St. Louis food scene is full of surprises

…A recent wave of Bosnian immigrants, who fled the Balkan wars of the ’90s and concentrated in St. Louis, have introduced pide (like pita, but fluffier), cevapi (sausage) and doner (spit-roasted meat sandwiches) to the dining scene.

These are not foreign dishes to the line of lunch-grabbers in Midtown waiting to eat at the Bosnian food truck Balkan Treat Box, owned by Loryn Nalic and her Bosnian husband, Edo. He runs the window, bantering with regulars; she runs the wood-fired oven, visibly torching homemade flatbread topped with spicy red pepper sauce called ajvar, crumbly beef and creamy kajmak cheese.

As a chef, Loryn taught herself Balkan cooking by traveling in the former republics that made up Yugoslavia and hanging around restaurants until they would invite her into the kitchen.

“I would go to the markets and pick up old ladies by saying, ‘If I buy your groceries, can you take me home with you and show me what you’re making,’” she laughs.

Coming soon: The couple is opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Webster Groves, one of those inner-ring suburbs.