DINING: Out-of-the-way Pike eatery has European flair

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

Oddly parked in Park 100, A Taste of Europe (4320 W. 96th St., 334-8797) should, ideally, be in a densely packed neighborhood where parents shout to one another from open windows, folding chairs in front of stoops serve as home to philosophical discussions, and the essential ingredients for Old Country meals can be picked up from purveyors between the bus stop and home.

Forgive me the fantasy, but a taste of the sausages and brats from this out-of-place café can have that effect.

Those dining in should know that A Taste of Europe is pretty much a one-man operation. That one man, Lou Mladenovic, is a native of Yugoslavia who emigrated from France in 1973. He owns a catering business in Crown Point, but this is his first restaurant.

Taste of Europe Imported cheese and a range of sausages and meats are specialties at Taste of Europe. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

On our visit, Mladenovic was friendly and patient, giving us plenty of time to figure out the menu, which is scrawled near the cash register. He quickly dismissed my question about whether he had an online menu as if I had asked whether trolls made the food.

In another restaurant, I might have been annoyed. Here, it was part of the charm.

My mistake on first visit was allowing my guests to think like Americans. At the deli counter, surrounded by imported groceries and baked goods, they lacked a sense of continental adventure—and wound up disappointed. Neither the monster of a Pljeskavica mixed-meat hamburger nor the chicken hot dog ($7.99 and $3.99, respectively, with bland fries) came close to the American versions they are used to.

But the Grah-Psulj Bean Soup ($6.99)? Now we’re talking (with an accent). With a thickness just short of chowder, it featured a hodgepodge of chicken and beans that felt lovingly passed down through generations.  And the only thing disappointing about the grilled Chicago-style Polish sausage sandwich was that its bun cut back on the pure meaty goodness (we had already sampled a variety of deliciously encased meats when the proprietor offered us samples). Next time, a plate of simply grilled meats and maybe a dollop of imported mustard will do just fine. Taste of Europe’s lineup includes German brats, knockwurst, Irish sausage (made with corned beef), and skinless cevapi.

Closing out the meal with Taste’s variation on a Polish ambassador cake was another good move—its checkerboard vanilla and chocolate squares and none-too-sweet frosting are ideal to fork over coffee and conversation.•

—Lou Harry


Second in a month-long series of looks at new north-side restaurants. 


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. From the story: "The city of Indianapolis also will consider tax incentives and funding for infrastructure required for the project, according to IEDC." Why would the City need to consider additional tax incentives when Lowe's has already bought the land and reached an agreement with IEDC to bring the jobs? What that tells me is that the City has already pledged the incentives, unofficially, and they just haven't had time to push it through the MDC yet. Either way, subsidizing $10/hour jobs is going to do nothing toward furthering the Mayor's stated goal of attracting middle and upper-middle class residents to Marion County.

  2. Ron Spencer and the entire staff of Theater on the Square embraced IndyFringe when it came to Mass Ave in 2005. TOTS was not only a venue but Ron and his friends created, presented and appeared in shows which embraced the 'spirit of the fringe'. He's weathered all the storms and kept smiling ... bon voyage and thank you.

  3. Not sure how many sushi restaurants are enough, but there are three that I know of in various parts of downtown proper and all are pretty good.

  4. First off, it's "moron," not "moran." 2nd, YOU don't get to vote on someone else's rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the US Constitution. That's why this is not a state's rights issue...putting something like this to vote by, well, people like you who are quite clearly intellectually challenged isn't necessary since the 14th amendment has already decided the issue. Which is why Indiana's effort is a wasted one and a waste of money...and will be overturned just like this has in every other state.

  5. Rick, how does granting theright to marry to people choosing to marry same-sex partners harm the lives of those who choose not to? I cannot for the life of me see any harm to people who choose not to marry someone of the same sex. We understand your choice to take the parts of the bible literally in your life. That is fine but why force your religious beliefs on others? I'm hoping the judges do the right thing and declare the ban unconstitutional so all citizens of Wisconsin and Indiana have the same marriage rights and that those who chose someone of the same sex do not have less rights than others.