Almost a year after our Georgian trip, my friend and I still couldn’t forget the best mtsvadi we have tried in Georgia. Mtsvadi is Georgia’s take on Philippines’ inihaw na baboy or Arabic kebab. Of course, living in a Muslim country where pork is not widely accepted, we took advantage of stuffing ourselves of anything and everything pork during our trip.
It was funny that my friend and I even launched the contest for the best mtsvadi. Each time we would order from a restaurant, we would check out if they have mtsvadi in the menu, and take turns in ordering it (of course, it will be shared)… We found out that each restaurant/city would have a different version. That makes the hunt even more exciting.
Little did we know that the best mtsvadi as far as we were concerned is from this unassuming hole in a wall in Telavi.
Tired from travelling most of the day via public transport from Gudauri to Tbilisi then to Telavi, so hungry that we even had to eat our emergency stash. Haha… I was so hungry that I refused to go to the hotel to leave our luggage and convinced my friend to just carry them with us. Haha… Unfortunately, there was no restaurant in sight. I told my friend I saw a restaurant not far from where we were, and it will just be a short taxi ride away.
Pirosmani Restaurant is underground and we had tow our luggage some steps down. Blooper # 1, haha… We went inside, it was a simple, a carinderia by Filipino standards, and at 4:30pm, already had guys in the midst of enjoying their drinks. We were reluctant at first, being the only lady customers as we thought we entered a bar, not a restaurant. Hunger won however and we didn’t care. We will eat, and run! :p If we needed to…
Not long after, our fear was gone. Families with kids actually were dining here. The crew also were nice and accommodating, seeing that we were tourists. Grandpa Pianist soon started to play the organ and sing and the atmosphere got festive. Ok, not bad after all…
Like I said, we were so famished. My friend and I ordered a lot. We were served bread (gratis) and had (oily) homemade French fries and khinkhali (Georgian-style dumplings, not in photo, and my friend’s favorite!) All were good and oilicious, haha…
But, the star of the show was the mtsvadi shown in the photo below, with kupati, the Georgian sausage. Their mtsvadi was what our Filipino palate expects its inihaw na baboy to be. Simple but rock!
Who would have guessed that the winner to our secret contest will be Pirosmani? It doesn’t seem to be the kind of restaurant that tourists will go to, but it is where locals will. That being said, we got very good value for money and it’s the authentic Georgian local dining experience that got the brownie points!
When in Telavi, hunt down this place, and let us know what you think!
St. Chavchavadze, 52, Telavi