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What is priming and how it took me to Quartal Food Park in Sofia – Part 1



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Do you know what priming is in psychology?

Priming is a phenomenon in which exposure to one stimulus influences how a person responds to a subsequent, related stimulus. These stimuli are often conceptually related words or images.

Source: psychologytoday.com

Simply put, something you watch, read, listen to affects your decisions and actions in some way, especially if there is any connection between them.

So, a priming took me to Quartal for the second time. I worked on my computer, edited the video and the post about ANDRe restaurant, throwing glances to the TV, where, not just anyone, but the owner of ANDRe, chef Tokev, was a guest with the TV show “Food Hunters” by bTV, of an IT specialist and a beekeeper by vocation, who told a lot of interesting things about bees. Shortly afterwards, the IT beekeeper’s mother, along with chef Andre, kneaded a  loaf that looked mind-bogglingly delicious. At that moment, the whole family exclaimed, “We’re hungry!” There was no time to cook, and it was a wonderful warm autumn Sunday outside, so we agreed unanimously to go to Quartal.

For those who do not know, I explain that Quartal is the first permanent, large and collective arena for street food in Bulgaria. It consists of many pavilions, many of which represent famous chefs and offer only high-quality cuisine, in small portions.

Here’s how priming works now. Why did we head to Quartal exactly ? Read on.

Without thinking, we went directly to TasteBox, the pavilion by Chief Tokev. We ordered almost the entire menu and only then we felt satisfied. Everything was superbly tasty and very masterfully cooked by his follower chefs – young and smiling boys. You can see photos in the second part of this post.

At one point I realized that the day before I had talked to Andre at the Bacchus Fish Fest.

For the uninitiated, the Fish Fest is an event that presents street seafood. It has been organized for the third year by Bacchus magazine. The place is traditionally the Sitnyakovo market in Sofia.

So the star of MasterChef, Andre Tokev prepared the bites-prizes for those who paid with a MasterCard. We talked about the difference between the French soup Poissons De Roche, which we tried, and the other famous French fish soup Boulliabaisse.

It turned out that the synapses in my brain formed a very solid priming chain, which started from ANDRe restaurant, continued with the subsequent writing of an article, processing photos I took there, making a movie about the restaurant, publishing and writing posts on social networks, then a conversation and again trying from the dishes of chef Tokev at Fish Fest, brought finally to my subsequent decision and action, which takes my whole family to Quartal and directly to TasteBox by Andre Tokev.

Priming chain by placescases.com
Priming chain by placescases.com

A similar thing happened with my visit to Lazy, where chef Ivo Petkov used to cook, which provoked me to go after 3 days to Spoon, the new place where he demonstrates his cooking art at the moment.

This publication is part of The Experience Economy category. This is a theory that explains what makes customers come back to a place over and over again and repeatedly entrust their budget for entertainment and recreation right there.

Chef Andre Tokev has built a business that in its various manifestations gives the important elements for the good experience of the client: pure entertainment, aesthetic pleasure, educational benefits, escape from reality.

Each location associated with his name offers flawless-looking food that always impresses with colors and shapes, delivering aesthetic pleasure. When you watch his show “Food Hunters” on bTV, you learn interesting things about the Thracians, the bees, you learn food recipes and have fun. Although he is very popular at the moment in Bulgaria, due to the MasterChef show, another manifestation of entertainment related to him, chef Tokev is not so inaccessible. You can see him on street food forums and talk to him and learn something new about cooking and gastronomy again. The food that is prepared in the places marked with his name is always very tasty and when you take it, you do not think about worries and commitments, but share with others how delicious it is. You feel like a MasterChef jury.

Let’s face it, priming is used for advertising, but in this case it directs you to experiences that are worth the budget spent on gastronomic pleasure and their dedicated free time.

If you expected to read more about Quartal and the things you can eat and drink there, read the next article What is priming and how it took me to Quartal Food Park in Sofia – Part 2, in which I tell you exactly that.

If I have primed you and you are already wondering how to get to Quartal Food Park or plan a trip to Sofia to visit this kind of street food fair, below are directions and tips.

How to get to all mentioned above places?

Don’t worry about getting to the mentioned above places  in Sofia. Just use the Google map here by clicking on the red pin of its location and then select directions:

Quartal Food Park, Sofia, Bulgaria

Ресторант Lazy, София, България

Ресторант Spoon, София, България

Ресторант ANDRe, София, България

Пазар Ситняково, София, България


If you need to rent a car, you can book it here in the box of the largest booking platform.

Where to stay if you are not from the city?

If you are not from Sofia and you are already planning a visit to the city I recommend that you book your stay right hereFor your convenience, I have added a booking.com box, which refers directly to their site. I guarantee you’re going to use all your genius discounts and privileges they would offer to you. Just enter the dates of your trip, then hit the Search button and voila. In addition, booking.com are doing their best to make sure that your expectations as a customer are fulfilled. I’ve described an example about the latter in  my story about our stay in Shangri-La hotel in Singapore .


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Do you ever wonder how some places differ so much from others in service, environment, as an overall experience? This means you are also interested like me in the topic of The Experience Economy by Pine and Gilmore. I constantly add to my collection reviews about those of them, which practice its principles, regardless of intentionally or accidentally. If you are curious to understand which are they, explore category The Experience Economy.

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