Pljeskavica Sandwich Anyone?

Pljeskavica Burger SandwichPljeskavica (pronounced PLYESS-ka-vee-tsa) is a very popular burger-like food item in Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia and has recently gained popularity in Germany and Austria.  In addition, it has become popular in Queens, New York and Chicago, Illinois where many Bosnians, Croatians, Serbs and Montenegrins are residing after the break-up of Yugoslavia.  (Talking politics is kept to a minimum in these neighborhoods.)

(To win a prize, please quickly recite the above paragraph five times aloud.)

The name of this sandwich comes from pljesak, a regional word for clapping hands (i.e., the motion the hands make when shaping a burger).

A Pljeskavica Sandwich consists of a meat patty typically made with various combinations of beef, lamb, veal or pork (all parts of the animals are fair game), with onions and spices and served on a thick, spongy pita-style bread called lepinja.  The burger is cooked to a smokey brown and can be stuffed with ham and cheese or mushrooms and mozzarella.

The passion for Pljeskavica runs highest in Leskovac, a Serbian city.  Every September, the town has a grilling festival and the high point is an attempt to set a world record for the largest Pljeskavica.

Sadly, we at Big Fat Sandwich have yet to experience a Pljeskavica Sandwich.  We look forward to visiting Old Bridge Restaurant (Stari Most in their native language) in Astoria, Queens where we have heard they offer a delicious version of this sandwich as well as many other traditional Bosnian dishes.

In the meantime, we found a couple of recipes online for Pljeskavica sandwiches that we’ll be trying at home:

About.Com Serbian Pljeskavica Hamburgers Recipe

New York Times Dining Balkan Burgers (Pljeskavica)

Comments (3)

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  1. Andreas Kurz says:

    Last summer my girlfriend (Austrian/Serbian) took me to various Pljeskavica stands in Belgrade. I instantly loved it. You choose between a “large” or a “small” one. “Large” means an extra meat. And you have the choice between several sauces (6 or so) and various vegetables (cabbage, green salad, tomato, sauerkraut, cucumber, onions, [...] etc.) The price was quite low for us as Austrian students.

    I think the photo you put up here doesn’t depict Pljeskavica very well, because the vegetables and sauces are missing. (Looks just like meat and butter to me :)

    I totally recommend it to any sandwich-enthusiast! Hopefully you find some great Pljeskavica in America to write about. I would like to read about it again. Your Homepage is awesome!


    PS: My girlfriends always orders “all sauces” into one Pljeskavica. Then the “cooks” eye hear suspiciously and don’t quite know where to put that much sauce, but somehow they manage it and it tastes magnifique! ;)

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for the comment, I will find a better picture to post (I didn’t like this picture much either). :)

    Best regards,

    Dana Betz

  3. leon krystek says:


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