In Croatia, the choice of Mexican food is extremely poor and most of the time when they are advertising something as a Mexican restaurant or food, it has nothing to do with real Mexican. Some combinations of Tex-Mex yes, but true Mexican, unfortunately, no.
When I stumbled upon an announcement new Tacos And Burger Barr was opening in Zagreb, I instantly shared it with Jaime. We loved the burgers in Rougemarin (owners are the same guys) so we assumed this place is going to be huge as well.
When we arrived around 6 pm, the place was full. We saw two people leaving and asked the staff if we could take their (half of a) table and squeeze in with other girls. Thumbs up for the staff for asking them if it was ok with them, and letting us jump in.
One Croatian, one Spanish and two Mexican were ready to decide if this place finally managed to bring something truly Mexican into the town.
Having mezcal on the menu was a first great sign! Usually, people have no idea what mezcal is – three different kinds here made our hearts beat a little bit faster. Of course, we decided to start the dinner with Gusano Rojo, a brand we never heard off but it was unbelievably tasty. I, who do not like hard drinks, drank this one like it was nothing!
Even we came to try tacos, we were so hungry we ended up ordering burgers with fries and a portion of tacos to share. If I remember well, Rougemarin was one of few places that did not have a separate charge for french fries, but they came together with a burger by default. It would be great if Tacos And Burger Barr followed their practice. Until then, you need to pay 17 kn extra to get the fries.
Jaime and guys went for a chipotle burger and I decided on a cheese one. They hoped for chipotle to be spicy, but since they are used to eat spicy food, they did not feel anything. It would be great if they came in a more spicy option as well!
Burgers were big and yummy, not the best ones we ever tried but in top 5 for sure. They are served in cool wooden boxes which, not only are super practical for the kitchen, but look unique as well.
Tacos were there as well, sitting in the middle of the table. Nobody wanted to taste them at first, we were scared to get disappointed again. (Last year we found a stall selling tacos during the Advent which was a joke – we did not want the same to happen again.)
We must applaud them for making their own homemade tortillas from original masa harina. As soon as tacos came to the table, the guys commented how tortillas look great. When Mexicans say that in Croatia, then they must be fantastic. And they absolutely were – soft, tasty and perfectly sized.
There were four different kinds of tacos on the menu – made of poultry, fish, pork or beef meat. You can see the menu was carefully crafted to have something for everyone. We ordered beef cheeks tacos which were literally melting in our mouth.
I loved the salsa as well, however, guys were not so thrilled. They said cream should be skipped and traditional Mexican tomato or chile sauces should be served instead. I would just wish there were more than three tacos in the combo. Actually, I wish they were sold by piece and less expensive, just like they are in Mexico.
We notice the place is doing quite well just after the opening, but of course, there are several things which can help them to improve their service and position themselves as an iconic place in the heart of Zagreb.
We all agreed Tacos And Burger Barr is too expensive. Tacos are simple and cheap street food. Do not try to make them fancy and expensive. Allow guests to buy them one by one and combine different types. A combo of three small tacos for 50 – 60 kuna is too expensive, especially because you are still hungry afterward.
For the amount of 60 kunas, you can order a main dish in many restaurants, a whole pizza and a half, huge burger with fries and so on. Tacos should be cheaper and that’s it. Just as an example, an average taco at the expensive taco joint in Mexico City costs between 6 and 10 kunas. Here, you pay between 17 and 20 kunas.
We LOVE the fact they brought excellent tacos to Zagreb and we would be here every week if prices were more affordable. The staff was friendly and attentive, as well as nicely decorated restaurant. Tacos and Burger Barr could easily become our favorite place in the city, just if they remember they are in Zagreb, not London or NYC.
What is your favorite kind of taco? Did you visit Tacos and Burger Barr in Zagreb?
Tacos And Burger Barr
Jurišićeva 2a, Zagreb
Opening hours: 11:30 – 23:00
Closed on Sundays
Price range: 450 kn for 4
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Ah, these modern days. How many times did you start to plan the trip and then realized you will not be able to use Google Maps or search for the nice restaurants as you go because of the expensive roaming charges? We are so used to having the internet all the time, we tend to forget about that little fact while traveling abroad. Worry no more, Roam Free Ninja has you covered!
Your visit to Croatia now can be absolutely careless and painless. You can rent a cute, pocket-sized mobile hotspot and have the high-speed internet wherever you go. Many restaurants and bars in Croatia do have a WIFI connection, but if you are anything like us you do not want to choose a place to eat by that criteria! 🙂
What actually is Roam Free Ninja?
Roam Free Ninja is a portable WIFI router which allows you to stay connected during your trip in Croatia. No matter if you need it for business or you just like to share your adventures with your friends and followers, Ninja will provide the service you need and – it will fit any pocket or personal bag! Don’t let the size fool you; it is smaller than a phone, but you get a proper internet and UNLIMITED service. Just what a modern-day traveler needs!
I met Ana from Ninja a few weeks ago over the coffee to find out more about the service and company, and we both agreed it would be awesome if we tried it personally. For three days, we had an opportunity to test it and play around with it.
How does Ninja work?
Ninja is extremely simple to use. After choosing your pick-up or delivery point, you will receive the device together with USB cable to charge it. When the battery gets empty, you can plug it in your phone charger or computer for the fast charge. So, when you get the device, all you need to do is turn in on. On the left side there are two small buttons, just press the upper one for few seconds.
After the welcome message, in approximately one minute the WIFI signal sign will appear and your device will be able to detect the network. The network appears in the format of www.RoamFree.Ninja_xxxx (while xxxx is the number of your Ninja) and you can log in. You will find the password on the back side of your Ninja (numbers under the barcode).
If you are traveling with a family or group of friends, the great news is you can connect up to 10 devices. Phones, tablets, laptops, … you do not need to limit yourself.
Should I get one Ninja for my trip?
Yes, you should! You can buy a SIM card, though, but your internet package will be limited and on one device only (well, if you do not use your phone as a hotspot, but that is not a long-term solution). If you want to check you Instagram on the beach, write a new blog post or work while on the road or just enjoy the fact you can connect anytime – this device is made for you!
What we absolutely loved about Ninja:
- You will be totally internet independent.
- Small and cute. Fits everywhere.
- Easy delivery and drop off, wherever you want.
- Easy to charge. We all use USB chargers every day.
- No traffic limits! You can use up 20 GB per day at full 21.5 Mbps speed.
- You can connect up to 10 devices at the same time.
- You cannot forget the password. It is glued on it! 🙂
- It works!
Do not forget nobody is perfect:
- Not the fastest option sometimes. We used it during the cloudy day in suburbs of Zagreb and the speed went only up to 4 Mbps. The speed will always depend on the quality of the network (it uses T-mobile) at your location. T-mobile has the best coverage in the country, what’s great.
- Battery life. We used it moderately over three days and we did not need to charge it. If you use it during the whole day, make sure to have an external battery with you. It does not last forever.
- Price. It depends on the length of rental and varies from 6.25 to 8.95 euro per day. If you are traveling alone, it can be a bit pricey option, but when you divide it among a group of people, it is actually very affordable. There is no delivery and return fee.
How to book Roam Free Ninja?
Visit Roam Free Ninja website, choose the desired dates and how would you like it delivered. You can put in the address of your accommodation, pick it up at the airport or Ninja’s office or even get it personally delivered in Zagreb. The payment can be done directly by the credit card or via Paypal if you prefer that option.
You will get an envelope with prepaid postage so all you need to do to send it back is to leave it at the reception of your hotel or drop in any mailbox. Can it be any easier?!
Our humble opinion is that Roam Free Ninja is the best mobile internet solution you can find in Croatia and we cannot recommend it enough!
I just hope they would expand their service to the bordering countries because it is like made for our road trips. Until then, head over to their website and make your vacation in Croatia hassle free!
Thank you Roam Free Ninja for giving us the opportunity to try out this fantastic service.
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When the holiday season comes to its end on January 6, the person who was lucky to get the toy of baby Jesus in her piece of Rosca de Reyes (the traditional pastry served during Epiphany day in Mexico) is in charge of hosting a feast on February 2, when tamales and atole are served. It is a follow-up of Epiphany day (or Día de los Reyes Magos, how it is called in Mexico) and has mixed roots in pre-Hispanic traditions and Catholic beliefs.
Where the celebration comes from?
February 2 is known as “Día de la Candelaria” or “Presentation of the Lord”. By the Jewish law, all the babies were supposed to be taken to the temple 40 days after they were born. So 40 days after Christmas, on the exact February 2, Mary took Jesus to the temple along with candles. Until these days, there is a tradition in Mexico to bring the images of baby Jesus and candles to the church to be blessed.
Pre-Hispanic Mexicans also had the tradition of paying a tribute to the rain god and clouds to pray for their agricultural activity. They dressed up the children and making them cry as an augury of water abundance. It is most likely the Spaniards linked those two traditions when they were spreading the catholicism in Mexico.
Why are tamales so important for Mexicans?
February 2 is also known as Tamales day among foodies. It is the day when you are allowed to eat as much as tamales as you can! Tamales were traditional meal among the Mexican natives which was often connected with agricultural celebrations. Tamales are made from corn and the corn was the most important ingredient in the pre-Hispanic Mexican cuisine. Its importance in the modern cuisine did not change much. Corn tortillas, bread, and tamales are the base of every Mexican person’s diet.
Traditionally, tamales are made by hand so you will need to work for them. They are not hard to prepare, you just need to get ready for some serious kneading because the corn-based dough requires it. Once you learn the technique, you will definitely agree they are worth the effort. There are many different types of tamales and most of them are salty. They can be filled ith spiced meat, cheese, vegetables or fruits and wrapped in fresh banana leaves or dried corn husks and steamed.
Oaxacan sweet tamales are easy to make!
I must admit most of the salty tamales I tried (better – I tried to try) were too spicy for me, but I did fell in love with sweet and yummy version. Yes, tamales can be whatever you want them to be! When we were coming from Mexico, we brought two packages of corn husks for tamales. Just in case, if we ever decide to make them. Luckily, they have no expiration date and year and a half later they were waiting for us.
We got a real Mexican masa harina (special corn dough they use for tamales and tortillas) in Pekinška patka store here in Zagreb. They also have corn husks if you need some. For the tasty Oaxacan sweet tamales, we also used homemade pork fat, red food coloring, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon powder and canned pineapple.
It takes around 30 minutes to make the dough and 30 minutes to roll the tamales. From 1/2 kg of flour, we got 10 tamales, which was more than enough to feed 4 persons. If you plan to serve it only as a snack or dessert, you can even serve one tamal per person. Once they are made, they need to steam for around an hour. We used the real steamer as well as improvised on the stove and both did an excellent job.
Traditional Oaxacan Sweet Tamales
- 1/2 kg / 1 lb corn flour (masa harina)
- 1 tea spoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup of pig fat
- 8 spoons of brown sugar
- 1 tea spoon of cinnamon
- 10 drops of red food colouring
- 1/2 can of pineapple, cut into small pieces
- Put the corn husks in the warm water, to soften so you could roll them. If you try to do it with dried ones, they would immediately break.
- To make the dough, combine the flour and the spoon by spoon warmed pig fat and knead it all the time. When the dough is not sticky anymore, you can add the baking powder, cinnamon and sugar. Add more sugar than you initially think, because the steaming process will reduce some.
- Divide the dough into pieces big enough to fit into corn husks and color each with some red food coloring. They should just be partially colored - that is how Mexicans marks the sweet tamales among all the others.
- Take the corn husks out of the water, dry them a bit and fill with the dough and cut pineapple pieces. Do not overstuff them because they need to be rolled in a nice bundle.
- Roll each tamal and close it well from each side. Wrap them as the little presents using the food thread or pieces of corn husks.
- Put them in the steamer and cook for approximately 1 hour. Take out one tamal and let it cool little bit. Try if it is already cooked - it cannot be chevy - and let them cook a bit more if not. Be careful not overcook them because they can easily become too dry.
As for all the other wonderful Mexican recipes, for this tasty Oaxacan sweet tamales recipe we can thank my mother in law, Jaime’s mom. Participating in Tamales day is an excellent and tasty way how to keep Mexican traditions alive. (more…)
Croatia is a travel hit in the world! It was hard not to notice many articles being published around the blogs, renowned travel magazines suggesting locations one should visit in Croatia and a total hype being built around my beautiful home country. And now it is confirmed – the year 2016 was the best year for Croatian tourism.
I wanted to start a year in that tone so I asked fellow travel bloggers about their experiences in Croatia. How can you get a better feedback than to ask a traveler directly about the places they visited, what they liked the most and what maybe was not that good?
If you are deciding which places to visit in 2017 or planning your Croatian adventure, definitely continue reading!
Favorite Stop on the Mediterranean Cruise
The final (and my favorite) stop on a Royal Caribbean cruise around the Mediterranean four years ago was Split in Croatia. From the moment I could see the shore from the ship, I found Split to be an incredibly beautiful city. Set among the 1700-year-old ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, Split was best viewed by climbing the Bell Tower of St. Domnius for a picturesque, 360° view of the city below.
The historic narrow streets (fantastically pedestrian only) were busy and vibrant in the high season as I wandered them, perused markets and consumed coffee and gelato along the Riva. Croatia is underrated as a destination – gorgeous to visit with beautiful beaches and the value of the local currency (kuna) makes it economical to visit. One day was simply not enough and I will return.
Sarah in Split © Sarah Sees The World
Split from above © Sarah Sees The World
Croatian coast exceeded our expectations
Traveling up the Dalmatian coast in Croatia for ten days remains one of my finest travel memories. Even though I had high expectations prior to the trip, Croatia managed to exceed them. The stone walls and orange roof of Dubrovnik had wowed us; cycling around the Mljet National Park was an epic adventure, coupled with dips in the gorgeous lagoon.
Then we went onto the historic Split and sat under the Peristyle of a former Roman Emperor that lived thousands of years ago, sipping a cocktail and swaying to live music. We swam against the current of the Skradinski waterfall in the Krka National Park, grabbing each other in case one of us got wash away during our group photo. We took a boat trip to Hvar, admiring the stunning Adriatic Sea from the Spanish Fort. We braved the rain to Plitvice and was rewarded by the misty, out-of-this-world sceneries.
Last but not least, we visited Zadar, with its Roman Old Town blended with the modern seafront, watching as the sun set over the horizon and the Sun Salutation started glowing with the Sea Organ humming in the background. Our trip to Croatia had truly been a dream, one that I would never forget.
Nam from Laugh Travel Eat | Facebook | Pinterest
Hvar © Laugh Travel Eat
Greeting to the sun in Zadar © Laugh Travel Eat
Active holidays in Paklenica National Park
My visit to Croatia involved traveling to the Paklenica National Park which is known for climbing and hiking. The park is near Zadar and an easy place to get to via public bus. Within the park, you can easily stay in one of the comfortable mountain guesthouses where meals are included while you’re afforded with such lovely mountain views.
I hiked up the highest peak of the Velebit mountain range which took 11 hours. The effort was worthwhile as I was spoiled by the spectacular mountain ranges. While most tourists spend their time in the cities by the port, spending time in the mountains of Paklenica is definitely an authentic way get to know Croatia. No need to do a tough hike like I did or rock climb as you can easily do a restful stay at the mountain guesthouses and enjoy nature without the crowd – a definite must do in Croatia.
Marinel from Brown Gal Trekker | Facebook | Twitter
NP Paklenica © Brown Gal Trekker
NP Paklenica © Brown Gal Trekker
A day trip to Elafiti Island from Dubrovnik
If you are staying in Dubrovnik there is one day trip I can highly recommend you take and that is to visit the Elafiti Islands. The Elafiti Islands are an archipelago of 13 large and small islands only 4 to 8 nautical miles west of Dubrovnik. We hired a boat and skipper for the day to take us on a sailing trip around the islands. We stopped at each of the 3 inhabited islands – Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan.
We spent most of our time on Lopud which has a beautiful beach and a shallow bay to swim in. Get there by golf buggy as the bay is found on the opposite side of the island to the harbor and the path is rather steep. The golf buggy drivers are waiting to take you to the beach for a small charge. Once there we hired a sunbed and umbrella for a few hours.
Enjoy the views as you sail through the beautiful Adriatic waters. It is a beautiful trip and an unforgettable experience!
Tracy from Tracy Travels in Time | Facebook | Instagram
Elafiti Island © Tracy Travels in Time
Elafiti Island © Tracy Travels in Time
Fun on a Marco Polo’s Island
Marco! Polo! Not just a fun game for the pool, but also a famous explorer! Korcula Island is actually where he was born! I took a ferry from Split for a week of scuba diving! The diving was interesting, but the water wasn’t as clear like it was in the Caymans (Where I learned) or as much wildlife as the Great Barrier Reef, but I did see my first octopus! I’d say the most interesting part of the dives was a floating restaurant that had sunk! Of course, all I could think about were dinglehoppers like in The Little Mermaid.
The island was small and easily navigable. You could rent scooters to go zipping around the island. It was possible to get water taxis to take your across the Bay, or you could just walk it. The land was basically a U-shaped bay, and the walk took maybe 20-30 minutes. Along the way were fun little shops, restaurants, and even a little grocery store! Hindsight, I might go down to just 3 or 4 days of diving and explore the island more, but it was a lovely time on a not well-known island.
Carly from Flight of the Educator | Facebook | Instagram
Korcula Island © Flight of the Educator
Korcula island © Flight of the Educator
Magical Plitvice Lakes
Ah, Croatia! I don’t know how to begin how much the country beguiled me. In all honesty, I’ve read tons of articles about Croatia and its growing popularity, and I was questioning if it is that beautiful in there. I gave it a try nevertheless, and I was in Zagreb at first, such an underrated city by the way, and I took a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park – just wow.
I was blown away at how beautiful the landscapes and nature of the country and as well how nice the locals are! Apart from these, Plitvice Lakes is like a dream, which I didn’t know I have, come true – the place is magical, and I was in awe of its beauty. No words can describe it! Also, have I not mentioned about Croatian food? No? Well, it is delish. I will surely come back that’s for sure, and it will be soon.
Evan Kristine from Pretty Wild World | Facebook | Instagram
Plitvice Lakes © Pretty Wild World
Plitvice Lakes © Pretty Wild World
Croatia is much more than sun and sea!
Croatia has long been in our hearts; it’s such a beautiful and diverse country. We’ve explored the coastline, traveled into Istria, discovered waterfalls in national parks and have sought out lesser-visited destinations in the interior. Our most recent trip took us to Zagreb, the capital city, and Osijek, a city in the eastern region of Slavonia.
It wasn’t our first trip to the thriving city of Zagreb, but it was our first time to the award-winning Advent in Zagreb celebration. The month-long festivities occupied squares and lanes all around the city. Holiday fare – sausages, fritules and piping hot mulled wine – were served from wooden huts and musicians and DJs took to the stages to provide a merry soundtrack.
When we weren’t perusing the Christmas markets, we were retracing our steps to some of the best sights of the city, like St. Mark’s Church, the Zagreb Cathedral, Maksimir Park, and the Dolac market. We were excited to see that the craft beer scene, which just started taking off in Croatia a few years ago, was alive and well. We sampled local brews at newly opened establishments and visited a few of our long-favorite spots.
Advent in Zagreb © Jetsetting Fools
Kopacki Rit © Jetsetting Fools
Unlike Zagreb, it was our first time visiting the city of Osijek and the Slavonia region. Located near the borders of Hungary and Serbia, Osijek is the 4th largest city in Croatia but sees fewer visitors than the cities on the coast. The reason for our wintertime visit was to attend the Osijek Advent festival. The event in Osijek felt more intimate than in Zagreb, like a small-town affair. There were nightly musical performances, plenty of mulled wine and wood burning stoves to keep attendees warm on the crisp nights.
During the day, we spent time sightseeing and biking through the city and then went further afield to discover the surrounding area. We got a good dose of nature in the swamplands of Kopacki Rit, tasted locally produced wine from the wineries in the village of Zmajevac and experienced rural life on a farm in the small town of Bilje. The scenery was stunning, but the real highlight for us was the local cuisine – and we ate our fair share of it! The hearty meals were rich in flavors – and traditions. Among our favorites were River Fish Stew, Goulash, locally raised cured meats and cheeses and farm-fresh roasted turkey and pork.
We look forward to a return trip to the Slavonia region to see the beautiful landscapes in another season!
Sarah from Jetsetting Fools | Facebook | Instagram
Have YOU been to Croatia? Which place was your favorite?
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We already planned out our visit to Zagreb Christmas markets, when I noticed the special Nutcracker exhibition will be opening the very same day. Of course, we extended our visit to the city center and headed straight to the Zagreb’s Museum of Arts and Crafts first.
From November 26, 2016, until February 27, 2017, the Museum of Arts and Crafts is the venue to visit in the city. Unique and never seen before, the Nutcracker Christmas exhibition in Zagreb will capture your heart easily, no matter if you are a fan or not.
Read more: When did Zagreb Christmas market become this awesome?!
The Nutcracker Christmas Fairy Tale
Following the story of the most popular Christmas ballet in the world, the Nutcracker exhibition will draw you into a magical story of Clara and her toy. Even the story is based on “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice” written by E. T. A. Hoffman, today’s ballet is a bit different. However, the basics remain the same – it follows the story of young Clara, a German girl who dreams of a fierce Nutcracker Prince battling the scary Mouse King with seven heads.
It all starts with Clara’s family hosting their annual Christmas party where her Christmas present, a beautiful Nutcracker toy, becomes a hit. Her jealous brother breaks it and the family tries to repair it. They did the best they could but Clara, worried about him, sneaks back to the tree and falls asleep with the toy in her arms.
Read more: Forget Advent in Vienna, head to Zagreb instead!
As the clock strikes midnight, the toys around the tree come to life and the Mouse King attacks them with his army. After the grand victory and thanks to Clara’s love, the Nutcracker turns into a prince and takes her on a magical journey through the Snow Forest and the Kingdom of sweets where they dance and celebrate. Unfortunately, every dream comes to its end – Clara wakes up underneath the tree still holding her beloved Nutcracker.
The Enchanting Nutcracker Christmas Exhibition in Zagreb
You do not need to know the story, or see the ballet to love this exhibition. It will enchant you with its fairy tale scenography, details from behind the scene and those wonderful costumes which were worn by some famous ensembles.
You can see the material from Saint Petersburg 1892 premiere, costumes worn in Milan’s Scala and Zagreb National theater as well as some items from Jelko Yuresha’s (Željko Jureša) private collection. He was Croatian / British artist who traveled the world with his wife Belinda Wright in order to promote the ballet. They were both regulars in the Nutcracker ensemble since late 1940-is and together they staged many choreographies and designed costumes, jewelry, and sets.
As the Nutcracker is the most frequently performed classical ballet, many theaters around the world made their own adaptations. This exhibition shows several costumes designed by a famous costume designer Nicholas Georgiadis, designed for performances in Milan’s Scala during 1960-is. They are amazing, aren’t they?
In Zagreb, the Nutcracker has been performing since 1931. However, in the spirit of the former socialist Yugoslavia, the story did not take place on a Christmas Eve (Christmas was not celebrated back then), but on Clara’s birthday and, since then, several versions of the ballet were performed over the years.
Read more: Croatian winter comfort food you should try
Ticket for this wonderful exhibition will cost you 40 kn per person (around 5,5€), just make sure to come before February 27 when the fairy tale ends. Museum is located in Zagreb, Croatia, just across the National Theatre in the city center, so you can’t miss it. If you have some time free, in the basement there is also an excellent restaurant and cafe (a place where we had our wedding celebration, actually!).
Besides those spectacular Nutcracker toys exhibited, the youngsters will enjoy Santa’s workshop house in the museum’s lobby, music listening corner and dreamy toys they can bring home as a souvenir.
In total, the exhibition about the ballet performed in the most beautiful time of the year is very well organized, attractive and interesting. I would call it being extremely successful since it made us want to see the ballet performance again. Too bad all the tickets were already sold out. But, if you have an opportunity, make sure to visit the Nutcracker Christmas Exhibition in Zagreb! Also, it is a great place to warm up while going around the city and trying all those delicious winter comfort food.
Museum of Arts and Crafts
Trg maršala Tita
Entrance fee: 40 kn
If you or your little ones are fans of the Nutcracker, you might consider treating yourself with this precious souvenirs.
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