Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Nella’s Coffee & Grill


Amber Bouthot

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 26, 2017

Heads Up! This article is 5 years old.

In late 2016, a new restaurant opened in Coliseum Plaza, which houses Jungle George’s and a handful of other small businesses, on Parnell Avenue. Nella’s Coffee & Grill is a Bosnian restaurant with a small but tasty menu.

Bosnia is located in southeastern Europe and bordered by Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. Its cuisine is influenced by the former Yugloslavia and other Middle Eastern countries. Several years ago, I traveled to Greece, and many of the items on Nella’s menu remind me of dishes I enjoyed there: savory and comforting, with special attention paid to the seasonings and sauces.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I visited Nella’s with some friends a few weeks ago. With its typical strip mall facade, the restaurant is nothing special from the outside. If you weren’t looking for it, you might never notice it tucked into a small space next to Jungle George’s. Inside, the docor is dark and cozy, with a nice sized stage, dance floor, and bar.

According to the eateries’ Facebook page, it offers a lot musical entertainment in the evenings. We visited at lunchtime, and it was not busy. After reading this review, I hope you will give it a try so we can keep this restaurant open in our city. It is so important that we have diverse restaurant options. It adds to the qualify of life in our community and exposes us to different cultures.

Though the menu is small, I was overwhelmed by the options because I had never heard of most of them. We asked our server for recommendations, and he pointed to the three most popular items. We took his word for it and tried them.

Cevapi U Lepinji – $9.29 for a large (10 pieces) or $6.79 for a small (5 pieces): Ground beef flavored with authentic spices, rolled into sausages and grilled and served with pita bread, onions, kajmak (homemade sour cream) and avjar (red pepper relish). The full portion is large enough for sharing. While this dish appears plain (the sausages are tucked between two pitas with no condiments or other ingredients) it is packed with flavor. Each sausage is perfectly seasoned and grilled to a slight crisp, while staying juicy. The pita is soft and thick, making it just right for dipping into the delicious red pepper relish. I liked the relish so much, I put it on the spinach pie I ordered as well.

Zeljanica, $6.99: Spinach and feta prepared in braided phyllo dough. A very comforting item, this spinach pie reminds me of spanakopita, one of my favorite Greek dishes. The savory spinach and feta combination complements the fluffy and slightly sweet outer layer. The serving size is huge. We ordered it to share at our table and had plenty to take home for later.

Godevi Gulas, $8.99: Slow-simmered beef stew, served with choice of mashed potatoes, rice or pasta. I opted for mashed potatoes. Our server called it beef goulash, but it is not like any goulash I’ve ever had. This dish is comfort food at its best. The beef is tender and juicy, and the broth is savory and light. The flavors remind me of a classic shepherd’s pie. I recommend dipping some pita in the sauce so none goes to waste. The portion size was large and I shared mine with a friend.

Other favorites, according to our server, that I plan to try during my next visit include: Mijesano Meso ($15.95), a mixed meat platter featuring cevapi, grilled chicken, and steak, and served with pita and kajmak; and Kebabs ($8.99 for chicken and $9.99 for beef).

amber.recker@gmail.com

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