I finally decided to give Euro Delicacies a try and am pretty much smitten. I’ve been eyeing their stand at the Schenectady Greenmarket basically all summer, but never getting around to giving them a shot. My loss.
As nearly as I can tell from their less-than-amazing website, Euro Delicacies is a caterer. Sort of interesting that such a company would show up at the Greenmarket, but if they’re small (which I suspect they are), this is a pretty surefire way to keep some revenue coming in, solicit feedback, keep ingredients turning over, develop relationships with local producers, get their name out, etc. Wait, maybe this is a really great idea for a small caterer. Their Greenmarket blurb is basic enough:
Eastern European dishes including spanakopita, stuffed peppers and more. Ready-to-eat and made using local produce when in season.
So I finally caved, the thought of ‘Eastern European’ dishes was just too tempting. I finally dipped a toe in the water with a $3 burek a week or two ago. This is described on their site thusly:
-Burek- Ground seasoned sirloin stuffed in home made filo dough served with a home made cucumber based sauce.
I have to tell you, that’s not really doing this somewhat-unlovely-but-lovable log of yum any justice. It’s a small meal that’s spot on for $3. The stuffing is quality-tasting beef with a significant amount of seasoning, but not so much that it’s all that you taste. The best way I can describe it, if I may be so bold, is to take a 5- or 6-inch log, maybe an inch or so in diameter, of delicious meatloaf (minus the breadcrumbs that make it crumbly), and then wrap that in filo. My only complaint may be my fault – the filo is a tad tough to cut through. This is either the unavoidable result of sitting in chafing dishes or the fact that I took them home both times I had them and microwaved them later, which naturally does nothing good for filo. Didn’t stop me from nomming it down. One is not quite a meal. Two is a bit much. Get three and find a friend and split them.
The ‘cucumber based sauce’ is worth talking about on its own. I was expecting tzatziki or a near derivative. I’ve had tzatziki from at least a half-dozen decent places (and make my own), which includes at least 3 or 4 sincerely Greek restaurants, since I became really aware of what it is and what it’s supposed to be. This is outside that circle of understanding. To me it tastes like a mix of tzatziki and tartar sauce. I know, it doesn’t make sense. It’s way watery-er than any tzatziki I’ve ever had, which fits neither of the two I just compared it to. The cucumber appears to be shreds as opposed to a mince. Long story short, it’s good. I like it. It works with the beef. It softens the microwaved filo. As I think about it, I’m not sure a typical Greek tzatziki would work here. Or at least not quite as well. Use it or not, it’s a tasty dish.
The next thing I decided I had to try was one of their huge, packed to the gills, stuffed peppers.
-Stuffed Peppers-Seasoned ground beef with rice stuffed in a red pepper which is topped with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.
That doesn’t do it justice, either. I’ve never really had what you might call an A-1 stuffed pepper, just homemade, cobbled together stuff. Tasty, sure, but not gourmet. Until now. The mozzarella throws me a bit, I don’t think I’ve ever had a SP with that, but it’s fine here. It’s actually just a small coating that gets lost in the overall yum if you mix everything up. The meat is again absolutely delicious with spices that really sing – not an easy task for a basic ground beef. But it really raises the overall experience. The rice is interesting. It really blended in well with the meat, almost like it disappeared into a new form as it merged – a ricemeat sort of thing. But at the same time it retained some firmness, it’s not just smoosh. What can I say, it was fantastic. I feel like I’m overselling, but this was great. I think one of the things that first made me hesitate when I was checking them out was the price. $5 for a stuffed pepper? Seriously? Seriously. I just had one for lunch today (no adverse effects here from microwaving) and it’s a meal. This sucker was big, it was tasty, it was filling. The large red pepper wasn’t completely prime, I’m hoping to try one in the summer when they’re using local stuff, which I doubt this was, but it was good. Would I rather have this for $5 instead of a $5 sub? You betcha. Anytime.
So now I suspect we’ll be working our way through their other offerings – sweet potato salad, eggplant parm, spanikopita…
Sorry there are no pictures, maybe I’ll add them in the future. I guess I’m just someone that would rather be eating their lunch than photographing it. Picture tasty food. Eat up tasty food, Albany. Euro Delicacies is on that list.