This past weekend our family, (with my parents), took a short trip to the village of Shen Gjergj. We had heard of a restaurant there from a friend of my father’s. So instead of lingering uselessly in Tirana, we got in the car and drove on a mountain quest.

The village of Shen Gjergj is located behind the Dajti Mountain and the road leading there offers lots of clean air, a wonderful panorama, which gets even better in the spring. However, the main obstacle is the road up to Qafe Thane (till the quarry at the mountain pass). The road, up to the top, has been widened, but still under construction so it’s mostly gravel and lots of pot holes. Once you get over the mountain pass, then you head straight town the valley on a recently paved and windy road.

The directions to the village are like those from a fairy tale. You go down a valley, then through the river, then up again. You cross three larger bridges and then you look for the only restaurant where people go in Shen Gjergj. But if you’ve never been there before, then it feels like you will get lost in the mountains without a quick way to get back.

The food

The restaurant that we wanted to go to was owned by Selimi. That was all we knew, so we made sure to look at the signs of restaurants that we passed on our way there to make sure we did not miss it.

Village restaurants often do not offer anything out of the ordinary. However, large portions of bio meat and food, do make the difference when you feel like eating lots of meat. And to their credit, the food was well cooked and very tasty.

We got some lamb and also some beef for our main course. And it tasted very good. May be because we were a bit hungry, or because of the clean cool air of the mountains, but it was truly enjoyable.

The place

The restaurant, we found out, was completely crowded, so they had to fit another table just for us. Thankfully, the procedure was relatively quick. There were fewer than 10 tables in all, but they was all filled up with five or more people, all enjoying their food and company.

Next time

The waiter suggested that next time we call in advance to make a reservation and pre-order our main food (meats) so that it would be ready on our arrival.

Personally, I do not plan on returning there till spring or summer, but mostly because of the road, other than that it was truly a great place to take your family or friends.