Best New Restaurants: No. 4 – Balkan Treat Box

Food trucks are restaurants. But there’s no sleek space, no cutting-edge decor – the food is the only attraction to draw diners in. Since Balkan Treat Box hit the road late last year, owners Loryn Feliciano-Nalic and her husband, Edo Nalic, have cultivated a dedicated following. The truck focuses on the cuisine of the Balkan States, and fans flock for a taste.

Feliciano-Nalic, who has an extensive background in pastry, explored the food of the Balkans while visiting her in-laws in Bosnia.

“I realized there was a lot of pastry in that food in general, even on the savory side, so it kind of spoke to me,” she said.

Many of the truck’s rotating offerings are built on a base of somun, a Balkan bread similar to a pita, and pide, a Turkish flatbread. Feliciano-Nalic makes her bread fresh daily in a wood-fired oven at the back of the truck. It’s the attention to detail that elevates Balkan Treat Box well above the norm. No thaw-and-go bread here.

The condiments offered are subtle, meant to compliment but not overwhelm, like ajvar, a roasted red pepper spread; kajmak, a tangy cream cheese; and shredded purple cabbage for textural contrast.

While the names of the dishes might seem foreign to some, the flavors and ingredients are ultimately familiar and comforting – peppery house-made sausage, chicken, onion, cheese and those fragrant, fresh breads. It’s just like being in Grandma’s kitchen, if Granny drove a truck.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.