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Restaurant Vikend - culinary heart of Aljmaš

The bells of the Church of Our Lady of Refuge remind every guest of Restaurant Vikend that they are right next to one of the most famous Croatian Marian shrines. This holy place is really old, its roots go back to the 17th century, but the restaurant itself is a work that has lasted longer than many popular restaurants in our country. We talk to two generations of the Petrijevčanin family and discover the gifts of work and dedication of Mr. Slavko and his daughters Anita and Nada since 1966.

Our host Slavko joins us after the usual šljivovica plum brandy to welcome us, at dusk. He is eighty-one years old, but still works in the fields. We wonder what he does for a living, secretly wishing that we too could be as hard-working and eager to work as Slavko: "I feed bulls and pigs, I farm on my 60-70 acres. I plant oilseeds, wheat, malting barley, corn... The children took over the restaurant. Never on a vacation, Sunday or holy day!" We ask him how many bulls he has. Not much, says Slavko modestly, only twelve. Apparently little for Slavonia, but for the coastal parts of Croatia, a fortune from fairy tales.

But where does the name Vikend come from, we ask. "Vacation houses existed all around Aljmaš and towards the confluence of the Drava and the Danube. That's why I named it Weekend. The first catering shop was called "Zdravljak", where food and drinks were served, along with a small shop", reveals Slavko, while his daughter Anita brings us fried perch for our dinner, along with a rich salad.

Perch is one of the most famous and best quality freshwater fish, the inspiration of generations of culinary skills of people who lived next to big rivers. The art of preparing perch is countless, and it was offered both on the tables of the nobility and on the tables of the poor. This is especially the case in the Danube countries, and our visit to Aljmaš just confirmed what is often forgotten - Croatia is one of those Danube areas where gastronomy connects sometimes completely different languages and traditions.

Perch is called river wolf. It is a predatory fish that likes clear waters that are not too fast. On the rocky bottom of the Danube, it feeds on small fish because nature prevented it from having a large esophagus. It is very likely that the perch on your plate will be three or more years old because it grows slowly. At Vikend, Anita prepared for us the juiciest perch that we tasted during our three-day gastronomic adventure. The wonderful white meat with a firm texture delighted our palates, while we learned that this restaurant offers various local specialties based on the professional experience of Slavko.

He worked for five years in a catering school as a teaching assistant, and in the former flagship of the local industry "Sloboda" he was a plant manager. He built everything with his own hands, Slavko tells us, except for the walls. On them there are pictures of past times, memories and features that express the feelings of Aljmaš.

Restoran Vikend

Aljmaš

+385 98 250 076

Photos: Restoran Aljmaš i Taste of Adriatic


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