Bojan Bogdanovic, with his stomach making audible protestations, walked into the Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits store with anticipation. He approached the counter and looked up at the menu; soon, his eager expression was replaced with one of confusion.
“Any questions?” asked the cheerful, yet clearly sub-intelligent cashier.
Bojan did have some questions. For a restaurant named after him, most of the menu items were unfamiliar. He did not know what “fried chicken” was, for example. He knew about Ajngemahtec, a stew from his home country that was often prepared with chicken, but he doubted that “fried chicken” was a similar dish. There was also a “4-piece homestyle tender pack” listed on the menu, but the accompanying picture did little to clarify the situation.
“Do you sell Mješano meso here?”
The cashier, identified by her nametag as “Chelsea”, tilted her head, confused. “Um, what?”
“Mješano meso. Can you make?”
Chelsea appeared to ponder the question seriously for a few moments before answering, “I don’t think so. You have to order off the regular menu.”
“So you no make Janjetina either?
“No, sorry,” replied Chelsea, looking for all the world like she really was sorry.
“What kind of Croatian restaurant not serve classic Croatian dish?” Bojan asked. “This really insult on my homeland.”
The confused look on Chelsea’s face only grew more pronounced. “Cro…asia? If you want Asian food, Super Wok is in the shopping center across the street.”
Bojan sighed. “Forget it. I just have #2 combo, please.”
Wiping the grease off his fingers and slurping down the rest of his jumbo Mountain Dew, Bojan couldn’t help but smile. Sure, this “fried chicken” stuff was nothing compared to the wide array of delicacies that his mother would make every day of the year, but it was tasty for what it was.
Maybe the Americans weren’t so bad after all.