Updated: Feb 19, 2019
Only half an hour above the Adriatic Sea lies Žuta Lokva. From its earliest history, it was the intersection of important traffic routes from the interior to the sea, and archaeological sites from ancient times have been discovered here. Today it is an important intersection of the place where clay ground was full of “yellow” ponds, which gave the place its name. And right on this intersection, there is a restaurant Gacka dolina, with a lot of tourists and passers-by, who may be here for the first time to try the classic Lika specialities.
In a wooden style, with a cat that keeps the porch, the restaurant offers excellent weaknesses often found on the Lika table. We ate a Lika cold plate with Lika prosciutto, homemade smoked cheese, and a special addition of Lika’s Basa. This simple dish fascinates gastronomic travellers who return to those basic dishes of the past. Once, Lika was full of Buša, a modest and strong cow that was resistant to the unfavourable nature of this mountainous region. Its good quality milk was a staple for generations, and besides the škripavac, people made Basa from it. The Basa is done in various ways in various parts of Lika, and the best is - of course - the one done by grandmas! Even the real recipes of Basa are transferred from mouth to mouth, although it is known to be made of cow's milk and sour milk, with salt and cream or yoghurt in more modern versions.
But this is not the only reason for coming to Gacka dolina. Many come here for a good barbecue, especially the "Gacka dolina" plate with pork cutlets, sausages, ćevapi, bacon, potatoes and vegetable-and-rice stew. The real delicacies are menus full of Lika specialities, ideal for group visits. Each begins with a glass of Šljivovica, a natural aperitif that opens appetite for soup, lamb, potato, trout or roast meat. In the end, as usual in Lika County, there are apple or cheese biscuits, Lika fritters, or jam pancakes on the table.
Kind staff roams at the speed of light around the large terrace that keeps guests from the summer heat, and then it is best to drink a bottle of domestic Lika beer, either Velebitsko or Kasačko, before venturing off until the next meeting!