a piece of reforma cake
Nemanja Milunovic’s reforma cake Credit: Miroslav Pavlovic

I’d happily eat a shoe leather sandwich every day if I had unfettered access to Nemanja Milunovic’s tortoise shell-shaped somun bread.

There was a brief period back in summer-autumn 2021 when I could have it whenever I wanted. That was when Milunovic operated Kiosk Balkan Street Food out of a ghost kitchen a mere mile and change from my yurt. Then I needn’t stoop so low. I had my choice of roast lamb, beef cevapi, or fried chicken on this pillowy, high-hydration bread, probably the most ideal sandwich delivery vehicle I’ve ever encountered.

That all changed when Milunovic abruptly shuttered KBSF and returned to a regular gig at Lettuce Entertain You’s Aba. These days, the only time the chef’s making somun for the masses is when he finds time for a rare pop-up.

That’s only happened twice. But this November, it’s happening again when Nemanja and Marko Milunovic return to Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up at Ludlow Liquors.

This three-peat is more than I hoped for with a trio of heaping sandwiches on somun, such as the return of the chef’s marvelous Serbian fried chicken sandwich with the cheese and chili spread urnebes, pickles, and cabbage slaw. There’s the all-beef grilled cevapi with pickled onions, kajmak, and roasted red pepper ajvar. And the debut of the vegan falafel pleskavica, Milunovic’s veggie-based take on the classic Serbian burger, with onions, peppers, tomato, cukes, and tahini. It’s vegan if you hold the tzatziki.

Get these with a side of spuds and aioli seasoned with the Bulgarian sharena sol, aka “colorful salt,” with summer savory, paprika, and fenugreek; or the Macedonian (and also vegan) slow-cooked beans tavče, with garlic and aleva pepper confit. pepererper confit.

You’ll need to bookend any combination of the above with the tomato, cucumber, onion, and feta shopska salad; and a thick slice of chocolate-walnut sponge reforma torta.

Brother Marko’s prepped two cocktails for the affair, built on Yebiga Bela slivovitz, the plum brandy—championed by Faith No More bassist Billy Gould—including a riff on an old fashioned with Averna, Licor 43, and spiced pear syrup; and a lighter, fruitier refresher with Dubble Bubble-infused slivovitz, banana, raspberry, and crème de cacao.

You can preorder for this one or walk in starting at 5 PM at 2959 N. California in breathtaking Avondale.

Meanwhile, check out the three remaining Foodballs of 2023: