It might be a bit of a trek, but Zlatno Zito, a small Bosnian deli about two miles south of Tower Grove Park, is well worth venturing outside of the Wash. U. bubble. While St. Louis’ Bosnian population is one of the largest outside of Bosnia itself, many Wash. U. students have neither tried Bosnian food nor have any idea what it is. If this sounds like you, visiting Zlatno Zito should be on your St. Louis bucket list
Zlatno Zito looks unimpressive from the outside. There are two separate storefronts, one set up like a small convenience store and one for customers to dine in. When my friends and I arrived at 6 p.m. on Sunday, we entered the deli and walked through to sit at one of the four tables in the adjacent room.
Except for a few chicken items, everything on the menu is written in Bosnian, but our server seemed used to translating the menu and patiently explained what each of the items was. The dishes are mostly meat-based, and almost all come wrapped in pita-type bread. Prices range from $2-$13, but most items hover around $5.
I ordered the raznjici u lepinji ($9), a veal dish, and my dinner companions ordered cevapi ($4), a beef sausage, and sarma ($7), cabbage rolls. Besides the different types of meat, the veal and beef sausage dishes were served the same way: in a pita-type bread with sour cream, banana peppers, onions and a tomato slice on the side. While the same shape as pita, the bread has a more spongy consistency. The cabbage rolls were served with a side of mashed potatoes.
Each dish was satisfying in taste and quantity. If the food wasn’t so good, I would have divided my meal in half and saved the rest for lunch the next day.
Unfortunately for my waistband, the culinary delights did not stop there; Zlatno Zito also serves dessert. A large glass case in the next room holds baklava, cakes and other small pastries. As a group, we ordered a piece of marble cake covered in coconut shavings, a slice of hazelnut cake, a piece of baklava and a container of small cake balls.
While the two pieces of cake were satisfying, they weren’t above average. The small cake balls were unusual—dense chocolate cake mixed with hazelnuts and encased in coconut shavings. For those who enjoy the chocolate-coconut combination, these are a necessary purchase. Sadly I was too full to manage a bite of baklava, but my dining companion said it was one of the best she’s ever tasted.
After the meal, we ventured back into the first storefront to peruse the grocery items before paying. On one wall, the shelves hold jam, tea, biscuits, Nutella-like spreads and chocolate bars galore. Another wall has shelves filled with freshly-baked bread. Next to the register is a large bowl of three varieties of chocolate banana bars.
On my way to the register, I grabbed one small container of Eurocrem, a “milk and chocolate product with hazelnut,” and a chocolate banana bar. Although I had ordered the third-most-expensive dinner item, a piece of cake and these two snacks, my total was only $11. Who could resist?