WHEN GRANDFATHER DREAMS…
With all due respect to modern culinary trends, national cuisines, and fusions on the plate, the gastronomical proselytes such as myself, raised on Dalmatian food, always prefer to go back to the places that taste like home. Each discussion on where we should go eat ends with the same sentence: “Let’s go to Didov san (“Grandfather’s Dream”). It’s one of those places that you’d prefer to keep for yourself, but there are few who haven’t heard of Didov san and it has definitely earned its place on our portal. There are two locations of Didov san in Zagreb – one in Kajzerica and the other in Upper Town, in Mletačka Street. The tavern in Kajzerica is different only in size, but we prefer the one in Upper Town because of its intimate atmosphere.
This typical tavern of the Dalmatian hinterland gained prominence in the Zagreb gastronomical scene because it offers specific traditional meals, combining Bosnian-Herzegovian and Mediterranean cuisine. What makes Didov san special is not only the food and drinks but the entire atmosphere, which makes you feel as if someone close to you invited you for lunch, and not as if you’re one of the guests at a restaurant.
The rustic interior contributes to the warm, homely atmosphere, teleporting you to older, more relaxed times, with the staff as the finishing touch. It’s important to note that this feeling did not evolve through time – it’s the reason we’ve kept coming back from our first visit.
Appetizers to note are salty donuts with cream or sack cheese and cheese from the tub, soparnik (Swiss chard pie), prosciutto, baked sausage, bacon, Pag cheese with sage, and snails. We usually stuff our faces with these platters, and we often order marrow-stem kale with them.
Eel and frog brodetto is one of their most prominent specialties, but I prefer the combinations of meat and veggies in Grandfather’s and Grandmother’s Pot. We also recommend octopus or veal under the bell, but those you have to order in advance.
When it comes to drinks, the wine list typically abounds in quality Croatian wines, but you won’t go wrong with their home-made Vranac or Kujundžuša. As far as deserts go, we like the traditional Imotski cake the best, which they prepare by a very old recipe, and rožata, custard pudding. If you’ll even have any room left for dessert, of course.
Photo: Didov san
Translation: Nevena Erak