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Albanian looking for real Albanian food!

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Since the closing of Cafe Appolonia in Rozzy I'm at a loss for somewhere to get an authentic Albanian oriented dinner. Anyone here know of anywhere else I can try?????

I'm willing to travel as much as 2 hours (I live in Hubbardston MA, 5 minutes from Mount Wachusett) from home for a special occasion dinner. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Falemnderit Shumë!,
Ras Bardhylis

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  1. That's a tough one. You might want to explore Worcester. It has a large Albanian population. I remember a place called Coes that had lots of Albanian specialties, but I think they changed the menu years back. Still, wouldn't be surprised if Worcester had at least one or two places that served Albanian cuisine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      Lot's of Albanians, but I don't think there are any Albanian restos.

      1. re: Bostonbob3

        South Boston used to be a center for Albanians (the Albanian Orthodox cathedral still sits proudly over the center of Southie - one wonders what families that still attend there might recommend) - Southie was not just center of the Boston Irish, but the Boston Lithuanians and Boston Albanians.

      2. This is one that may be worth a try, though I've yet to try it myself:

        http://www.yadacafe.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gordito

          Great find, Gordito. They do serve Albanian (although I haven't eaten there either). I don't think they serve dinner though.

        2. Believe it or not, I have an Albanian acquaintance who highly recommends, of all places, Trattoria Toscana in the Fenway.

          This place is a perennial Chowhound darling known for its outstanding Tuscan food; however, the Albanian chef/owner has apparently been known to dish out some great traditional Albanian fare upon request.

          I'd certainly call in advance to see how feasible this would be, but if the Albanian dishes are prepared as well as the regular menu items, this would be an excellent bet.

          1. I understand that Apolonia will still have Albanian specialties. The people from Alba may be involved.

            1. I checked out their menu ( I LOVED the place when it was Appolonia) but so far all I see it Burgers and nachos :( I'm bummed and have to find somewhere I can get some real home cooking like Mama & Nana used to make!

              Ras B

              3 Replies
              1. re: RasBardhylis

                I'm pretty sure the chef/owner of Basta Pasta outside of Central Square in Cambridge is also Albanian. Their menu is Italian, but they do a lot of daily specials and are quite nice. Perhaps you could talk them into cooking up an Albanian meal.

                1. re: iss

                  I'll have to give it a try next time I'm in the area.
                  Thanks, RasB

                  1. re: RasBardhylis

                    Was at Basta Pasta for lunch today and spoke with The owner/chef. He and his
                    co workers are Albanian, but he doesn't cook any Albanian dishes. His food is more
                    South Mediteranian . Anyway, its a great place, great food and value and if nothing else, you could speak Albanian with them.

              2. I understand that the Classic Cafe in Arlington Heights is owned by an Albanian couple, and has a few items on the menu. They are only open for lunch and dinner. It's a small, homey place. Call them for more info--it's on Mass. Ave., just a few doors down from Penzey's Spices.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lgalen

                  I am positive Classic Cafe is open for breakfast - it is usually packed on the weekends with good and large servings of basic eggs, etc. - they are also open for lunch, but I don't believe they serve dinner at all.

                2. Are there any other Albanian restaurants in the Boston and/or Worcester area that have popped up since this thread started, other than Vlora?

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: SaraASR

                    There's a place called Alba in Quincy near the RMV.

                    1. re: joebloe

                      Alba isn't Armenian, though.

                      Isn't Vlora supposed to be Armenian?

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        Changing ethnicities?

                        1. re: Taralli

                          Maybe. I hadn't been to it's former iteration.

                          It's present iteration is a nice place but not at all Albanian.

                          http://www.alba1486.com/menu/dinner

                        2. re: C. Hamster

                          Vlora is Albanian influenced, the owner is from Albania. And I believe Vlora is the name of the town in Albania he is from.

                          1. re: SaraASR

                            It’s a little disappointing that now there are plenty of Albanian restaurant owners, but no one has the guts to serve Albanian food. I guess they don’t have the confidence to work an Albanian dish so it’s presentable to their restaurant level, since our food is pretty much home cooking style. I’m a young upcoming chef that loves my Albanian food, and I know that a lot of Albanians think that we don’t have a lot of different food, but we actually do. I am looking to open my own place soon. I promise to all you Albanian food lovers that I will have Albanian specials all the time, I’m already working to perfect a few of them. VFLP

                            1. re: AlboChef

                              I'm just curious, but what would be an example of a "classic" Albanian dish? How does the cuisine differ from the other Mediterranean cuisines like Greek or Italian?

                              I wish you the best of luck. If you open a place where the prices are affordable I will be in line to check it out :)

                              1. re: mwk

                                As we all know the Ottoman Empire ruled the Balkan for about 500 years. So you can safely say the food of that area (Greek, Albanian, Turkish, Macedonian, Former Yugoslavia ...etc) is very similar because is heavily influenced from the Turkish cuisine. I can name so many dishes that we have in common, but the names might change. I think the biggest difference would be the variety of ingredients from each region of each country. One of my favorite Albanian dishes is (Tave kosi me mish qengji)= baked rice , yogurt and lamb. Thanks

                    2. I know your not close but Alba in Quincy, Alba deriving from Albania. The owner is from Albania and th President or his equal dined there last year. Check it out, great food, great prices and great atmosphere.