With its Italian inspired cuisine and its many dining and lunch areas, "Victoria" is definitely a restaurant which grabbed my attention. The restaurant, not being far from the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, allows the customers to have a meal inside or outside on a covered, large terrace, or to have a coffee in the garden located on the opposite side of the terrace. As soon as one of the waitresses saw that I was waiting for a table, they almost immediately brought me to one, regardless that it was set for four people and I was just alone. The decoration of the restaurant itself is quite simple and not very elaborate with wooden chairs and tables and a few hanging flowers dotted around the canopy. What I found quite amusing (although a bit bizarre) was that there was a dungeon nearby. I thought that maybe this is where all the non-paying customers end up! However the Cafe garden is very nicely decorated with modern furniture and elaborate items. It is calm and relaxing, despite being close to the road. The trees, flowers and other plants make the atmosphere very soothing and pleasant. With a soft humming house/trance music playing in the background, one can really enjoy oneself very nicely in the surroundings, while sitting on comfortable chairs and benches.
When I was given the menu, I was surprised at the numerous amount of choices proposed for lunch and dinner. There were over thirty varieties of pizzas (coming in large or small sizes) varying from the most simple like the "Margherita," to the more elaborate ones like the "Corsika" (tomatoes, tuna, onion, prawns, yellow cheese, olive oil, marjoram & lemon) with a price range of between 1.85 to 11.60 leva. They also had a large selection of salads, hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, pasta, soups, fish, meat dishes, drinks and wine (both red and white). In addition to all of these choices, there was a children's menu for 9.30 leva, which offered a small pizza, a soft drink, an ice cream and a SURPRISE TOY! Unfortunately, I was not eligible for this menu, even though the surprise was very intriguing!
What they also offered was a page of Italian dishes such as risotto and tagliatelle al pesto for rational prices. After browsing the menu for a while, I finally chose a small "Calzone" pizza (closed pizza with cheese, tomatoes, ham and mushrooms) with a Wirbel Salad (potatoes, tomatoes, eggs and mayonnaise) and a Coke. When I ordered my lunch, I realised that all of the waiters and waitresses spoke a reasonable amount of decent English. While I waited for my meal to arrive, I noticed that the restaurant itself was very popular, because there was a queue of about ten people waiting for a seat. I also observed that it was a daily canteen for businessmen and women from the surrounding area, and many tables were filled with office workers. It was not long after I ordered that my salad arrived. A very tasty salad it was, but it was more like mayonnaise with the salad than salad with mayonnaise. I was in the middle of eating my first course when my pizza arrived; good proof that the service was very quick and efficient. Even though I was unable to finish both courses, the meal itself was very appetising, and I must say that I was very satisfied with the quality of the food. I ended up paying 10.91 leva for the whole meal which was a little over what I expected. You walk in with an empty stomach and you walk out with a full one. A great, yet simple restaurant, with excellent quality food and quick, effective service. Four stars for a terrific quality restaurant that is simply and neatly decorated.