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Kufte or kebapche?

[Sofia, Bulgaria]

With my late arrival and running errands with my parents for a couple of days, it wasn’t until today that I got to finally venture out more and start visiting with all my friends.

My first visit with my friend Slavy, whom I’ve known since 1998. Since I last saw her, she got married and had twins. I went to her house in the early afternoon and although we thought we had a couple of hours to catch up while the kids were at daycare, she got a call that her boy wasn’t feeling well and we had to go pick them up. They were as adorable as I remembered them from pictures but, at almost 2 years old, they were definitely a handful. Slavy’s mom came over to visit a bit later and she was going to take care of the twins while Slavy and I headed back downtown to meet some friends of hers at a bar just around the corner from where my parents live in Sofia.

RockIt is a restaurant/bar that features live music on the weekends. It was still early enough on this Friday evening for the place to be rather mellow, so we had the front of the place pretty much to ourselves for awhile. Slavy and I met up with another friend of hers, Maria, and two friends of hers – one a fellow expat living in Germany, the other one still living in Sofia. After choosing the house cocktail to drink, I had a hard to choice to make in terms of food – kufte or kebapche? Both of these are traditional Bulgarian dishes, made of spicy ground meat formed into patties or elongated hot-dog-like shapes. I chose kebapche but only because it was served with lutenica – relish made out of tomatoes and peppers, traditionally served with bread or meats. We also ordered some fried potatoes and garlic sauce for the table and before you knew it, we were happily eating and drinking and chatting. Time flew by and before long another friend came in – a classmate from high school who just so happened to be out with her coworkers at the same bar. This was the epitome of what life in Bulgaria is about – hanging out with friends and talking over a great meal.

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