We already had a very full day when we arrived in Lovech, a city in central Bulgaria, to have dinner at Restaurant Dobrevski. Our friend Tedi had told us when we left Sofia that she had picked out a place for us to eat along the way – I had suggested that we bring food with us, but she told me there was no need to do that. So what sort of dinner did we have, what did we eat? I will get to that in just a bit, but let’s first backtrack just a touch.
Along our way, we encountered some of those mountains that cover the majority of the country.
Somewhere in the middle of our trip to Veliko Turnovo, Tedi’s hometown, we stopped at Restaurant Dobrevski (I didn’t check my watch so I don’t know how long it took to get there). What followed was a simple and hearty meal – you walk up to their grill, pick out what kind of meat you want, indicate whether you want a bowl of beans, and you’re all set (there are also condiments to pick from, but I skipped that part, satisfied with my meat and beans).
Once we collected and paid for our food, we moved, cafeteria-style, to a large dining room to eat our dinner. On the table was a soft of manifesto of the “Dobrevski Complex” that stated the following:
“Here you will find natural, healthy, traditional and ecologically pure food for every taste.
The meat, milk, eggs, dairy products, honey and seasonal vegetables that we use are produced in [our] own farms and private holdings in an environmentally friendly way.
The meat for the grill is only from Bulgarian animals: calves, buffalo calves, buffalos, pigs, lambs. They are raised at free grazing in the Balkan Mountains. The wild herbs, with which we marinade both whole and minced meats, are also gathered from there.
The bread that we offer is hand-kneaded, wood-fire baked and made for the day in our own bakery, from a traditional Bulgarian recipe.”
In addition to eating in the restaurant, we made a stop in Dobrevski’s butcher, to pick up some meat for meals during our time at Tedi’s home in the country (more on that in a second).
I know we picked out some salami to include in a lunch or two – I don’t remember what other meat we bought.
A while later, we arrived at Tedi’s country home, which is in Veliko Turnovo province, but it is specifically in the village of Vetrintsi, about 17 kilometers from downtown Veliko Turnovo.
With a large yard alongside the house, Tedi has plenty of room for a sizeable garden, in which she grows flowers and vegetables for her table – tomatoes, cucumbers and other goodies.
The house is small but very cozy – we stayed in one of the bedrooms upstairs, and spent a good deal of our time downstairs in the common room, which includes the kitchen and a fireplace with a mantelpiece filled with family photos and such.
I put the goodies we purchased at Rawlly – vegan chocolate pie and vegan cheese – in the refrigerator. We would stay in Tedi’s house for the next few days, while we visited Veliko Turnovo and took some day trips in the area. Except for the brutal heat, which if anything was even hotter than it had been during our days in Sofia, we were very comfortable and enjoyed our days in Tedi’s lovely country house.