When we’re on holiday, I often research restaurant options in advance using various forums and guidebooks, but there are times when we take potluck and hope for the best. Whilst staying in the Albanian town of “Berat”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/place/201853-review-berat, and having had a complimentary, but fast and formal “dinner”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/201609-review-rezidenca-desaret-restaurant at our hotel, “Rezidenca Desaret”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/201573-review-rezidenca-desaret, we did the latter.
The town has a wide pedestrianised area with the River Osumi on one side and bars and restaurants on the other. What attracted us to Te Albani was that it had two A boards outside, one for drinks and one for food, in both Albanian and English. Nobody was stood outside trying to entice you in, as some were, yet there were plenty of customers on the pavement tables, including what looked like locals.
Although it was a little chilly, we joined the throng at the outdoor tables with their rustic benches covered with brightly coloured cloths and cushions. The service was good, and Roy chose a large draft beer, whilst I had a sparkling water. We opted for a chicken Cesar salad to start and a moussaka to share, bearing in mind the volume of food we’d had the previous night and at breakfast. Both dishes came together and were just perfect. It was also a change to get a creamy dressing on the salad rather than the usual oil and vinegar. We finished with coffee and raki and at 1,420 Lek or £10.50, we both agreed it would take some beating. A group of five Albanian men were sat near us and a huge procession of food kept coming out. The kebabs and chips appeared to be a promising treat for our final night in Berat.
Once again, we walked the strip and although there were a couple of other options, they were larger and didn’t look as cosy as Te Albani. Following our long and winding road trip to the “Osumi Canyon”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/201914-review-osumi-canyon, I was still feeling a little queasy, so wanted something settling. What could be better than a large plate of chunky fries, automatically served with the tomato sauce bottle, bruschetta (four pieces of white bread with tasty chopped tomato and garlic), two meat kebabs, and a chicken shish kebab which was 5 pieces of chicken on a skewer. With two beers and a sparkling water, it was even cheaper than the first night. We also had wonderful entertainment. Earlier in the day, we’d noticed a distinctive Albanian guide, wearing the traditional felt hat, shepherding 12 middle-aged American ladies. This group arrived mid-way through our meal. They couldn’t decide where to sit in what was a relatively small restaurant, much to our amusement and that of the staff. Having caused chaos by joining two tables, they realised they still didn’t have enough room, so moved to small tables facing the front. Having got settled, three decided they were cold and disappeared off for coats. One, of the group obviously embarrassed at the trouble they’d caused, gave me a wry smile and mouthed ‘sorry’. Their ordering took forever, and the food was just starting to come out when we left. People watching at its best.