It had been eight years since my first visit to Budapest, but I’d never forgotten how sensational Hungarian food tasted. It’s not a delicate cuisine, but it’s a rich one.
This time around, I had my first meal at Paprika Vendéglő, a traditional Hungarian restaurant a few blocks from Heroes’ Square. “Vendéglő” is Hungarian for “restaurant” or “public house”, and “Paprika” is, well, paprika.
The look-and-feel here was Hungarian Rustic.
I’ve never been afraid of garlic.
I started my meal with this Cream of Garlic soup, a Hungarian standard which I plan to try to duplicate at home. Savoured every drop.
Visitors to the US frequently comment on the portion size of food served in American restaurants, which tends to be larger than it is in Europe and Asia. I doubt you’d hear that complaint from many Hungarians. I’m a hearty eater, he said euphemistically, but on more than one occasion in Budapest, I had to pass on dessert because I was just too full to eat another bite.
Take, for instance, this dish of Pork Steaks with vegetables and “dollar chips”. The “dollar chips” turned out to be big fried potato slices, about twice as thick as American potato chips.
It was first-rate, but just look at the size of that serving! I had half of it packed up to go.
A good start, and a hint of what was to come.