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“It’s a mystery why Hungarian food at its finest is not more popular in the West …’The Hungarians are born eaters, born waiters, born restauranteurs,’ wrote RW Apple, the late, great New York Times food critic …” Conde Nast Traveller, May 2012.
I agree with this statement wholeheartedly, and I think John and Phil, both of whom joined me in Budapest for the weekend would say the same. The prospect of having dinner table companions inspired some serious research into the Budapest restaurant world, and I highly recommend the following places — in fact, I’d say there are all must-dos if you have the chance to visit this beautiful city. You can read a review of each of them on Taste Hungary’s blog.
Friday, May 18, Dinner: Pesti Disznó (Hungarian tapas)
Wild garlic cottage cheese spread and homemade pork appetizers
Duck stew with sweet potatoes and udon noodles
Basil chicken with turnip cabbage and old cheese risotto (we had a prefix and the other two had the chicken but I swapped it for some goat cheese dumplings, however they photographed terribly so I haven’t included photos)
Saturday, May 19, Lunch: Kádár Étkezde (traditional Hungarian lunch spot with a Jewish twist) (disclaimer: this food was impossible to photograph; it was truly delicious but not beautiful to observe)
Matzoh ball soup
Sólet (cholent) with goose leg
Boiled beef with mashed potatoes and apple sauce (I realize this looks disgusting, but it was definitely not; however, Phil didn’t like the apple sauce)
Stuffed pepper (with beef) and a slightly sweet tomato sauce (this was the favorite)
Saturday, May 19, Dinner: Borkonyha (modern Hungarian cuisine and one of the best meals of the year)
Pistachio crusted ricotta dumpling
Foie gras; John ate this, not me
Lamb chop with onion cake (frittata), buckwheat, and eggplant
Bitter chocolate cake with caramel ice cream and garnished with a mini macaron
Sunday, May 20, Lunch: Fülemüle (traditional Hungarian and Jewish dishes)
Smoked brisket with chips, cholet, etc.
Needless to say, I haven’t been hungry in Hungary. The boys have left and tonight I am staying in, skipping dinner, and fearing the calories I will consume during the food tour I am taking tomorrow. After that, I’m going on a diet.