When Rodney Bowers (from Hey Meatball!) first opened Hrvati Bar back in September, I was very eager to try it out. But its limited food menu always stopped me. It seems like Hravati Bar has since expanded their menu so Mike and I dropped by for some food and drinks one Friday evening.
This Croatian bar is located in Koreatown – on Euclid just off of Bloor. The space is a lot smaller than I had expected with a long picnic table for communal dining taking up the length of the space. There’s also some bar seating as well as a few two-tops.
It was busy when we arrived at 8 and since the place was packed it was quite hot inside. I sure hope they have AC as I imagine it’s not very pleasant there in the heat.
To cool off, take your pick from their beer selection, featuring many European options as well as a variety of North American options.
The one thing we knew we were going to order was their famous Hamburger (Pljeskavica) – a juicy Croation style hamburger; 7 ounces of prime Ontario beef (ground daily and hormone-free) ($14). With two patties and filled with smoked mozzarella, caramelized onions and pickles served on the famous Croatian lepinje.
The patties were juicy and packed full of flavour creating a delicious, melty mess. Despite this, the chewy texture of the bread held up against the burger quite well. This burger certainly lived up to all the hype! You can’t leave here without trying this (trust me, it tastes a lot better than it looks). And you wouldn’t leave hungry either… it’s a big burger!
The burger came with a side of Yukon gold fries which were of the thin variety. The fries were ridiculously addictive especially, when paired with their delicious aioli.
The second dish we ordered was the Sausage Platter (Cevapi) – The unofficial national Croatian dish; traditional sausages with sweet pickled onions, kajmak and ajvar ($14). The platter came with five breakfast-sized sausages. Unlike the sausages we’re accustomed to, these didn’t come with a casing and were more like meat kebabs made from ground meat.
We found them to be quite tasty, particularly when eaten with the kammak (aka sour cream) and ajvar (roasted red peppers). However, the real star of the meal was the burger.
The platter also came with slices lepinje and fries. It was supposed to come with coleslaw as well but I think this was missed from our platter. Ah well, there was more than enough food for the two of us.
Since we underestimated the portions of the food (as usual), we also ordered a side of Potato Salad ($3.75). Other side options included red cabbage and coleslaw for the same price but the potato salad was the one thing that caught our eye. It’s a side dish I always crave in the summer.
The portion was quite substantial and had a nice sweet and tangy flavour to it. It was a really delicious potato salad but we really could have done without it since we had way too much food.
Overall, I thought Hrvati Bar was a great spot. Sure, it’s not the most comfortable spot if you’re looking for a quiet, intimate dinner but it’s perfect for grabbing a drink and a bite to eat. Just don’t leave here without ordering their burger. It’s worth the hype!
At a glance:
• Located in the heart of the Bloor Koreatown
• Small space, mostly communal seating
• Great selection of beer
• Must order: the hamburger
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars