If the cold weather alone doesn't convince you, the long walk to Avenue C just might; cold snaps like this call for something like braised beans and sausage, and Kafana, a tiny Serbian spot in Alphabet City, does especially good versions of both.
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Red peppers and eggplant roasted over a wood fire give this sweet and tangy Serbian sauce a pleasing smokiness.
Cevapi is a simple and boldly flavorful finger-sized sausage of Balkan origin.
Cevapi is a simple finger-sized sausage of Balkan origin whose simplicity makes finding the right few ingredients important to getting the tastiest links possible.
If you're unfamiliar with Balkan food and what cultural intricacies differentiate Bosnian and Serbian cuisine, you're not alone. There is little to no Balkan representation in D.C.'s food scene, that is, until last month when chef Ivan Iricanin (Masa 14 and El Centro partner) opened up Ambar on Barracks Row.
"Kafana je moja sudbina" (Kafana is my destiny) goes the popular song, filled with fiddles and and maybe an accordion. (Check it out on iTunes.) We would love it if someone took us on a date here, we said to each other, laughing, since we were already there. Even with a handful of other eaters, a Friday night dinner still felt like a find—and it was certainly a deal, the pricey fish notwithstanding. Kafana, with its old-world charm and cheap, filling feed, is best for: an offbeat, low-cost date.