Coliba Haiducilor – the Most Beautiful Restaurant in Poiana Brasov
If you plan to visit Brasov city anytime soon, you should definitely go see Poiana Brasov, the best ski resort in Romania. This location is gorgeous all year long – during winter, you can try all kinds of winter sports or the local hotels with spas, and during summer, you can climb the mountains, visit the resort by bike, ride horses, or just lay in the sun on a blanket on the meadows. It will only take you half an hour to get from Brasov to Bran castle, the place which inspired Bram Stoker to write the ultra-popular book about Dracula.
My fiancé and I go to Brasov at least twice a year, mainly to relax and get some fresh air. We love to take the cable car, for the amazing view of the nearby mountains, even if we don’t ski all the time. Here’s the view from the top! Isn’t it gorgeous?
When it comes to the food part, we usually choose restaurants where we can enjoy authentic Romanian food. The food is usually great, if you know which restaurants to visit.
We discovered Coliba Haiducilor restaurant last summer, when one of our good friends suggested to try it, thanks to its great Tripadvisor reviews. The restaurant is easy to find, there is a road which takes you directly in front of the restaurant. It has a large parking place, so parking your car there won’t be a problem. Personally, we always like to go by foot. You need to go up the hill a bit, since the restaurant is in the forest.
Once you arrive in front of the restaurant, you will surely be amazed by the fairytale look of the building. The name of the restaurant, Coliba Haiducilor, can be translated as ‘The Outlaws’ Hut’, outlaws referring to some characters similar to Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. If you come here during summer, make sure you visit the restaurant’s garden – it’s more beautiful than words can describe.
Now, let’s get to the important part – the food! Each time we ate here, we received a big loaf of homemade bread – eat some, because you must pay for it. It’s delicious, so that won’t be a problem. The lemonade was great for quenching our thirst after a walk in the resort.
You will find all kinds of traditional appetizers on the menu, a wide variety of ciorba, our traditional sour soups, and lots of meat courses, including pork, beef, poultry, even bear or deer meat! They also have a selection of traditional Romanian desserts, including papanasi and jam-filled crepes.
I ordered one of the most appealing dishes on Coliba Haiducilor’s menu, Borcanul Bunicii, translated as Grandma’s Jar. It consisted of pork meat and pork sausages, previously kept in lard in a special barrel. This is one of the oldest preservation methods that we use in Romania to keep the meat fresh during winter. My fiancé told me that his grandmother has a similar barrel at her house – it’s called garnita.
The meat was really, really good, served with a side of polenta, called mamaliga in Romania. I also ordered some sour cream and marinated mushroom salad, which go great with this dish. It is, indeed, a high-calorie meal, but it is too good not to try.
For dessert, I really wanted to show you our traditional papanasi, which are donuts prepared with a dough consisting of cheese similar to ricotta, flour, eggs, yeast and vanilla flavoring, fried and then topped with sour cream and fruit preserve – usually sour cherry or forest fruit. When you order papanasi¸ you will almost always receive two pieces on one plate, which is always too much for me. That’s why I like to share a portion with my fiancé. Make sure you eat them while they’re warm! A cold papanas just won’t do!
After we finished our lunch, I asked one of the lovely ladies of the Coliba Haiducilor staff to open the pickles room – a sort of pantry filled with all kinds of goodies, including pickles, dried meat, fruits, vegetables and an abundance of delicious stuff you can eat in Romania! We’ve been there before, and our jaws dropped when we saw how beautiful their pantry was. Just look at how they decorated the pickle jars, and the entire pantry!
If you want to visit this beautiful room, make sure you ask someone from the restaurant to open the pantry door – they don’t keep it open. If you don’t know about it, you’ll probably just pass by the door without noticing there’s something there.
It’s really worth visiting Coliba Haiducilor – I think it’s a unique place, which reveals some of our most beautiful traditions. The food is great, and the staff is more than lovely. Don’t forget to take a walk around Poiana Brasov after eating all that yummy food. For me, taking a walk was more than necessary after eating that scrumptious meal and that heavenly dessert.