wood-fired mushroom pide at balkan treat box in webster groves photo by meera nagarajan

First Look: Balkan Treat Box in Webster Groves

The wood-fired oven is roaring at Balkan Treat Box in Webster Groves. Co-owners Loryn and Edo Nalic will open the brick-and-mortar location of their popular food truck Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 8103 Big Bend Blvd., the former home of Stratton’s Cafe.

Balkan Treat Box launched in late 2016, showcasing the cuisine of the Balkan Peninsula. The wood-fired fare quickly became popular in the local food truck scene, and in August 2018, the Nalics announced they would expand their operation and open a brick-and-mortar location in their hometown.

The heart of the 1,825-square-foot space is a copper-plated, wood-burning oven. Just as she does on the food truck, chef Loryn Nalic uses the oven to bake somun, the pita-like bread that serves as the base for many dishes. Unlike the food truck, Nalic now has a lot more elbow room to maneuver. “I feel like a queen right now,” she said.

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The tight menu features food truck fan favorites like cevapi, a grilled beef sausage sandwich and pide, a wood-fired flatbread. Nalic also added new items, many of which she has featured on the truck as specials, like the lahmacun, a wood-fired, rolled Turkish flatbread, and the pljeskavica, a grilled “Balkan burger” served inside a split wood-fired somun. Many dishes can be made vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free upon request.

The counter-service eatery seats 50 at a series of two- and four-top tables, as well as a long community table designed by David Stine Woodworking. A liquor license is in the works, and, until then, Nalic encouraged customers to BYOB.

Food truck fans shouldn’t worry; Nalic said once the brick-and-mortar is up and running, the truck will hit the road for regular service in spring or summer.

Balkan Treat Box will be open for dine-in only service from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday or until food runs out. Here’s a first look at the popular food truck’s new home. 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.