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Jan 19, 2013 01:45 PM

Kalaja Burek Restaurant, Sterling Hts [DTW]

Tried the new burek joint on Dequindre (33874) just north of Trizest and Parrot Cove. I did takeout (always a disclaimer) on a spinach burek with yogurt, qebape (finger sausages) and pleskavica (patty sausages). This is a sparkling bright joint, with decent prices and great people.

The meats were nicely flavored (granted, I don’t know how they should taste or even be pronounced), but they lacked tenderness seemingly because they had been mixed like crazy in a Kitchen Aid. Once they were cooked, the meat proteins tightly vulcanized into their new shapes. Accompaniments simply are angel hair cabbage dressed in vinaigrette, a little chunk of goat cheese and a bland roasted pepper; not with the advertised bread. I VERY HAPPILY ate everything, and it was diet friendly.

I killed the diet aspect, though, by wolfing down a hot’n’fresh spinach burek—gorgeous pastry, with a moist and fabulously seasoned spinach filling. Try it. I would only say that it should come with a little side of yogurt. Without that, I had to purchase big cup, and much of that yummy yogurt had to go to waste. Plus, it increased my burek cost by almost 50%. The yogurt is fermented from a house culture, so that is kinda nice.

The husband cooks and the young wife runs the front end. She is a hoot, and has had a little time to adapt her Albanian schtick to American sensibilities by running a tiny burek shop in NYC before coming here (she wasn’t in NYC long enough to learn English spelling, however!). To give you a flavor of it, once my order was put in she yelled to her husband, “And hurry up!, this guy looks HUNGRY.” Then she mumbled, “Easy for me to say, my only job is (quickly motioning with her hand) sprinkling cabbage in your container.” Getting in on the fun, I said, “Don’t sell that short—you had to put on gloves… and then get them back off… right? (wink)” She responded, “I use tongs actually; we’re absolutely ‘anal’ about being sanitary (wink back).”

Anyway, if somebody tries the stuffed cabbages, let me know if they’re any good. I at least will be back for burek, either way. Not sure of the hours, given that it is just a husband/wife run place, but you can check at 586-883-6104.

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  1. Great call as always. The wife server is worth eating in for the show. The burek is the overstuffed pizza style and very filling for $3. I learned that most people drink the yogurt (which I thought was a sauce) and therefore the 1 cup serving style. I also took home a quebapi and wished I had had it there since the bread was so good. Going back for the spinach pie and the cabbage so stay tuned. Waiting for boagman's take.

    6 Replies
    1. re: goatgolfer

      Ooooops. That big cup of homemade yogurt was for drinking, not dipping?
      Thanks, my bad! :-)

      1. re: goatgolfer

        Hmm. Well, I honestly haven't been over that way recently (at least, not while hungry), but I probably will soon. I admit that a lot of the food that VTB has talked about doesn't exactly thrill my taste buds (remember: cultured dairy products and I are *not* exactly on friendly terms, usually), but nonetheless I'll have to see what the place is all about.

        Might not be this week (I leave for Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday for 8 days of fun in the sun/getting me the *heck* out of sub-freezing temperatures), but soon when I get back.

        1. re: boagman

          > Fort Lauderdale ... 8 days ... fun ... sun ...

          A tad olde for doing spring break, eh? <g>

          I fond memory of a few good meals at:

          1. re: rainsux

            I'll be in FLL as well at the end of Feb. Got any more recommendations. Someplace for a Cuban and a Cuban coffee maybe.
            Some shack on the beach with cold mass produced american beer? Lol

            1. re: rainsux

              While I didn't go to the place you suggested (didn't really want Italian while I was down there), I do have two easy recommendations for you if you get back down that way: Sybarite Pig in Boca Raton and SEA in Fort Lauderdale. Both were superior, and very different from each other.

              I'll share more later, but wanted to thank you for your suggestion.

              So...slider crawl?

              1. re: boagman

                Thanks for getting back to me - I wil lcheck those places out!
                I'm in for slider crawl if it fits my schedule.
                I had to cancel the root wild game outing because work sent me to Minnesota - instead of rootfest, it was -27F in Minn small town that had a grand total of 5 restaurants to choose from

        2. Stopped by after an appointment at the vet to pick up some lunch. The qebapi and other sausage dish would have taken 10 minutes and I didn't want to leave the dog in the car that long, so I settled on a slice of cheese and a slice of meat burek, with some "gojurt". Got them home and was mighty impressed -- both were really tasty in their own way. The yogurt was used 1/2 on the bureks and half as a drink, and it tastes just like Olga's sauce used to taste before their downhill slide of food quality.

          I'll be back there for some of the other dishes when I have more time and no excited Lab in the car. I'm a little confused as to why they have Italian food on the menu, but I guess it gives them some variety.