I am always happy to find something different on the Bansko restaurant scene. Everyone needs a change from the shopska salad and meats in the mehanas and the ubiquitous burgers and doners. I found a breath of culinary fresh air in the newly opened Armenian restaurant Egur, Egur.
Hilda Kazasyan, the owner, is the most famous jazz singer in Bulgaria and I could hear some of her nice music in the restaurant. She has a number of established restaurants already in Sofia and Sozopol. It is only this year that she embarked on her Bansko endeavor.
I wish her good luck in Bansko as visitors and locals alike need the variation.
Hilda has chosen the homely feel for her place, with an open kitchen, three dining rooms, wooden furniture and a fireplace creating a cozy atmosphere.
Egur, Egur’s menu focuses on home-made style dishes from the Armenian cuisine. I had not known much about Armenian dishes, but I found them not dissimilar to Balkan cuisine. So you will still see many familiar items on the menu, such as moussaka, lamb, grilled meats, but you will find them prepared with a different twist.
But before I discuss the mains I’ve tried, I have to mention the salads and vegetarian options as I get dozens of questions from my Bansko Blog and Bansko App followers about where in Bansko they can find vegetarian dishes.
Egur, Egur has included a few vegetable dishes in the menu, so vegetarians are safe to come here.
All the salads I’ve tried were really good and made with fresh vegetables. I am especially impressed by the tabbouleh salad, which was prolific in parsley and had the more healthy cracked wheat (bulgur). I also loved the beetroot salad, very refreshing with lots of lemon.
There are many more appealing salads on the menu, such as the spinach salad and also some traditional dips.
Going on the vegetarian line of thought, I’ve tried the olive soup which was very tasty (tomato soup with onion and chopped olives). The starter list will surprise vegetarians with many options – crispy fried zucchini, fried aubergine and peppers with tomato sauce, aubergine with cheese and more. Worth mentioning are the notable Armenian parsley balls – called Kaygana – very tasty.
I also liked Egur’s version of vine leaves – a bit different from the usual offering in Bulgaria. These vine leaves had raisins and a touch of cinnamon flavour.
The meat dishes also have their prominent place on the menu, both as Armenian and Bulgarian dishes. The cabbage leaves with bits of meat were especially tasty. And so was the lamb dish I tried there. Lamb lovers look nowhere else.
The first time I decided to risk it with duck. I say risk because duck is usually over cooked in Bulgaria. I ordered the Egur duck and was surprised how tender the meat was. Also nice to find the sweetness coming from the dried apricots in it.
A dish I would go back for.
Another winner I tasted was the Armenian lamb roll. Very soft lamb complemented by rice-with-kidney on the side and a fresh green salad. A very filling dish worth trying.
If you like tradition with a twist – try the Greek moussaka. It is made of veal mince and aubergine and has some peculiar flavor coming from the cinnamon.
For the more conservative, there are all the grilled meats, meat balls, fish and pasta.
A sweet ending
Make sure you leave some room for dessert as there are options you cannot try anywhere else in Bansko. I was impressed by the selection I tried, quite new for me – Anoush abur (wheat in custard); “Sweet sausage” made of biscuits, butter and cocoa; baklava. Again for the more traditional diners – the always-good lava cake is there.
But when in Egur, Egur, I would recommend you don’t hold back on the more peculiar options on the menu and you will be rewarded for your adventurousness.
Egur, Egur is located in Perun Lodge Hotel, 1 Georgi Nastev Street, Bansko.
To book a table, call +359 88 938 3300
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