Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

Celebrating 27 in Sofia

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Yesterday was my 27th birthday.

Side note-I don’t feel any older, but I am acutely aware now just how close 30 is. Society tells me that I should fear that number; the big 3-0. Yet, somehow, I foresee my 30’s being just as awesome, if not more so, than my 20’s. I suppose I’ll find out in 3 short years!

My day yesterday was calm, quiet, and rather uneventful. Vince and I ate breakfast together before he left for work (a trend that I think will continue as I can’t sleep in here for the life of me). I read a few chapters of my current book before starting work for the day.

We had plans to go into the city for dinner so I asked a few people for restaurant ideas. We eventually settled on Carolyn’s suggestion of Made in Home.

But let me back up a little…

We caught the Metro at the shiny new stop by our apartment. I am really quite impressed with Sofia’s subway lines. Sure, it was my first time riding on the system, but the trains were clean, the stations {mostly} modern and sparkling, tickets were easy to buy, and the stops are conveniently placed.

We were short on cash and definitely did not have enough to cover dinner, so upon exiting the Metro at the Sofia University stop, we wandered around looking for an ATM–Bulgaria is largely a cash economy. ATM’s are everywhere in Sofia, so we didn’t have to walk very far to find one. Unfortunately, I had forgotten what a pain in the ass it is to use my debit card to get cash out in Bulgaria. Both times I have been here before, I had a hell of a time finding an ATM that would work for me. I usually get the “card temporarily refused,”or “balance insufficient” errors. After trying about 4 machines, I remembered what my bank told me when I frantically called them last winter: ATMs in Bulgaria don’t usually have the option to choose to withdraw from checking OR savings. Apparently, when it comes to my debit card, they default to withdraw from savings. As much as I’d love be have lots of money in my savings account, I don’t generally transfer anything there from my checking.

After trying (and failing) at probably 15 ATMs along our walk to the restaurant, we eventually made it and asked if  they took credit cards.

No dice. Not surprised.

There were a few restaurants nearby that did take cards, but I was bound and determined to get some cash. We wound our way onto Vitosha Blvd–the city’s most posh shopping district, and newly designated pedestrian-only zone–slowly becoming more and more grouchy. Suddenly I spotted an internet café and figured I’d log on to my bank account and try transferring some money into my savings. *Insert yet another reason why I need a smart phone* Less than 5-minutes later we were back at an ATM withdrawing a wad of cash.

Back to Made in Home we went.

Made in Home | Sofia, Bulgaria

The restaurant is cozy and uniquely decorated. They take shabby chic to the extreme with vintage papers and music sheets decoupaged on the ceiling, old doors for tables; vintage chairs and couches topped with floral-print throw pillows and blankets; and hand-written menus on notebook paper.

I dug it.

Made in Home menu

Their English menu was easy to read and understand (sometimes hard to come by in BG) and we knew what we wanted fairly quickly. We settled on the caprese salad and homemade spinich pasta with seafood and white wine sauce.

Oh, and two beers to get the evening started.

Nearly every table in the restaurant was full yet it still felt cozy and intimate. One couple was getting a bit too intimate on a corner sofa, in fact. It’s definitely a hot spot for expats and/or travelers; we overheard English, German, and Italian being spoken at various tables.

I’ve never cared for fresh mozzarella, but our caprese salad was delicious. The fresh ingredients, mixed with a cold beer, was the perfect way to unwind after wandering the city practically begging every ATM was saw for money.
Made in Home--caprese salad

Our pasta dish took quite some time to come out but it was well worth the wait.

The homemade spinach noodles were delicate and tender. The seafood sauce consisted of mussels, garlic, onions, parsley and white wine. The seafood to sauce/noodle ratio was perfect.

Basically, what I’m saying is that it was incredible and I typically don’t like pasta.
Made in Home--spinach pasta w/ seafood sauce

I knew from the first bite that we’d be coming back again (and again) so I could try out a few more things on the menu.

We both ate ourselves sick and eventually rolled out the door and back to the Metro towards home.

Even with some minor bumps, our night in the city in celebration of my 27th birthday was wonderful.
27th Bday dinner at Made in Home

I couldn’t have asked for a better person to spend it with or a better place to spend it in.

W.

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10 thoughts on “Celebrating 27 in Sofia

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  3. Happy birthday!!! That restaurant looks incredible and I love the picture of you guys, so cute!

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  5. Happy birthday! Sounds like you know this already, but there is nothing magical about the # 3-0. I spent the entire year I was 29 going “omg i’mgoingtobe30 omg i’m goingtobe30”. And then when I turned 30 I was like “oh, this is no big deal…”. PS, my 30s have blown my 20s out of the water. I traveled a ton in my 20s, lived all these places, but seriously, in my 30s I found myself. Good luck. I like your blog.

  6. Happy Birthday!

    (You visited a restaurant in Sofia that I hadn’t heard about = looks very tasty!

  7. Ooo, I somehow have missed the actual date if your birthday! One day later, I am wishing you health and love, that’s all that matters :))). You both look great on the picture and I am glad that you have a good time! Here’s to many more birthdays, Wit!

  8. Yeah! I am glad that you liked it!!

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