Cheap Eats 2009: Cosmopolitan Grill

Great food, low prices, lots of fun.

Why go: Ivan Svalina serves the only Bosnian cooking in the area. But novelty isn’t the best reason to pay his homey storefront a visit. Svalina portions as generously as a grandmother, and his cooking is as detailed as it is loving—from making his own breads and soups to marinating his burger in red-onion juice, a tenderizer. His wife supplies the cakes and pastries, and they’re the equal of a good European bakery’s.

What to get: Garlicky sausages called cevapcici flanked by hot rounds of house-made bread; Bosnia Burger, a large, thin grilled patty dolloped with sour cream; whole trout grilled and blitzed with garlic and lemon juice; krempita, a variation on a napoleon, with light pastry sandwiching a pana-cotta-like cream; Austrian-style chocolate cake flavored with orange zest and filled with a cream of chocolate and ground walnuts.

Best for: Anyone longing for good European ethnic cooking.

Insider tip: In some restaurants, “specials” often aren’t. Svalina takes the term seriously—his soups in particular are worth going off menu for.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.