“They like meat and liked to smoke their meat,” said Max as we entered this almost hidden joint shoe-horned into a corner of a strip mall on west Flamingo.
“And war,” we responded. “Don’t forget they really like war.”
He didn’t need to remind us that Serbians also are pretty tough guys. And don’t take too kindly to foreigners. As in: when you walk into Prince (an unlit, barely lighted, dark and gloomy restaurant-get the point?), the guys at the bar look at you like you’ve come to a knife fight in a tutu.
Even Slapsie Maxie got the look, even though he’s a strapping 6’4″. But on the macho male scale, he and ELV are about even, so neither one of us felt all that comfortable.
But the waitron was a stone fox (does anyone use that term anymore?), had one of those accents that could melt butter, and couldn’t have been nicer.
And did we mention we ate a lot of meat?
Max ordered the meat platter for two, and out came at least five pounds of animal muscle — sausage, pounded patties of the chicken, beef and pork variety, chops, links and a rolled, cheese-stuff thingamajig that could’ve doubled as a torpedo.
Some of it was smoked, some of it seasoned, but none of it made much of an impression. All of it was surrounded by a cucumber salad topped with mounds of crumbled, tangy, gamy cheese that practically made ELV’s eyes water. It looked like feta, but made the strongest feta we’ve ever had seem like a slice of Kraft American. Sour to the point of putridness, it now stands as the single most off-putting thing we’ve ever tasted in a restaurant. (Keep it mind, ELV has eaten everything from pork blood porridge to fish eyeballs.)
The bottom line: Prince stands with a certain class of restaurants in town (like Adar Pizza, Haifa, and just about any Ethiopian one) that operate more as a social club for fellow travelers than as an eating venue catering to the public at large.
But if you can find it (underneath its unlit sign), and can handle the stares, ELV heartily recommends the smoky, beefy beef soup, containing about a pound of brisket. Like everything else on the menu, it’s more than enough for one and really more than enough for anybody.
Our dinner for two (enough for six) came to $56 — including a $14 tip — and no one in the place would’ve known or cared if we had been Ruth Reichl, Colman Andrews, or the ghosts of Julia Child and James Beard.
6795 W. Flamingo Rd. #A