Thursday, March 29, 2007

Travel - Food in Budapest

On the streets we found grilled chicken, grilled pork, grilled sausages or grilled kabobs. These are roasted on iron grills over wood fires. There are also huge flat skillets full of vegetables sitting on beautiful porcelain wood stoves. Sometimes the stoves hold vats of mulled wine. There are several such booths at the center of town where the cooking -and eating - seems to go on all day.

I haven’t tried any of the sausages but Rick had a few - 12 inches long with lots of garlic. They are served with a creamy, brown mustard and sliced bread or fried potatoes.

I’ve had potatoes, the chicken (pink with paprika) and the pork – also with mustard.

The whole town smells like pastry and it seems there are strudel shops in every subway center of any size. Rick got an apple strudel at the Great Market and I stole two bites of it- no small feat. It was flavored with cinnamon and brown sugar and melted nicely on the tongue.

Rick also had some ice cream in Rome – coffee flavored in a small cone with a pizzelle proudly standing at the top. Rome was also where we found roasted chestnuts –big, fat ones nicely split and easy to peel. They were great.

In Budapest we twice had lunch at a place called Paprika which is a thatched roof hut built inside of a stately Hungarian building. The furniture is something out of a log cabin but the food is great. I had a chicken salad and Rick tried the bacon wrapped chicken livers as well as the veal paprika which seemed like beef stroganoff and was served with macaroni and cheese flavored with bacon pieces. He also had a cucumber salad but couldn’t eat the whole thing though he made a stomach-poofing effort.

The pubs and internet bars are so smoke filled that it is barely possible to push through the fumes to get inside. Cigarette butts are plentiful and hazy, green, plumes of tainted air cling to the body after a visit but it is the only source of wifi.

Chocolate is everywhere and so I ate industrial quantities of it, just to keep my strength up with all the walking and staring agog at the magnificent buildings.

Our morning breakfast included orange juice redder than the apples and a wonderful dark brown bread with nuts and grains on the top.

The thing that Rick seemed to like best was the potato soup. Soups seem popular especially at this tiny restaurant where people stood in line during lunch hour to get bowls of creamy pea or spinach or potato soup. These were carried outdoors to the tables on the sidewalk and eaten with huge slices of bread and fried foods with a crispy coating. I'm not sure what all the somethings were under the coatings. Chicken and pork are likely candidates and some of the things were definitely mushrooms. I even have a mushroom story.

When were were there Rick ordered the potato soup (easy to do by pointing) and I asked for a breaded chicken (also available for pointing) and mustard (not in view). Mustard in English must sound like mushroom in Hungarian because the server pointed to the mushrooms but I said no, not that. Then it occurred to me to copy the word mustard. I could see it on the menu board but had no idea how to say it. (The Hungarians have a plethora of vowels.) Writing it on a slip of paper solved my problem but slowed progress in the serving line by several seconds.

We ate on the sidewalk sharing a table with two beautiful girls while the cars and the trolley passed by.


Anonymous said...

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I think...

Soon everyone should be able to leave comments on your amazing entries.

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Love, Em

Emilie said...

Yay! Finally, it works. Now I'm going to leave a comment with my google id to make sure that is working.

Anonymous said...

Sitting in my pajamas, I have traveled to remote areas. Thank you!

Elaine said...

You are welcome. Thanks for taking the time to say that you visited. Come back again, if you like, next trip is Barcelona.