I had the pleasure of meeting Emir, father of two children and owner of Balkan, located at 8905 Patterson Ave, Henrico, VA 23229 in the Maybeury South Shopping Center. His venture in the restaurant business began in 2000 when he escaped Bosnia during the war. Starting a new life in U.S with no family or foundation here, he began working at Pasta Luna as a waiter, then manager and continued to move up in the restaurant. Eventually, he went to work for the U.S Food Service as a salesman followed by Disco Food Service. He worked there until 2009 and in August of 2010, made the decision to make his dream a reality and opened Balkan.
Working 10 years in the restaurant business really helped him learn everything he knows and gave him the confidence and experience to open his own restaurant. But this is not where his love for cooking began. He grew up learning to love food through his grandmother and father. He developed a palate for authentic European food at a young age and strives to bring this in all of his dishes. All of the food at the restaurant is family inspired recipes and his passion for cooking transpires though the food he makes. Emir aims to create an authentic atmosphere as well as food so that he can share with others his culture and background. His loyal customers rave that the restaurant makes them feel “at home.”
Emir takes pride in that all of the dishes are made in house, with freshness being of top priority. The food preparation is time consuming, with many dishes taking several hours to cook, but it makes it worth it to see the smiling faces on customers each day. Aside from the restaurant, Balkan also has a food truck service that runs Monday through Thursday during lunch hours and appears at local breweries throughout the week. They also offer catering for special events. Emir is active in the community and is passionate about giving back; he donates his time and services to local churches and communities throughout the year.
We ended with a couple of small samples from the dessert menu. The Bosnian Baklava rolls, which consisted of crushed walnuts and raisins rolled inside fill dough, were so well balanced. Sweet, but not too sweet, with the walnuts adding a nice texture and flavor. And last, the baked apple rolls. This dessert is one of the most famous treats in the Bosnian tradition and is perfect for those who love fruity desserts. Overall, the food is pleasant, the prices are very reasonable and the owner and staff are super friendly! Below you find more information on Balkan.
Monday - closed
Open for lunch
Tuesday - Friday 11:00 am to 2:30 pm
Tuesday - Thursday 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Friday 5:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Saturday 11:00 am to 9:30 pm
Sunday 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
*Please note: They NO longer sell alcohol at the Balkan Restaurant. However, BYOB WINE is available.**
Learn more about Balkan and view their full menu here: http://balkanrichmond.com/