As Jillian would say, this is the year of the doner. I have made it my mission to find the best doner in town because so far it has been my favorite food. There are several things I look for when looking for the best doner.
1. The bread – In Bosnia bread is a staple and when it is in front of you, a person can’t help but eat it because it is amazing. However I am not a huge bread person and I do not like it when the bread to toppings ratio is higher on the bread side. I have been looking all over for a doner with a skinny pita wrap but I have yet to find one. Often times, doners here come in a thick roll which I do not approve of. However I have found some in a skinnier round pita which suits me just fine and some places even offer the choice between a roll and a pita.
2. The meat – Doners can traditionally be found in chicken or lamb but sometimes a mix of beef with lamb or veal or just beef. The mean can definitely make or break a doner. The chicken is usually a safe bet but the lamb/beef can be either really good or really bad and you don’t know if a place is good until you try it.
3. The toppings – Doner places around Sarajevo put a generous amount of cabbage on their doners. Some places only put cabbage on their doners which is disappointing to me because I like a variety of toppings. I especially like tomatoes and cucumber because they are even better in Bosnia. However, even places that put tomato and other toppings only usually put one slice of each so I need to learn to ask for extra or find a place that puts extra toppings on them. Other toppings can include onions, a white sauce and chili pepper flakes.
4. Time – Usually when I am grabbing a doner it is to go which is convenient because there are few foods in Bosnia that you can take to-go and it definitely healthier than other fast food options. However, many places also have tables on patios where you can sit and enjoy the nice whether if you have time.
5. Cost – Doners can range in price from 2 km to 5 km (approximately $1.40 – $3.50) which is a very cheap meal by American standards. Also, you can generally get a small doner, fries, and coke for only 5 km.
As you can see, doners are my favorite foods because they are generally cheap, convenient, and tasty if you can find the right location. I have had ones with terrible mean, super big rolls, and tons of cabbage (which is not bad as long as there are other toppings along with it). So far, my favorite place is located just a street over from my internship and in the middle of the old part of town. It has all of the toppings, super conveniently located, great pita and meat, and it is only 2 km for a small doner. I think I am going to go there now for lunch!!