The third was a Cherni Vit green cheese served with plum chutney on a toasted baguette. All of the food received rave reviews and each was paired with wines that were provided by Domaine Boyar, which was the main sponsor of the whole festival. Yana Petkova, wine taster, writer for DiVino and co-owner of Grape Center helped conduct the tasting between Joana’s food and the wines, which were selected especially for the event. They included a Merlot 2012 – organic, from Ivaylovgrad region, not even bottled yet, so we tried barrel samples, which was quite interesting; Ars Longa Mavrud & Rubin and Next 20 Muscat a dessert wine.
We started with Papa a la Huancaína, a traditional salad of boiled potatoes with a sauce named after Huancayo region in the central Peruvian highlands. It was an interesting sauce, which reminded me bit of a Hollandaise.
A new edition to this event was a pop quiz about the Peruvian presentation, which I administered, although I had a bit of a fact checking issue. I thought Machu Picchu was the highest peak in Peru, while a group of Bulgarian-Peruvians pointed out my error that it is actually Huascarán, which turned out to be the tie-breaking question for a 50lv gift certificate to Lomo for the winning team.
The Multi-Kulti Kitchen events are fun and we love to give this pleasure to Sofia, but we are a true NGO with a mission and need help fundraising for our projects, such as the Multi-Kulti Map. Carlos is lucky to have integrated so successfully into his life in Bulgaria, but others, like the growing refugee population can’t say the same. Please visit our website and learn more about us and our work. All is appreciated.
I am always intrigued when I hear about new places that have Latin American inspired cuisine, because I feel that is the one area where Bulgaria has had much trouble… Amigo’s! It is the immigrants that usually share their native cuisine, but the sheer distance from South America to Eastern Europe is a bit far. While I am not sure how Alegre’s Cuban chef Ramone came to set up shop in Sofia, but he also runs Casa Latina located on Gladstone, maybe a Latin explosion has begun?
Alegre now occupies the space, which was formerly known as Sidoniya – Lord of the Chef, which is named partly after the culinary game show that awarded a restaurant to its victor. The decor has changed very little since my dinner there last year, so you can expect the same modern kitschy vibe.
When I first asked for eating recommendations in Plovdiv, the biggest fan fare came in support of Sombrero, a Mexican restaurant in Plovdiv, yes… Plovdiv. It is located a bit of the main drag, a 30 minute walk from the center. It might be a tad quicker for most, but we were carrying Gabriel in a baby carrier. When we walked up to the restaurant it was a bit surreal, because it is not often you find a place with a large Mexican hat on the roof in Bulgaria.
I did drink a margarita or two… and it was quite tasty. A proper salt rimmed glass and a lime… I was surprised… cocktails are not exectured well in Bulgaria, but this was really fantastic.
For mains, we ordered Chorizos Yucatan, which had some sort of sausage and bacon, but it was not chorizo. It was served in an open tortilla, filled with veggies and topped with cheese. The standard accompaniment seems to be rice, fries, guacamole, sour cream and some spicy salsa, with chunks of chili peppers! This was probably one of the spiciest thing I have eaten in Bulgaria, but it would have been nice if they offered a milder salsa for those that can’t handle spice.
Even with directions, the shop is tricky to find. It is located on the outskirts of Sofia in Iliyantzi, near the the stadium Lokomotiv at the intersection of Petar Panayotov St. and Blvd Rozen. There is no specific street number, but the shop is number 26 and it is located on the south side of the street, same as the stadium.