Restaurant: Slavic Rolls
Cuisine: Dessert/Eastern European
Last Visited: February 8, 2013
Location: Abbotsford, BC (Sometimes Vancouver)
Address: Various locations
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
- Family owned/operated
- Eastern European dessert
- Dessert only menu
- Baked dessert
- Homemade fillings
- Family friendly
- Budget friendly
- For locations/hours: @SlavicRolls
**Recommendations: Slavic roll with Bavarian Cream and Nutella, Slavic roll with Blueberry and Apple Pie, Slavic roll with Lemon and Coconut
Tomorrow is the last Saturday for the February Food Truck Festival at the Vancouver Farmers Market (Nat Bailey Stadium). If you don’t try Slavic Rolls then I’m not sure when the opportunity will come again unless you live in Abbotsford, or the deeper suburbs. While I’m all for traveling to find amazing food, lessening my carbon footprint is never a bad thing. While you’re there you may want to check out Crêperie La Bohème, Old Country Pierogi, Pig on the Street, Yolk’s Breakfast, Le Tigre, or ChiliTank, as well as many others.
This is one of Vancouver’s few dessert only street food vendors and it’s unique and ethnic to Vancouver’s street food scene. This part Turkish and part Italian family moved to Canada in 2008 from Istanbul, Turkey. They came looking for a better quality of life and Rifat (Raphael) Baruh wanted to start his own business, and Slavic Rolls presented itself as the right opportunity. His wife Corrine helps him most days and their twin sons Bertan and Serkan help during busier days. I was very lucky to meet the whole gang as Raphael treated me to his Slavic Rolls… actually he hand fed me them. *Blush*.
Look at him! Look how happy he is! This is not a fake smile or “for the camera”, this is the joy that comes across his face no matter what time of day or what the weather is like. I’ve only met him once, but he has a very memorable and warm personality and he makes everyone feel like family. I think he was one Slavic Roll away from singing and dancing.
Raphael is the owner of Slavic Rolls which is actually a small franchise, and this is the only one in BC. I was actually quite surprised it was a franchise because I’ve never heard of it before although I’ve tried versions of these “Slavic Rolls” before in Eastern Europe. Nonetheless it doesn’t feel commercial or “franchise-like” and Raphael is as passionate as any street food vendor who started his business from scratch. His love for making slavic rolls and meeting his customers is obvious from the moment you see him. He’s quite the personality and one of the most welcoming and warm hearted street food vendors. If you don’t fall in love with his Slavic Rolls then you’ll fall in love with his family.
The sugars caramelize as it bakes and after they are rolled in your choice of toppings (coconut, sprinkles, or almonds etc). The inside is spread with your choice of fillings (fruit fillings/jams, Nutella, etc.), but the favourite is Corrine’s rich and indulgent homemade Bavarian cream. One whiff of these freshly baked pastries will make you want to curl up to one. These healthier versions of a doughnut are popular at Christmas Markets in Europe, but in Vancouver you won’t need to wait until then.
Currently Slavic Rolls is licensed in Abbotsford, but you can occasionally catch them at the Richmond Night Market, Steveston Farmers Market, Vancouver Farmers Market and Royal City Farmers Market.
On the table:
- $5/roll with your choice of two toppings
- All the fillings are home made to follow Vancouver Farmers Market guidelines, but they are not always.
- It depends on the festival and occasion, but home made is always ideal.
- The Bavarian Cream was definitely my favourite and it wasn’t too sweet. It was rich, thick and luscious and smooth throughout.
- The honey had a noticeably higher water content so I wasn’t too keen on it.
- It was a freshly baked sweet pastry coming straight from the oven, so how bad could it be? They’re delightful.
- The outside of the pastry is a bit crisp and the pastry tastes like a sweeter yeast dough.
- It is thin, flexible and a bit chewy yet tender.
- It is reminiscent of a churro with the cinnamon and sugar, but baked so it is healthier.
- These Slavic Rolls have more potential and they can get even better, but the business is still growing.
- I’ve also had these at Transylvania Bakery in downtown Vancouver, but they don’t offer as much variety in toppings and fillings.