Wifey and I are big, big fans of Ziba's Pitas, a Bosnian foodcart in downtown Portland on 9th and Alder. Last week it was announced Ziba was retiring and had put the cart up for sale, which is sad for her fans all over the city (on the other hand, yay for retirement!).
She is continuing to work the cart until it sells and is even willing to teach someone all of her tricks and techniques if they want to make a go of following in her footsteps. (Believe me, I thought about it. Briefly. Then I saw the lunch rush.)
So what better way to say goodbye than by stuffing ourselves silly with Bosnian food?
We opted for two full plates, the first being the burek - meat filled pitas. It comes with a side salad of cucumbers and sour cream and generous helping of ajvar - a relish made from red bell peppers, eggplant, garlic, and chili pepper (it has a kick). The ajvar is the perfect complement to the wonderfully seasoned meat.
We opted for a side of ustipaks too, which are soft, fluffy puffs of bread. They also come with ajvar and a side of cottage cheese.
Our second main course was very similar to the burek, but it's called zeljanica. Instead of a meat filling, it's a mixture of spinach, eggs, cottage cheese and sour cream.
All of it, as usual, was fantastic. The pitas are fried to a nice crunch and when topped with the ajvar the flavors are just amazing.
Happy retirement Ziba, but you will be sorely missed. Hopefully someone takes her up on her offer to teach them her food, but these are big shoes to fill.