North Austin eatery opens gates to Eastern European culture and cuisine

Taras Klitchyk (left) and Tatiana Bogdanovych (right) opened Brama Restaurant in North Austin in July 2018, serving ethnic dishes.n

Taras Klitchyk (left) and Tatiana Bogdanovych (right) opened Brama Restaurant in North Austin in July 2018, serving ethnic dishes.n

Back when they lived in Philadelphia, Brama Restaurant owners Taras Klitchyk and Tatiana Bogdanovych easily found the traditional ingredients and dishes from their home countries of Russia and Ukraine, respectively.

When they moved to Austin, however, the owners found themselves struggling to find simple items such as the carbonated beverage kvass or pierogi—a type of dumpling.

That led the two to open Borderless European Market, a grocery store specializing in ethnic ingredients, on Rutland Drive in North Austin.

“There was nothing else in the city to provide the products and stuff that people were looking for,” Klitchyk said.

Three years after opening the market, which is still open seven days a week, the two decided to take the next step and in July 2018 opened a restaurant.

“We had always been thinking about what we could do so [customers] can try all of the awesome things we have at the store,” Bogdanovych said. “We achieved exactly what we wanted to achieve. People who come to our store who are curious about the cuisine and the culture, now they can go somewhere and try it.”

The word “brama” is consistent throughout Eastern European languages, Bogdanovych said, meaning “gate.” The mission of the restaurant, the owners say, is to serve as a gateway to their cultures and cuisines.

To serve that goal, the restaurant hired head chef Tim Muench. The Wisconsin native brought with him an intimate knowledge of Eastern European cuisine due to his own family’s Hungarian and Czech heritage.

“Nearly everything on the menu I make for my dad,” Muench said. “It is very near and dear to my heart. I have learned from my grandparents and my mom.”

Brama’s menu is rounded out with a roster of authentic ethnic dishes. Muench introduced his grandmother’s Hungarian goulash to the menu, a rich, brothy stew made of prime chuck beef and root vegetables, seasoned with paprika and caraway.

The restaurant serves other cultural dishes, such as traditional golubtsi—pork or vegetables cooked with rice, wrapped in cabbage and served under tomato sauce—and beef stroganoff. Everything that comes out of the kitchen, Muench said, is made from scratch.

Bogdanovych’s mother, Marya, hand-makes all of the restaurant’s pierogi and pemini—the Russian equivalent of the Polish dumpling. Brama serves six varieties of pierogi, and the majority of those are vegetarian options.

The restaurateurs say they aspire to continue their mission of introducing American diners to the cuisine of Eastern Europe, all while maintaining a quality that pays respect to the culture of their homelands.

“To me, that’s the No. 1 thing that goes into this menu—is honoring the cultures. I don’t want to say there’s a huge pressure on me, but it’s a pressure I put on myself to make sure that it is right,” Muench said.
Brama Restaurant

3301 Steck Ave., Austin | 512-579-0880
Hours: Tue.-Thu. 5-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat.11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. (brunch menu); closed Mon.

Unlocking the Cuisines of eastern Europe

Brama Restaurant head chef Tim Muench serves signature dishes of countries from throughout Eastern Europe.


Pierogi with sour cream and beet horseradish ($12)

Ukraine and Russia

Meat borsch ($9 bowl/$7 cup)


Goulash ($19)



Vegetable chow mein ($9.99)
Limbu makes a traditional Chinese dish made from egg noodles with a Nepali street-style sauce. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Northwest Austin eatery features a taste of the Himalayas

Northwest Austin eatery features a taste of the Himalayas

The Broadmoor Campus is proposed to have a new MetroRail station. (Rendering courtesy Brandywine Realty Trust)
City to work with Capital Metro on financing new Broadmoor and McKalla Place rail stations as development boom looms

Austin City Council expects the new Austin FC stadium and massive mixed-use development planned for McKalla Place and the Broadmoor Campus to result in heightened demand for public transit.

The Atlas 14 rainfall study found Austin to be at a much higher flood risk than previously understood.
Acknowledging expanded risk, Austin moves to prohibit additional density in city’s flood-prone areas

A recent federal flood risk study found Austin's flood risk to be significantly higher than previously understood.

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council green lights $8 million Rodeway Inn plan for homeless shelter transition, vows to address crime in the area

South Austin neighbors raised concerns that criminal activity in the area will put homeless individuals who enter the shelter at risk.

Lady Bird Lake at Congress Avenue in Austin. Since late July, parts of the lake have been off limits due to high concentrations of toxic "blue-green" algae. (Courtesy Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune)
Toxic algae blooms are becoming more common, scientists say

Months have passed, but the capital city still has signs up warning of ongoing dangerous conditions in Lady Bird Lake.

Community members examine updated zoning maps at land development code town hall in October.
Land development code rewrite heads to City Council for final approval, marking home stretch of nearly 7-year process

Austin's long-awaited land development code rewrite is heading to City Council for final approval.

Crews work on updating a section of I-35 in Central Texas (Courtesy TxDOT)
Central Texas transportation agencies investing millions in I-35 for new lanes, intersection improvements aimed at aiding mobility

About 20 miles of I-35 through Central Texas will see an infusion of $400 million in state and federal funding to add one to two additional lanes in an effort to improve mobility.

(Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Round Rock, Austin locations of Catch Air to become PlayMazing Indoor Play & Party

Both Catch Air Round Rock, located at 1401 South IH-35, Ste. 130, and Catch Air Austin, located at 13450 Hwy. 183 Ste. 107, will be renamed PlayMazing Austin and PlayMazing Round Rock on Nov. 15.

St. David's HealthCare is the founding partner with Two Oak Ventures, the ownership group of Austin FC. (Courtesy Austin FC, STG Design)
Austin FC to locate $45M training facility at mixed-use Parmer Innovation Center in Northeast Austin

Austin FC announces $45 million training facility to be located in Northeast Austin at new development

Delia Garza speaks to her constituents at a town hall meeting in 2017.
Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza says she will not seek re-election as Travis County attorney rumors heat up

Austin's mayor pro tem will not seek reelection to her Southeast Austin district seat in 2020.

Back to top