One of the things Bulgaria is famous for is it’s cheap, yet delicious food. And even though there are plenty of restaurants in Borovets, some of our favorites are located in the neighboring city of Samokov. The cheaper prices of these restaurants more than make up for the money spent on a cab, while the quality of food is just as good, if not better. Reopened just in time for the 2017/18 winter, Park Bistritsa is a spacious restaurant located just at the entrance to Samokov when coming from Borovets and has quickley become a top destination for dinner.
Situated in a park environment, just off the main road to Borovets, Park Bistritsa offers a big selection of traditional foods, along with a few more exotic plates. The first thing you’ll notice when stepping inside is how big the restaurant actually is. With over 20 tables, many of which are for 6-8 people, you’re almost guaranteed to find a place, especially during the day. But we still suggest making a reservation if you’re planning on an evening visit during the high season, just in case. The furnishing is modern, almost as if from an IKEA catalog but goes well with the surroundings. The big windows let in plenty of natural sunlight and show a nice view of the park that surrounds the restaurant. The restaurant is especially suitable for bigger groups, such as birthday parties, bachelors parties or just a few families that want to sit at a single table. There is also a fake fireplace (for aesthetic purposes only) and a waiting room in the front of the establishment. If you’re coming by car, there are plenty of places to park.
Service in the restaurant is good and relatively fast when there aren’t many people, but we still haven’t had a chance to test this when the tables are full. When ordering, the first thing you’ll notice is that the menu has been horrifically translated into English. We wouldn’t be surprised if the menu was translated by someone who has no grasp of the English language while relying upon Google translate. This has lead to some great dishes having very misleading or downright confusing names in English. Our two favorite translations from the menu are for the veal tongue cooked in butter, which is written in the menu as “Language in butter” and the fried melted cheese with jam, which is written as “frozen melted cheese with jam”. Why they translated fried as frozen and if something can be frozen and melted at the same time is anyone’s guess, but the dish is still very tasty. So if you see something strange in the menu, just ask the waiter what it is, as most of the time it’ll be just a bad translation.
Once you overcome the language barrier and order your food, it’s just a short wait until it arrives. The food itself is very tasty and comes in decent portions. Apart from the standard menu choices, such as chicken soup, the kitchen also offers some rarer dishes for Bulgaria. One such dish I couldn’t overlook is the chicken marinated in honey and soy sauce, served with broccoli and mushrooms. Marinating meat in honey and soy sauce is a personal favorite and you can taste the honey flavor in Park Bistritsa’s version. It did take longer to prepare than the other dishes we ordered, but the wait was worth it. The french fries we were served also made a great impression, as they were made with the high-quality potatoes the region is famous for. Not like the fabricated fries in many other restaurants in Borovets.
Prices are cheaper than in Borovets, with a beer costing around 2-3 leva (depending on the size and brand), with the soups costing under 3 leva as well. Prices for most main dishes vary from 6 to 10 leva, but some more exotic meaty meals can go for up to 15 leva. The chicken marinated in honey and soy sauce cost just under 10 leva, while chicken covered in cornflakes is around 6.50 leva. A family of two adults and two children can expect to pay between 35 and 45 leva for food. Combined with a two-way taxi, the total cost of dinner for 4 will be most likely be cheaper than in Borovets for the same quality service.
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