I can’t tell you how many times I have passed Stare Grede with an urge to go in, but all those times I was walking alone and somehow never got the courage. I have heard so many good things about this place being a true local lunch hangout where blue-collars go during break to get the best meat on the market. I even know of an elderly gentleman who ventures across the city several times a week to have a bite of their daily dishes. Finally, it turned out that close friends of mine are regulars there and after I told them “I heard about this place called Stare G…,” they took my by the hand and hurried me in under the old beams of this konoba. Stare Grede means ‘old beams’ you see and this traditional tavern only 1km from the center, is just that; old beams, rustic wooden benches, stone walls, and old photos on the wall.
We were immediately greeted by the owner who insisted we join him for a dram of heart medicine (a.k.a. rakija or grappa) as an aperitif. I politely passed but my friends accepted without a second thought.
The owner is a hunter so in wintertime, game is a favorite on the menu; his own catch. He bakes his own breads, and a knocks out a reputable peka (meat prepared under a bell covered in coal) on order. He is passionate about sourcing the best produce there is, whether is be local prosciutto, vegetables, and cheese, but meat is really Stare Grede’s forte; so what else but to try some carnivorous delicacies?
The owner’s wife wanted us to try her newest concoction on the house; čvarci paté, a paté made of pork rind, spiced with paprika. Now there is something that warms my heart; it might give me a heart attack in years to come but its so worth it. Surprisingly, the texture wasn’t as lardy as you would think when you know what hides in these balls or calories. Where I come from, we eat crispy rind out of candy bags so this made me felt right at home.
As main, I opted for a real man’s plate of bacon-wrapped steaks on the spit with potatoes à la peka on the side. This joint probably one of the only places in town that asked me how I wanted my meat cooked (medium) instead of than killing the poor piece by making is extra well done. The outcome was simply spectacular; tender meat cuts without the stringy bits, an easy cut, and wholesome crispy potatoes. Steak on a spit meant two spits with four 7cm diameter pieces on each, so eight pieces (!!). Even the real men at the table couldn’t consume the whole plate so luckily I was able to bring my father home some manly food.
After a slow meander home and a well-deserved nap on a very full stomach, I realize that my dining experience at Stare Grede has probably been one of the most authentic to date. I am still craving a revisit to so I have sourced a lunch companion for this afternoon, as rumor has it that their daily dishes run from 29KN only…. so gotta go!
Address: Domovinskog rata 46, Split