Friday, March 4, 2011

Atlantic Cafe & Market

Address: 325 S Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. 801.534.9900.

Review: The Atlantic Cafe & Market tries to recreate that European feel on Main Street Salt Lake City. It does an admirable job. The place is unadorned, straightforward, and has little tables. The food is a cross section of Mediterranean and Eastern European cuisine. Heard that in the summer they have nice outdoor seating.

So, I glanced over the menu, bypassing the myriad of standard sandwiches and happening upon something called cevapi. Cevapi, for the uninitiated like myself, is a Balkan sausage that is often served as a sandwich. The sausage is caseless and made primarily of lamb and beef. The sausage was nicely spiced and salty, although being caseless, it was a little dry and tough. The bread. Ah, the bread. It's sort of a thick spongy flatbread. The spongy quality allows it to soak up the sausage juices. (I think they may also soak is lightly in beef stock or something similar.) Such a different experience than any other sandwich bread I've ever had -- and different is good. Then, for good measure, and because the dish is Balkan in origin they add some raw (or barely cooked) onions to spice things up. The rawness of the onions lightened the sandwich a bit, but the flavor was a bit overpowering. The cevapi was served with kajmak (a thick dairy product akin to clotted cream), which had a mildly tangy flavor. It went very well with the cevapi.

So, after dissecting this dish I'm left teetering. Some elements were incredibly enjoyable (the bread, particularly), and some not so much. In all, this sandwich is in keeping with so much of Eastern European food: heavy, but heavy in an interesting way that makes you want to keep eating.

(Note: My friends had kabobs and veggie lasagna. They enjoyed their dishes quite a lot.)

Rating: 6.5 (5/10 is average).

Atlantic Cafe & Market on Urbanspoon

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