first of all, how gorgeous are the plitvice lakes! I’m a fervent city-dweller, and I can not stay in a scenic natural environment for too long without longing for my modern amenities, but I had so much fun in, and so much mouth-gaping awe for the lakes. the water was green and clear and beautiful, with fish swimming around, and we were there (just a few days ago) at a low-peak time so there weren’t that many people around either.
it’s almost unbelievable that there is so much beauty to be found in croatia (I never thought of it as particularly picturesque), and I hope you get the chance to go yourself and have a look!
as with most rural scenic places, food options are few and far between, and even less if you’re looking for spectacular food. when we asked at the hotel lobby for food recommendations, they told us it was either the restaurant in the hotel basement, or one restaurant outside (that review will come after this one!). it was lunch time, we had just gotten off a bus ride from zagreb, and so we settled for the hotel restaurant.
the food here was mediocrely average – most of it overtly salty. our bread basket was more of that sponge-like sort we had gotten at vinodol, not very appetising but it did at least come with butter.
I had grilled trout with almonds – I really like this dish and how it’s so prevalent in croatia – but this wasn’t the almond-coated beauty I had at vinodol, and was instead a grilled fish with a ladleful of oily almonds. the spinach on the side was incredibly and ridiculously salty, though the potatoes did benefit from their salt bath and were so sweet and flavourful.
a plate of cabonara was average – I would actually say it was the most normally executed dish. one of my friends had a steak – this was a bad experience as the very grouchy waitress hadn’t asked her for her cooking preference and it came so bloody that when she stabbed a fork in, blood flowed out. this was incredibly off-putting. they did give us a replacement when we requested it to be cooked further and tasted rather good, but then again it was a piece of steak.
we ordered grilled squid to share, which was very salty as well. though if you rinse it off it tasted good! our mains (apart from the cabonara) came with a vegetable salad that had mushy tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers, which were good fibre sources and a refreshment from the salt.
so service was grouchy – this seems a trend in our croatian restaurant experiences – and the food was incredibly salty. we did have breakfast here the next morning, as included in our stay, and breakfast was much better, with scrambled eggs, bacon, a selection of ham, cheese, fruit and cereal.
it’s a typical hotel restaurant in that food isn’t very impressive but is rather passable if you don’t expect too much. the lakes did make up for everything though. if you’re looking for a plitvice recommendation, stay tuned as I’m reviewing the other place we ate at which was reasonably priced and good value!