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Balkan Grill — Top-Notch Bosnian Food at a Gary Truck Stop

Balkan Grill — Top-Notch Bosnian Food at a Gary Truck Stop
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  • Balkan Grill — Top-Notch Bosnian Food at a Gary Truck Stop

    Post #1 - January 2nd, 2018, 4:02 pm
    Post #1 - January 2nd, 2018, 4:02 pm Post #1 - January 2nd, 2018, 4:02 pm
    Balkan Grill, a unique Bosnian truck stop in Gary, deserves its own thread. Though its menu of mostly grilled meats doesn't list anything you can't find in Chicago – in fact it's shorter than most – freshness and execution set this tiny bare-bones restaurant apart. This is simple cooking done right.

    In July 2015, in the Northwest Indiana thread, Rene G wrote:Balkan Grill in Gary is on my shortlist of best places in Northwest Indiana. It's an interesting place, a true truck stop that caters to Eastern European long haul truckers wanting some home cooking. It's less than a half mile south from the Grant Street exit on I-80/94. The restaurant is refitted semi-trailer, set in a small grassy area between a large, busy truck stop and a fireworks store.

    Balkan Grill is really good. But don't take my word for it. In October 2017, Mike Sula wrote about it in the Reader's "Immigrants" issue. And now it leads off his list of best new restaurants of 2017.

    Mike Sula wrote:OK, it wasn’t new in 2017, but it was new to me: Balkan Grill Company, a semitrailer with a kitchen parked beside a Gary, Indiana, truck stop, cranks out some of the best Serbian food I’ve ever eaten, including the pljeskavica. … I heard back from more happy people to whom I recommended owner Momo Bogdanovich’s immigrant success story than from visitors anyplace else.

    I've been five or six times and it never disappoints. Here are a couple photos from my last visit a few months ago (the menu pic is from 2015).




    You can hardly go wrong with those smoky, spicy sausages or one of the flatmeats, like pljeskavica or one of its burger brethren such as ustipak. Terrific bread (lepinja), two cheeses (buttery kajmak and spicy urnebes), simple cabbage salad and diced onions come with all the meats. Don't overlook the muckalica – an assertively seasoned pork and capsicum stew, one of my favorites. You'll probably want extra lepinja for soaking up the delicious juices. I'd take a pass on the bean soup (ditto the veal soup, not pictured), not that there's anything wrong with it, but it's a bit bland and boring compared to the rest of the menu.

    Balkan Grill is worth a trip from Chicago, especially with Old Fashioned Donuts on the way (a mile west of I-94). It also makes an ideal quick stop when travelling east. You won't have to think about eating again until Pennsylvania.

    Balkan Grill
    3101 Grant St (just south of I-80/94 Exit 9)
    Gary IN
    Mon-Fri 10am-10pm