It might be too early to say 2011 was a great year, but being invited into the kitchen of an Albanian mother and daughter cooking burek is a pretty good way to start. In between a small photo studio and halal meat shop on Lydig Avenue in the Bronxdale neighborhood (of the Bronx), Dukagjini is owned by an Albanian Kosovar but operated by two lovely Albanian women who obviously know all their customers and produce some fine burek.
Balkans double park their cars outside and run in for a slice. The walls and windows are covered with posters advertising various events going on in the community. There is a painting of the owner's restaurant (also called Dukagjini) in Kosovo. Everything just speaks of it being a hub for the area's Albanian residents.
On a recent visit, I finished my burek and espresso and got enough nerve to ask if I could take a photo of the women at the counter. This opened the floodgates of hospitality, the door swung open and I was allowed to step into the kitchen to meet mom and see the preparations of uncooked burek. Mom (above) was lovely, greased up to her elbows making the dough and happy to show off her creations. Her daughter (below) was equally proud and gave me a look into the oven full of all varieties available.
Before all this went down, I was able to enjoy a lovely meat slice (below), a cup of the freshest yogurt ($1.50) you will ever try, and a small espresso ($2). The menu is limited to these three things, although you do have the choice of meat, cheese, or spinach for your burek, all of which are $4.
The flaky goodness of a burek is common to all countries that make them, but an Albanian version is somehow less greasy. The meat is good, the cheesy slices have more cheese, and the spinach slices seem to be infused with dill.
There are only five tables here, but it seems like most people take their food and run so it is easy to get a seat. It's fun to sit back with your food and drink and watch people come in and out. The Bronx has something very special here at Dukagjini.