Stateline, Idaho, is a blip on the journey radar, with fewer than 40 residents, quite a few gasoline stations and several other leisure venues — a strip membership, biker bar, nation and western dance corridor, and racetrack — contributing to the border city’s raucous repute. It is the final place one may count on to see a restaurant serving French-inspired crepes and genuine Bulgarian meals, however that is what you will discover at The Border Cease.
“Everyone seems to be very nice and completely satisfied there’s a totally different delicacies within the space,” says Dimitar Gerov, who opened the Border Cease this spring with spouse Heather Gerova.
Bulgarian delicacies is totally different, but as a part of the Balkan area, it is also acquainted. Bulgaria’s jap flank sits on the Black Sea, with Turkey, Greece and North Macedonia to the south, so a number of the flavors on the Border Cease’s menu remind of Mediterranean meals. Serbia and Romania are to the west and north of Bulgaria, respectively, nonetheless, lending Slavic components to the delicacies, too.
The princessa ($8-$12), for instance, is one in every of a number of open-face baked sandwiches which may present up on a typical Bulgarian breakfast menu or a avenue vendor’s cart. The Basic ($12) options seasoned pork, beef and onion, with sharp white cheddar cheese, whereas the Balkan ($11) consists of salami, sharp white cheddar, Bulgarian seasoning and lutenitsa, a thick condiment of tomatoes and roasted pink peppers.
“Lutenitsa will differ in several areas and in several households, every household having their very own recipe they move all the way down to generations,” Gerov says.
The pink peppers he is used to are referred to as piperka and have candy, nutty notes much like a Spanish piquillo, however with extra warmth.
Gerov repeatedly imports components to seize the authenticity of Bulgarian delicacies he grew up with. For instance, he brings in natural Bulgarian feta cheese made the “old skool manner,” and options it on prime of the garlic bread ($7), within the shopska salad ($10.50) with cucumber, kalamata olives, tomatoes and bell peppers, and in banitsa, a cheese-filled savory pie solely accessible within the sampler plate ($13).
Banitsa, which is in Bulgarian, combines flaky phyllo pastry dough, Bulgarian yogurt, eggs and feta, Gerova explains. It is so labor-intensive, she makes it a lot smaller than how it might historically be served, pairing it within the sampler plate with garlic bread, lutenitsa and sarma, the Bulgarian reply to Greek dolmades or stuffed grape leaves.
The Border Cease is situated above A1 Smoke Store in an area the prior house owners used as a cigar store and wine bar.
Regardless of the weird location, the eatery’s inside is cozy and welcoming. A half wall in the principle eating and bar space overlooks the smoke store beneath, however it’s not intrusive. Black ceilings, resin-topped tables with a swirly design, dim lighting, fake crops, and jazz from an overhead speaker create a soothing ambiance. There is a tv behind the bar however as a substitute of the cacophony of sporting occasions, it shows magnificent mountain scenes in a steady loop.
Search for rotating native breweries on faucet, says Gerov, and the “often skunky Pilsner from Europe,” plus extra German beers earlier than Oktoberfest. The wine listing is modest — a couple of from France and New Zealand — with extra bottles being added slowly.
Exterior, the Border Cease features a patio and occasional dwell music.
The restaurant’s Fb web page is an efficient place to test for occasions and the newest meals specials like kebapche or grilled Bulgarian kebabs ($10.50) or terrator, a chilly soup with Bulgarian yogurt, cucumber and dill ($5).
Gerova does a lot of the cooking at Border Cease, having discovered from the supply: Dimitar’s mom and his grandmother, or baba. Nobody writes something down, says Gerova, so she videotaped the Gerov matriarchy of their dwelling kitchen.
“[Dimitar] mentioned I went by Grandma’s cooking college,” says Heather, who met Dimitar in her native Alaska.
The couple, who relocated to Liberty Lake in 2019, tried however have not fairly mastered baba’s recipe for Bulgarian yogurt, Gerov says. Though it is much like Greek yogurt, it is tangier, he provides, and Bulgarians serve it with all the things.
“Yogurt is a big deal in Bulgarian tradition as you may think about with its historical past,” he provides.
Enjoyable truth: Bulgarian scientist Stamen Grigorov is credited with the invention of lactobacillus bulgaricus, the bacterium that naturally and magically transforms milk into yogurt.
Baba may be the originator of most recipes on Border Cease’s menu, however Dimitar’s mom is the inspiration for the crepes.
“For the crepes we use mother’s recipe,” Gerov says. It is a household secret and consists of “slightly of this and slightly of that,” he says.
The Border Cease serves practically two dozen candy and savory crepes. Some are acquainted combos just like the Cubano ($12) with Swiss cheese, ham and dill pickles, the rooster shawarma ($14) with Center Jap-spiced chopped rooster, or the Nearly Elvis ($11) with banana, peanut butter and honey. Others mirror extra uncommon components just like the house-made cream and oreo cookie crepe ($12).
“We promote what we wish to eat,” Gerov says. ♦
The Border Cease • 7200 W. Seltice Manner, #2 (inside A1 Smoke Store), Put up Falls • Open Wed-Fri noon-8 pm, Sat 10 am-8 pm, Solar 10 am-5 pm • theborderstop.com • 208-619-6856