Veslo Family Restaurant
100 Arnold Street
In her opinion:
One of my followers on Twitter (@SweetEnLow90210) suggested a couple of places that we had not blogged about in the Kitchener Waterloo Region recently. Veslo Family Restaurant was one of them and I kept that hint in the back of my mind.
I checked their website out when the suggestion came my way and liked what I saw. I have to admit that I have never tried Serbian food before aside from delicious Serbian cookies that a client once gave me and I was excited to try Eastern European cuisine.
So when the question came of where should we go for dinner...I suggested Veslo and I'm really glad I did. It is located off Lancaster Street in Kitchener. The outside of the restaurant is nothing to look at and once you go inside...it feels welcoming and homey.
Having studied the menu before this visit, I knew what I wanted to order. I wanted their "Mixed Grill Combo Platter". It's not described on their menu, but I think I know what was on the platter...grilled steak, Vienna Schnitzel, Karadjordjeva Schnitzel (a rolled schnitzel with homemade cheese inside), sausage, Serbian minced steak and cevapi. There was coleslaw, home fries and beans.
We decided that we would order the large platter since we were going to share it. This platter could easily feed four people. Needless to say we had lots of leftovers to bring home. This platter was outstanding. It was well worth the price. The meats were all delicious. The sausage reminded me of Portuguese linguica. All the meats were flavourful and grilled to perfection. The coleslaw was the vinegary type. The home fries were rustic. But the piece de resistance were the beans. They were large butter beans in a flavourful tomato and onion sauce. They were delectable reminding me of Portugese baked beans. This was comfort food at its best. I guess every culture has a similar dish.
We also ordered "Lepina with Cheese". This is simply described on the menu as "home-made bread with home-made cheese".
It was very good. The cheese (kajmak) was buttery and delicious. The lepina or lepinja or Serbian flat bread's taste reminded me of a Portuguese papo seco. It was excellent as well. Okay, I know I have made a lot of comparisons but like I said every culture has similarities and I definitely found a few between the Portuguese and the Serbian culture.
They were offering a box of dessert for $10. We bought one. It was filled with delicious little cookies and cakes. It was so so good. They were so amazing that I'm actually thinking of getting a couple of boxes to add to my own Christmas baking.
I really enjoyed Veslo Family Restaurant and would not hesitate to recommend this restaurant to anyone interested in absolutely delicious food.
In his opinion:
Eating at Veslo Family restaurant isn't very far from going over to your Serbian uncle's house, if you had a Serbian uncle that is. It is homemade style, comfort food with great taste and made and served with simplicity.
There are not a lot of Serbian restaurants around and I reckon that not everyone eating there was Serbian, so it only means that, this little hidden gem is both unique and a hit with everyone.
Arriving at Veslo is like pulling into someone's house because it really is a house just off of Lancaster Street in Kitchener. As you walk in, you will witness Bob the owner and his great hospitality and charm, welcoming you in. The decor is unique with a mix of Serbian artifacts and neighbourhood diner. They carry a decent choice of beverages, including Serbian beer and wine.
The menu is very Serbian oriented with a lot of choices. This being our first time in this restaurant, we opted for the "Grilled Mix Combo Platter" to share, as this would give us lots of choices to try. The platter portion was insanely big and could easily fed 4-5 people so we had to pace ourselves.
This platter consisted of Vienna schnitzel and karadjorjeva schnitzel which was delicious. There was also Serbian minced steak, sausage and cevapi. The side orders were coleslaw, bean and homemade fries. Only thing I wasn't too crazy about was the coleslaw but the rest was wonderful.
Everything is served as if it has just come out of a BBQ in the back, grilled, full of flavour and unpretentious. Special mention to the perfectly cooked beans, the fresh lightly battered schnitzel and the Karadjorjeva (rolled schnitzel with creamy steaming cheese inside). Needless to say we ended up having a lot of leftovers and made another meal of it, the following day.
We also ordered a side order of the Lepinja cheese bread. A soft, flaky bun filled with homemade cheese. Delicious and melting in your mouth as you bite into it. Again the bread size was big and just mounted to the already huge meal we were having.
We also decided to bring some desserts home, since it was impossible to ingest any more food. We purchased a box of homemade desserts (around a dozen), which consisted of an assortment of cookies and cakes.
The Good: Great homemade food, plentiful portions and wonderful hospitality.
The Bad: Not knowing about this place before is the only thing I can think of.
The Verdict: A breath of fresh air in a community of chain restaurants and "unauthentic food". Serbian food found a place in my heart and so did the wonderful "hosts" of the restaurant.
I give this restaurant 3 olives out of 5 as rated.