Friday, September 15, 2023

Eating around Budapest

The weather was lovely in Budapest and I enjoyed walking through the city and admiring the architecture.

The ornate Gustave Eiffel-designed Budapest Nyugati railway station is now home to the Great Market Hall.

The market was the kickoff point for our food tour. I friggin' love food tours and now Ernie will get to see why. He won't get to eat any of the food because he doesn't really "eat food" but he will get to see my smiles and hear my yummy noises.

The tour came out swinging immediately with some langos. The deep fried dough is the perfect mechanism to get a large helping of sour cream, cheese, and garlic sauce smashed into your mouth. It's super popular in Hungary apparently because there were signs for it everywhere we went.

This place even had dessert langos.

We tried all the sausages.

I believe this one was made out of horse meat.

Ernie was eyeballing my Túró Rudi candy bar.

It was chocolate covered cheese curd.

I'd say the single most numerous product for sale in the market was paprika. I learned that in Hungarian it just means "pepper", so you can use any number of kinds of pepper to make it.

The pickle people in several stalls had lost their damn minds. Not only were they selling insanely large containers of pickles but had done all kinds of crazy art with them.

This ended up being one of those food tours where they stuff you and then shame you for not finishing all the food. We stood at the tables outside Belvarosi Disznotoros and had all sorts of good stuff.

There was goulash but my favorite of the day was Gyümölcsleves, or Hungarian fruit soup.

I was excited that this place was also on the Budapest Eater list which has led me to glory so often in the past.

"Local office workers form a line at lunchtime in front of this standing-only downtown eatery, which specializes in traditional meat-heavy dishes. Patrons can choose from an array of fresh or prepared meats, including Serbian cevapi, schnitzel, and braised duck legs. But the main event here is the sausage, which includes paprika-laced, blood, and pork-liver varieties. Follow the locals and pair a sausage with a generous portion of mustard, pickled vegetables, and a few slices of bread."

The fruit soup was cool and refreshing and had plenty of cherries in it.

There were multiple pickled foods served as well.

We stopped at Ibolya Espresso.

I liked the retro decor. In particular they had old Soviet radios at each table.

Here we were served a shot of Unicum, a Hungarian herbal liqueur sort of akin to Jägermeister.

We had fancy little cakes at Geraldine - Auguszt a Múzeumkertben.

We concluded with a wine tasting. Hungary is especially proud of its Tokaji dessert wine.

We've had these chimney cake things filled with ice cream before in Czech Republic. It turns out that they are actually Romanian. Hungary is even closer to Romania though so we had to sample the local interpretation. In Hungarian they are called a very catchy Kürtőskalács.

Some of the local police had had way too many chimney cake ice creams.

As the sun went down we took plenty of pictures of the handsomely illuminated Országház, or Hungarian Parliament Building.

Shoes on the Danube Bank. "Sixty pairs of shoes mark the site in Budapest, Hungary, where fascist Arrow Cross militiamen shot Jews and threw their bodies into the river in 1944 and 1945."

We had dinner at Borkonyha Winekitchen. Michelin Guide: "This unassuming-looking restaurant sits not far from the Basilica, and while its traditional dining room may not promise all that much, to pass it by would be a mistake. The kitchen here sources top-class ingredients, treats them with the utmost respect and allows them to shine. Subtle Hungarian influences run throughout dishes which are well-conceived and skilfully executed, and have a notable intensity of flavour. Wines are key here too: they offer 100 labels, including around a quarter by the glass."

Duck liver mousse, beetroot, black currant

Monkfish, butternut squash, potato

Mangalica pork chop, sausage, "lecso".

I looked up lecso and it is a vegetable stew that "combines three of Hungary's favorite ingredients—peppers, tomatoes, and paprika." 

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