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Posts Tagged ‘Roanoke’

by Caitlin Saniga

Roanoke

Does this photo of Roanoke look familiar? I’m borrowing it from a post I wrote three and a half years ago, when I first moved to Roanoke.

I’ve been putting off this post for awhile now because, like the quote from “The Wonder Years” goes:

Change is never easy. You fight to hold on. You fight to let go.

I made a huge leap of faith a couple of months ago when I packed up what few belongings would fit in my car and drove away from Roanoke, eastward toward Providence, R.I. Flip ahead to the happy ending of this story, and you’ll find that I’m settling in nicely in this new city, in a new job and with my terrific boyfriend, Joel, by my side. I’ve traded in my familiar, beloved mountainous surroundings for a spot near the ocean in the smallest state in the country. Who knew my next adventure would be in New England? I certainly didn’t, but I’m so happy I’m here. There’s so much to explore and so many new things to experience.

But I can’t move on without first looking back and paying tribute to Roanoke, the place that shaped my foundation as an independent adult, as a food lover, as an outdoors enthusiast, etc. So here they are, my favorite hidden and understated charms of the Star City of the South, a place I’ll always consider home. Go ahead — poke around:

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by Caitlin Saniga

Cedars Lebanese Restaurant: meza selections

Cedars has a meza menu available on weekdays and for a limited window of time on Saturdays. Diners can choose 5 full-size appetizers from a list of 10 or 12 for about $18. When my mom and sister came to visit recently, we ordered (clockwise from bottom left): cheese sambousek, hummus bi tahini, falafel, fried beef kibbeh and fattoush.

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by Caitlin Saniga | photos by Joel Hawksley

Banh mi from Viet Sub in Roanoke, Va.

The banh mi from Viet Sub in Roanoke, Va., measure about 10 inches in length, and they’re brimming with fresh-tasting ingredients. If you’ve never tried banh mi before, I recommend bringing a friend and splitting the three sandwiches so you can try all of the variations.

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by Caitlin Saniga

The Regency Room's peanut soup is a Roanoke gourmet classic.

The Regency Room’s peanut soup is a Roanoke gourmet classic. While most of the restaurant’s menu changes with the seasons, the peanut soup remains on the menu year-round.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Any time company comes to visit, I try to squeeze in a trip to Euro Bakery for some fresh, hot burek. It’s impressive to watch baker Bari Sinani prepare the pastries, and the burek, like this pepperoni and mozzarella version, is to die for. Heck, I don’t need visitors for an excuse to stop by Euro Bakery. I go somewhat regularly for lunch or on Saturdays during my trip to the Roanoke farmers market, which is across the street.

Bari and Elizabeta Sinani own and operate Euro Bakery in Roanoke. On most days, you can spot their young son curled up in the back of the kitchen, watching TV from a folding chair. Bari, who was born in Macedonia, owned a bakery in Serbia. In 2000, he and Elizabeta, of Bosnia, moved to Roanoke. The couple opened the original Euro Bakery in 2010. You can read more about the Sinanis and their business in this Roanoke Times article from 2010.

I visited: Euro Bakery, a vendor inside the City Market Building in downtown Roanoke, Va., that specializes in Middle-European baked goods. Most notable is the selection of burek, rolled pastries made from fresh-tossed phyllo dough and filled with an assortment of goodies, including beef and onion, spinach and cheese, and my new favorite: pepperoni and mozzarella. Also available is a selection of baked goods such as braided breads, pretzels, crescent rolls, dark chocolate-filled rolls, baklava and tiramisu.

Elizabeta uses a rocking knife to cut burek into bite-size pieces.

I tried: This time, I had the pepperoni and mozzarella burek with marinara dipping sauce. But I’ve also tried and have been a fan of just about every type of burek they serve, including many of the specials.

Why it stood out: Bari Sinani, owner and baker at Euro Bakery, makes his own phyllo dough. Each pastry starts out as a small disc of dough that he works into a fine sheet by pressing out onto a flat surface with buttered hands and then lifting and tossing in the air. It’s an eye-catching spectacle. He says many people who prepare and sell burek, even in Turkey where it originates, use frozen dough. His burek is special because everything is fresh and it’s always served hot from the oven, so it’s totally crispy and flaky.

Bari tosses some fresh phyllo dough before rolling it full of beef and onions.

It cost: $5.50

Find out more:
Euro Bakery
32 Market Sqaure S.E.
Roanoke, VA 24011
540-344-0460
Euro Bakery on Facebook

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried. Help our map grow by submitting your own review. Find out how!

Euro Bakery on Urbanspoon

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by Caitlin Saniga

I've never actually tried this salad from Hotel Roanoke, but I've had a few other dishes there. Everything I've had there (pork chop with mango chutney, steamed chard and sweet potato cheese casserole... not to mention the Sunday brunch buffet) has been pretty delicious. So when my coworker Jerry suggested this salad, I knew I'd have to try it.

I've never tried this salad from Hotel Roanoke, but I've had a few other dishes there. Everything I've had (the pork chop with mango chutney, steamed chard and sweet potato cheese casserole ... not to mention the Sunday brunch buffet) has been pretty delicious. So when my coworker Jerry suggested this salad to me (and actually hand-wrote the recipe for me), I knew I had to try it.

  • 2 roasted chicken breast halves, cut into small pieces
  • 3 ounces mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 10-12 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 ounces gouda, fontina, or other soft, mild, white cheese (I used feta), cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup champagne dressing (I used Marzetti’s.)

My cilantro is bursting out of its planter. Good thing this recipe calls for tons.

Toss all ingredients together in a medium bowl, and split the salad mixture between two smaller bowls.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe adapted from: A recipe my friend Jerry gave to me that was passed along to him by The Roanoke Times’ food editor, Lindsey Nair, who, he said, got it from the Hotel Roanoke. (This was the second recipe recommendation from Jerry that I’ve tried. He’s 2 for 2.)

Photos: Caitlin Saniga

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Read more about Caitlin’s move to Roanoke.

See a map of Caitlin’s and Sarah’s postcards to each other.

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