It is not uncommon for a curious patron to stop by Cafe Adel, a Bosnian restaurant in the Cy-Fair area, having never once tried Bosnian food before, said Anel Abdulovic, the cafe's owner. Once they do, they soon become regulars, he said.
Abdulovic moved to Houston from Bosnia with his family at the age of 15 during the political disorder that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia. He spent a lot of time working at restaurants throughout the years and decided to start up his own in the winter of 2013.
"The city of Houston is an international city, but there aren't any other Bosnian restaurants around here," he said. "I wanted to bring a taste of diversity to this area. I was very confident the cuisine would be a good fit."
Abdulovic described Bosnian food as influenced by different cultures—including Turkish and Mediterranean—but with its own twist. The recipes featured on the menu are family recipes straight from his mother's kitchen, he said. Everything is prepared in-house, from the meats to the sauces and the bread.
"I get here at 7 a.m. every morning to start making the bread," he said. "Meats, sandwiches, entrees and salads are all made when ordered."
The menu features appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees and a section for pizzas, including the Pizza Cafe Adel—with smoked beef, beef sausage, mushrooms, peppers and olives—and the newly added Gyro Pizza—with tomatoes, red onions and yellow peppers.
Abdulovic recommends patrons new to Bosnian food try the Mixed Platter, a combination meat platter of cevap, pljeskavica, chicken and beef skewers with a side of french fries and salad for $21.99, ideal for multiple people. An appetizer platter called Meza features smoked beef, sudzuk, Gouda cheese, feta cheese, roasted red peppers, olives and ajvar for $9.99.
For Abdulovic, running the restaurant is a labor of love. He works every day of the week except Sunday, when the restaurant closes. No matter how busy he is, Abdulovic makes the effort to say hello to every guest that comes in.
"We keep the focus on the quality of the food and making sure everyone feels welcome," he said.
- Cevapcici—Traditional Bosnian-style grilled beef sausages served with lepinja bread and a fluffy pita bread shaped into a bowl ($7.99, half-size $5.99)
- Pljeskavica—Traditional meat patty served with a side of ajvar ($8.99)
- Sarma—Cabbage rolls stuffed with ground beef and rice, served with a side of mashed potatoes ($10.99)
- Japrak—Green collard rolls stuffed with ground beef and rice, served with a side of mashed potatoes ($10.99)
- Dolma—Green bell peppers stuffed with ground beef and rice, served with a side of mashed potatoes ($10.99)
Several different desserts are available at Cafe Adel, many of which are traditional Bosnian recipes.
- Baklava—A rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey
- Tufahija—poached apples stuffed with walnuts and served with poaching syrup and whipped cream
- Crpe—a very thin pancake served with a fillings such as Nutella and strawberry
- Tuesday: Greek Gyro Salad with Tzatziki sauce ($7.99)
- Wednesday: Chicken spinach wrap ($7.99)
- Thursday: 12-inch Mediterranean pizza with chicken and feta cheese ($10.99)
- Friday: Lamb shank, served on a bed of rice with salad and grilled veggies ($12.99)
13110 FM 529
Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–9 p.m.