The best local dive in Ukraine

Cafe Zupynka Holy Moley! This famous restaurant is found in Western Ukraine’s roadside village of Ozerna. Every trucker knows it. It’s buffet style and, as one would expect, contactly packed. It’s also some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. I’m told the restaurant is owned by a farmer. The food goes straight from field to your plate. Fantastic!

The portions are huge.

I had borshch and salo (pig fat). That’s right. Salo. For my American friends: imagine the white fat on the edge of your bacon. Now imagine it without the bacon. By itself. Cold. With piece of raw garlic beside it, and a sprinkle of paprika.

I’ve tried salo many times. Usually . . . meh. But on two occasions, including today’s . . . Wow. My paleo digestive system is still tingling, six hours later. I feel like a machine that’s finally been oiled. I can’t stop imagining the delicious taste, the texture. I’m going to dream about that salo.

I want to go back there to have it again, though I’ll also be tempted by the stakes and cutlets, fresh salads and plates overflowing with homemade pastries.

This is the type of food that makes you happy to be alive!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. The cost of my meal, plus that of my friend’s: about $3.50.


In celebration of salo: