had a full dinner that satisfied me but didn't make me gratuitously full. The other dishes are also fairly priced with salads and soups ranging from $3.95-$7.50, Bosnian sandwiches from $5.50-$8.95 and larger grill platters from $5.50 - $13.95.