I recently got back from Romania, a country so many folks associate with Dracula, but rarely do I hear people talk about the food. I think Romanian food deserves a lot more culinary recognition than it gets because I had some of the most deliciously amazing meals in as many restaurants as I could around the country. Granted, traditional Romanian dishes tend to be meat-heavy, but almost every restaurant (even sausage shops) had at least one or more vegetarian options.
I discovered La Ceaun on Trip Advisor (they're #4 in the city currently), recommended as a less expensive, excellent quality option for places to eat in Brasov. They were a restaurant serving classic Romanian dishes made from fresh ingredients from local farms. I love to try regional dishes when I'm in the areas they're from, plus this place was less than a 5 minute walk from my rental, so it was a great opportunity to stuff myself with good food and drink before waddling home.
La Ceaun is currently open daily from 12:00 - 22:00. Both the bar and the dining area were beautiful spaces, with wooden floors, paneling and tables. Blue neon and ceiling lamps made from straw hats hang from above. Menus are available in both Romanian and English and come on wooden cutting boards. I ordered the local Ursa brew with my main course of sarmale, ground pork and herb stuffed cabbage leaves with sour cream and a DECEPTIVELY hot chile pepper. I am from New Mexico and would never have guessed in a million years that eastern European food would contain something that actually made my eyes water and had me searching for sugar packets and chugging drink after drink. Thankfully this was my second experience with the pepper in Romania and I knew better than to bite off a big chunk of it.
So the flavors of the sour cream blended with the picked cabbage, meat, and a tiny bit of pepper were phenomenal. I'm currently searching for a recipe online for this dish so I can make it myself at home, but none of the ones I've found so far mention the chile pepper (which might be impossible to find in Coimbra).
The last act of the evening centered around this nommy delight: an apple strudel with a creamy cheese filling with berry compote and creme anglaise. I was pretty full after the sarmale, but knew I had to keep going or I was going to miss out. This little bastard was well worth whatever suffering my stomach endured later on that evening.
One additional topic I want to touch on was the excellent quality of service at La Ceaun. The employees here were some of the friendliest people we encountered during our trip and were prompt to take our order and attend to our needs. I wish there was a branch in our city! We really enjoyed our visit and I highly recommend this place to anyone heading off for adventures in Transylvania.