One of St. Louis’ most anticipated restaurants of the year opens its doors soon in Webster Groves. Balkan Treat Box – a well-loved St. Louis food truck that first rolled out in spring 2017 – debuts its first brick-and-mortar restaurant on Wed., Feb. 13, serving up street food inspired by the Balkan region from Bosnia to Turkey.
As reported by Feast, the concept comes chef-owner Loryn Nalic and her husband, Edo, and features mainstays such as spit-roasted and shaved-to-order chicken döner kebab, wood-fired somun bread and spicy ajvar (a roasted red-pepper relish) spooned over stuffed pide (a Turkish flatbread).
“Everything is made fresh here in our wood-burning oven and with a wood-assist grill,” Loryn says. “You can expect smoky flavors. It should smell like the streets of the Balkan area.”
“I really hope that people will appreciate the effort that goes into how we do things,” Edo adds. “It takes a little bit of time, but it’s worth it.”
The fast-casual restaurant fills the 1,825-square-foot space previously occupied by Stratton’s Cafe, with 50 seats and a clean and colorful interior design by the Nalics with help from friends and family. The jewel of the restaurant is its copper-gilded oven. A coinciding wooden wall mosaic by Tim Kent showcases the vibrant colors of the Balkan Treat Box logo, serving as an eye-catching accent in the dining area. Tables were crafted by David Stine Woodworking.
From the menu, guests can choose from popular signatures as well as a variety of new items such as pljeskavica, a grilled Balkan-style burger with cheese, kajmak, somun and a side of cabbage salad. Another addition is balik ekmek, grilled fish of the day in somun with lettuce, parsley, lemon, onion, sumac salad, tomato and BTB sauce with chips.
Patlidžan is a vegetarian option featuring wood-fired eggplant in somun with cheese, cabbage, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, pickles, marinated egg, herbs, kajmak and apricot-pomegranate molasses, with chips. For dessert, the menu features sutlija, a rice pudding with pistachio and rose. To drink, choose from canned drinks such as Coke products and San Pellegrino.
“Even though we created a following with the truck, we really hope that this will become a St. Louis staple,” Edo says.
“I think what we’re most excited about is to become part of the community,” Loryn says. “In the end, we want to become synonymous with St. Louis – the city where I grew up, where we fell in love.”
Balkan Treat Box will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 7pm or until sold out.
Balkan Treat Box, 8103 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, Missouri, 314.733.5700, balkantreatbox.com