Butchers/ Бътчерс

I am very excited that I was able to partake in Бакхус magazine’s Restaurant week in Sofia (March 19 – 25th 2012). This was the first time I managed to be in Bulgaria and get to Sofia to take advantage of the deals. I decided to spend the whole day in Sofia after my Drs appointment, so I could eat at two different restaurants… one for lunch and one for dinner. For lunch, I chose a place that was a favorite of mine many years ago Butchers.  It is located around the trend Doctor’s Garden area of Sofia on Sheinovo St. The cuisine has a Latin American influence and rightly so as the chef Carlos Porten hails from Peru.

When I first visited Butchers a few years back it was at the recommendation of my friend’s Jason and Jeri-Ann.  His office was in the area and raved that the steak was one of the best that he had had in Sofia, which naturally piqued my interest as I am a lover of a good steak, which is Bulgaria is kind of like stumbling upon a unicorn, while walking down Vitosha. The last time I was there, I was with the cast of fighters from a film I was working on called Undisputed 3. One of the actors, Marko Zaror who is Chilean, was not impressed by the food and I agreed. The steak had tumbled a couple of notches… But our experience this time was fabulous!

The interior is minimal and very unpretentious. Simple miss matched wooden tables and chairs, which gives it a rustic feel. My husband was immediately take by the décor. He felt like he was in a Robert Rodriquez movie…  a la Desperado. The place was small and charming and best thing I think is that you don’t even know the dining room exists. From the facade you see a butcher’s counter filled with many in house cured and brined items.The building used to be a butcher’s shop, hence the name. To reach the dining room you need to walk through to the back… tricky!
Strewn around the dining room you will find dried fruits and a collection of old utensils. It adds to the charm. The menu is small and changes frequently as it is dictated by fresh seasonal offerings.
The Bacchus lunch prix-fixe was 9lv and included a Chicharrón sandwich: salt cured, then pan fried pork belly, with sweet potatoes, and pickled peppers and red onions on a large and crusty loaf of bread.  The price also included a glass of wine, a choice of water Aqua Panna or San Pellegrino and a digestive of Hennessy. Angel, while not a fan of sweet potatoes was very happy! He even let me take pictures!!!
I ordered a la carte off the daily menu, which consisted of a Creole soup, which was similar to a hearty gumbo, but lacked the intense flavor of a dark roux. It was still quite tasty and needed only a bit of salt for my taste.

My main dish was a Estofado de Pollo, or a traditional Peruvian chicken stew.  The chicken legs were braised perfectly; the chicken melted in your mouth and the sauce was flavorful and balanced… even the plain boiled potatoes were salted and accompanied the dish well.

The cuisine of Butchers is not something that you will find in Sofia and if you do come across South American cuisine it lacks authenticity and the general spirit of the food.  If you are looking for a break in the monotony that is Sofia restaurants, Butchers makes an excellent alternative. The intimate atmosphere makes it a good choice for enjoying a great dinner with friends.

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Author: caseyangelova

Eating, Gardening & Living in Bulgaria www.caseyangelova.com

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