Who shot the bear?

mafia man sitting around dinner table

We find ourselves somewhere en route in Slovenia. Rain is drizzling on the windshield and a somber mood creeps towards us. Summer is clearly over and our vacation soon as well.


By 7:30PM we are hungry and tired. None of us feel like cooking and it’s too dark to find a good place to wild camp. Time for Plan B: finding a restaurant with a parking lot big enough for our two expedition trucks; a place where we can fill up our bellies and stay overnight.

When we spot such a restaurant, 50 meters away from the road, we are not sure if its open. A few lights are still on. Moni and I head inside, while the guys stay behind with the trucks.


The large restaurant turns out be empty; aside from 5 middle-aged men sitting around a round table. A shot glass filled with clear liquor in front of each of them. Home-brewed?

Moni and I look at each other, obviously thinking the same thing: Did we just walk into a scene of The Godfather or is it more the Sopranos?


We are hungry enough to push any concern to the back of our minds. Assuming these guys don’t want to be disturbed we head to the kitchen to look for the chef or owner.

He welcomes us with a friendly smile. He explains in broken English and German that the kitchen is still open and we can stay on their parking lot for the night.

On one condition!

He needs to serve those mysterious men around the table first. Once more, Moni and I glance at each other.


Once seated, we are presented with the restaurants menu. “Elmer do you see that?” He nods enthusiastically.

“Venice…Wild boar…BEAR!

And those prices!!! We would probably pay triple for this back home.


When the chef returns to our table, we can’t hide our curiosity and inquire about the “origin” of this particular interesting menu.

He smiles and points in the direction of the five men sitting around the table.

Image: The Cosa Nostra men (Sicilian mafia), made by Paul Demaria.

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