For those who follow my site, know that I am always looking to try and experience different aspects of Bulgaria, and at present, mostly Sofia. It is hard living in Kyustendil to discover new places and spaces without help. I was fortunate that someone on EGL’s Facebook page suggested Сирене и Вино за Приятели, which translates to Cheese and Wine for Friends. I had asked if anyone could recommend a nice spot for lunch, in the area around Orlov Moct; this was the spot suggested, and I must say that it was quite a good find indeed.
The interior of the shop is warm and inviting and warmth refers both to the coziness, as well as the temperature. When I first opened the door on a brisk afternoon, the heat from the ovens and the smell of freshly baked bread imediately caused me to salivate. Cheese and Wine for Friends (CWF), is a delicatessen, bakery, sandwich shop and with a selection of grocery items.
The philosophy of the place is to emphasize good quality food, but at an accessible price. The majority of the goods sold are Bulgarian made and highlight small farms and producers. There are many boutique shops that offer similarly products, but the majority of the competitors’ offerings are foreign goods. This focus on local products enables CWF to keep the costs manageable by avoiding import taxes and delivery fees, as reported in Kapital.
Cheese and other dairy products are on display throughout most of the shop. They have traditional Bulgarian cheeses, but also Bulgarian interpretations of Italian cheeses as well. CWF works with Dobrev Cheeses for their dairy goods, which has a a few dedicated cheese shop locations in Sofia, and Burgas. Besides cheese, the cold counter also offers meats and sausages, plus all the nibbles one would need to put out a good antipasto spread.
My original purpose for visiting CWF was lunch and I ordered a sandwich on a freshly baked roll with cheese and meat, I forget the specifics. The cost of this sandwich was a shock at 2.90 lv. With a bottle of water, my lunch was less than 4 lv. The size of the sandwich was large and satisfying. The simple sandwich was made with fresh and quality ingredients, which made for a tasty lunch with a friend. A sandwich at a similar delicatessen shop like Dar ot Bogovete, which sells foreign products can cost upwards of 8 lv. While not everyone will consider 2.90 lv cheap for a sandwich, but despite the price the quality and taste was high and this is important.
I am not sure if the owners or managers are friends with Gourmet Publishing, but Menu and DiVino magazines are available for customers to peruse while lunching or shopping. The selections of wine are fantastic and quite familiar after Taste 2012. You can find many if not all of the Bulgarian Association of Independent Winegrowers‘ labels available. I do however question how the warmth of the interior effects the storage of the wines?
I am grateful for the recommendation and I look forward to exploring the cheese and dairy offerings from Dobrev. My family and I are big fans of cheese… all cheese. Worth a visit if you are in the Orlov Moct are and hungry for a quick bite!
Сирене и Вино за Приятели
Tsar Ivan Asen II 62 (on the corner of Rakitin)
Tel: +359 87 728 7900
Hours Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm
Sat: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm