Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by zaelic

  1. I think you are talking about "salca" (pronounced sal-jah) which is the Turkish name. In Turkey it is made by putting skinned, seeded tomatos in a big, clear plastic bag (with holes in order to let moisture out) and placing this on the roof in the hot summer sun. There are lots of regional versions, some more or less fermented, many with the addition of pepper, some without. It is usually sold by specialized sellers at Turkish markets, but you can buy various brands in jars at any turkish grocery store. If there is a Turkish specialty shop near you I'm sure they would have some. "Antep" is a good variety, slightly spicy (if the jar says "acli" it means hot spiced) In a pinch, unsweetened tomato paste can do - you can doctor it up with cayenne if you wish. It is a concentrate so a lot of sauces are made by adding a tablespoon or so to some water or stock. Many kebab shops serve a spoonful on a plate for dipping kofte (meatballs) in.
  2. Bock Bisztro is probably the ruling choice among many of my friends. Excellent wine selection (it is the Budapest outpost of the famous Bock winery) and =rare for Budapest - high quality choice of ingredients for a Hungarian menu. Gundel... its been a joke for years. A more updated list of non-tourist-trap restaurants can be found at www.chew.hu. Also, mention of that NY Times article had me and my girlfriend - we both do travel and food writing - desparately trying to prevent our heads from exploding. The Dio, for example... a fine old resto trying something "new and radical" to survive on a street of incredibly expensive and very trendy bad restaurants. When you can find ginger home fries or anything with cilantro on a Hungarian menu it does not mean the chef is aiming at a creative fusion. It simply means he worked for a half year in a German hotel. "Asian fusion" means a handful of ginger and a few sprigs of cilantro bought down at the Asian specialty shop at Vamhaz market in the moring... The Times wrote a story about two years ago on fusion cuisne in Budapest which had us locals rolling in laughter - it was essentially a listing of some of the worst and most expensive eateries on the most expensive boulevard (Andrassy) all of whom "fused" ginger and cilantro into chicken breast salads to get the per plate price up. The simple fact is that they also source their meat and veg from the same markets that the school cafeterias do.
  3. It is good to see you have gone the digital camera route, Sazji! We need to watch cig kebab being prepared... from scratch...
  4. Another joke from the Jewish tradition on this topic: The Talmud states that when the Messiah arrives, there will be a great feast every day, and everyone will have a choice of two delicacies: either Ahavroth (the mythical giant ox) or Leviathan (the mythical giant fish.) So a Hasidic Rabbi is having a discussion with his students. The students ask "Rabbi, what would we eat when the Messiah comes? Should we order Ahavroth? Or should we order the Leviathan?" The Rabbi thinks for a minute and then answers "Play it safe. Order the fruit plate."
  5. I just looked over the Fodor’s list, and knowing who works for Fodors Guides, I am not surprised that it is about as inaccurate as you can possibly get without making a list up. Ignore it completely. The Al-Amir is not on Andrassy, it is on Király utca, and has closed. The Alhambra is not a Moroccan restaurant. The Castro has moved to Madach tér (and I will recommend it for Serb grills and the only legitimate gulyás soup in the downtown area. And cheap.) Use the Time Out Budapest City guide for a better guidebook, and check out Pestiside web blog restaurant listings. A lot of us old time foreign residents bemoan the state of the Hungarian restaurant scene today. Prices have soared, and pseudo-Germanic fusion cuisine seems to have taken over a lot of new menus: add soy and ginger and call it “Asian Fusion” and charge double. It has become hard to find good old Magyar chow, but it’s out there, mostly in neighborhood places out beyond the train stations. First, avoid the Gundel. It’s gone down tremendously. Instead, if you want upscale, eat at the neighboring Bagolyvár. Also, do not eat inside the Buda castle. Below the Buda castle at Moszkva tér/Szena tér market are sevral good eateries, such as the Markus etterem and the Szent Jupát. In Downtown Pest, the Fátal is good for basic Hungarian. The Kis Kacsa on Király utca (corner of Kazinczy utca) is another good, simple Magyar eatery. The Kadar Etkezde on Klauzal tér is great for lunch. The Arányhal, out on Thõkõly ut (Amerikai utca stop on the 7 bus – not the red express 7) is good for fish soup and regular Hungarian food. Also, pay a visit to the market at Bosnyak ter at the end of the 7-bus line. Old Slovak peasant ladies still wear folk costumes while selling vegtables in the back market, where you can buy illicit home-made palinka (plum brandy) on weekends from the stands (look for the clear liquid sold in plastic Pepsi bottles….) You can also get a good fresh langos (fried potato bread) at the stands in the back, but try the “fank” instead – a huge donut, fresh fried and topped with jam. For sausages and such, these things are eaten inside the butcher shop itself, and one on the corner outside of the Bosnyak ter market is exceptional for all things tubular and piggy. Another good market is the Lehel tér market ("piac") on the Blue Metro line. There is a self service resturant on the corner outside the market entrance. (They grill chickens by the entrance.) Try it out. Old fashioned communist workers' factory grub like we had in the old days. Cheap.
  6. Well, I was born in NYC but I live in Budapest. My son is bilingual, lives with his Mom, and has lived all of his life in Hungary. When he comes to my house he wants no part of Hungarian food - which I like and not surprisingly, is what the corner grocery sells. Head cheese, kolbász, stuffed cabbage. For my son, however, Papa's house is all about ethnic cooking, like pancakes, apple pie, matzoh ball soup, fried chicken, New Mexico lamb chile, best of all, home style sushi and seaweed salad (my girlfriend is Japanese from Tokyo.) And when he comes over with his friends, they all want to try strange concoctions he has raved to them about... like hot dogs on buns with mustard and sauerkraut (it was a big hit at his school "bring an ethnic dish" themed picnic. All the other kids brought ramen noodle packages or Grandma's Slovak potato soups.) These kids now use the word "pancake" to refer to palacsintas, and their Mom's ask me for recipes so they too can produce the stodgy, thick IHOP style pancake these kids find so exotic...
  7. Well, if you must have a curry wurst, must go to Konnopkes Imbiss, in Prenzlauer Berg, East Berlin, Schönhauser Allee 44a, under the elevated Metro line. Within a five minutes stroll you'll also find some damn good Vietmanese, Thai, and Palestinian felaful, as well as good old fashioned German take-out baked chicken.
  8. Prenslauer Burg! Also Kreuzburg for Turkish.
  9. I agree with Anzu - Berlin is where you are most likely to find good ethnic food in Germany. And please - avoid the Chinese restaurants unless somebody suggestes a good one to you. You will see a lot of places offering "Asiapfanne" - or "Asia pan" which is a slop consisting of meat, veg (with bean sprouts, of course) soy sauce and noodles stir-fried into a Teutonic glop of Oriental Stereotypes. Avoid it. Kebabs in Berlin are arguably as good as any in Istanbul - they use a nicer Anatolian style flat bread in Berlin. Some of the Felaful I have had in Berlin is as good as any I have had in Israel or NY - these places are usually run by Palestinains or Egyptians. Russian and Georgian food is plentiful. I usually have a ball eating ethnic street foods and snacks and rarely get around to eating fancier meals. Of course, I don't mind a bratwurst now and then. There are a lot of Indian places staffed by Indians and some I have tried are quite good, but remember: food will never be really spicy hot in Germany. A restaurant that truly adds hot pepper to its food will lose business and possibly get sued in Germany. I once asked an Asian shopkeeper why the dried red peppers I had bought in his shop were not really hot, and he said his German customers would complain if the peppers burned their mouths. I am not exaggerating. I carry hot sauces on me when I have to travel in Germany.
  10. Yes, I saw the film last August in a theater off Istiklal Caddesi. It was strange watching a film that presented Beyoglu as so exotic while actually sitting in Beyoglu. And when I got hungry watching the German rock star eating all that good food I knew that all I had to do was walk outside the theater and there it all was waiting for me. And no, it wasn't the pee that was blue from salgam...
  11. A basic rule of thumb when eating in Central/Eastern Europe: food is fuel. You eat it so that you are not hungry anymore. The "foodie" phenomenon never developed here, nor will it. "Fancy Restaurants" exist mainly to be a place where the noveau riche (a very mysterious species in east Europe) can see and be seen - it is never about the food. That said, Bratislava can be a great place to eat as long as you understand that Slovak food is peasant food, it isn't meant to be married with Thai flavors or elevated by using kobe beef. The dumplings: halushki. I love them, starchy, bland, dressed with greasy bacon bits, and screaming "Slovakia!" all through the meal. I can eat it every day, as many slovaks do. If you are vegetarian, forget it. There is no way the Slovak cook will leave off his carefully diced and fried bacon bits. Up around Ruzemberok and Liptovsky Mikulas in the mountains they make it with really smelly sheep cheese and slice sausage onto it. Mortality on a plate. Most Bratisalva restaurants do offer broiled trout, which can be quite good. Regular old viener shnitzel is possibly better here than in Austria. Garlic soup is a common starter: simple boullion with garlic and bread cubes. Slovaks are good at various bean soups as well - always with some smoked meat. You won't find elevated cuisine here, but you will be served good stick-to-your-ribs food at a very decent price.
  12. Sazji: Yes, the Fatih Meat Market is one of my favorite places - I was always buying liters of fresh salgam juice from the seller there. Salgam is one of my favorite edibles in the whole universe: sour red carrot/beet?/vegtable juice, bright red and often spiced hot. Available in small bottles from most kebab sellers. Also one of the world's best hangover cures. The one problem with drinking liters and liters of salgam a day - as I would - is that your digestive system converts that bright red into a stunning shade of blue. Er, Brenna (Macrimmon?) - one of the absolute greatest voices in Turkish/Canadian traditional music - doesn't like Kokorec? I'm stumped!
  13. In Istanbul I have seen it for sale - near the Egypstian Spice Market, for example - next to heavy wooden cuttiong boards where the seller shaves it into thin slices with a huge heavy knife, rather like shaving parmesan. If it is really hard you could try a wood plane. I suppose any mild sheep cheese - such as Greek Kasseri or kashkaval - could subsitute for kashar. Yes, the menemem recipe is really a great take on scrambled eggs.
  14. Yes, there is pide, and it is flat, but it is not quite the same as the middle eastern pita bread that became widely known as the bread for felafels worldwide. A whole book should be written about the variety of flat breads available at Istanbul kebab houses. For my money, the breads that are served with buryani kebab (pit roasted lamb) are the winners. Every time I visit Istanbul my first lunch stop is the Fatih meat Market near the Aquaduct. Lamb, lambn, and lamb. Then I wind up having kokorec someplace in Sikedji... sure, it is a fatty shit sandwich. But it is a very good fatty shit sandwich.
  15. An exciting discussion. Having spent the summer eating my way through the balkans and Turkey, I'll add a few thoughts. To talk of "Turkish" or Greek" cuisine conjures up mental maps of those nations, and lurking in the background someplace is the ghost of 19th century nationalisms and their attendant baggage: the [*Insert Nation Name*] Cookbook. Most of the cookbooks I have read that propose to describe "Greek" or "Turkish" or even "Romanian" national cuisines have been at best innacurate, and at worst big steaming cow patties of misinformation. It would be best to speak of a Balkan cuisine or an Ottoman cuisine, both of which have melded and have regional and class distinctions, and have permuteated over seven hundred years to create related cuisines. To speak of "Turkish" cuisine, to give one example, we can see the various cultural layers in something as simple as baked goods. We have things such as flat breads, which reflect an ancient nomadic past harking back to a time when there were no bread baking hearths. In order to produce "cakes" this tradition developed the layered-flat-bread phenomenon known to us as everything from baklava to borek. In the meantime, Europeans had been settled for generations in the Pera/Galata district of Istanbul and brought with them french bakers and Italian confectioners, so today some of the best french-style breads and cakes to be had are found in Istanbul. And the bakers widely acknowledged as the best in Turkey are the Hemshin - Muslim Armenians from the eastern Black sea region (which is known for excellent big yeasty loaves of bread in the Trabzon area as well as nearly indigestable corn bread.) (Oh, and you don't see pita bread in Turkey at all. Doners come wrapped in flat bread or in french bread.) Until 1920, the main Greek cities were Istanbul, Smyrna, and Trabazon. Greeks were a part of this Istanbul/Pera culture until the events of 1923 (referred to as "the Catastrophe in Greek) displaced multiudes of Constantinople, Smyrna, and Pontic greeks to the Greek mainland. They brought more eastern regional flavors to modern Greek cuisine. They also brought their upper-class desires for fine french style baking and confectionary with them, along with their love of baklava. Furthermore, certain tastes are regional within the cuisine. Istanbulis are marked by an affection for eating mussels - avoided by most Turks - and for kokorec, the grilled gut-and-chittlin' roll that is part of the ritual feast eaten by Greeks at Easter time. The Kokorec obsession is getting very big in Istanbul these days, with special Kokorec restaurants popping up in chic neighborhoods as a way of saying "We are classy Istanbulis, not internal immigrants from Bingol or Hatay!." Needless to say, the Kokorec tradition is one of many Greek-oriented food traditions that marks the specific local cuisine of Istanbul. Is one better than the other? No. They are different but related. I prefer Turkish versions of kofte. I prefer Greek fish dishes. And in general, I prefer not to eat anything cooked in Bulgaria, but when I have to it will usually be roast chicken. But that is another story...
  16. If you drive up to Ljubljana, take the long route up the Soca River Valley and stop for lunch in Kanal nad Soca, a small village about a half hour drive up from the coast. Behind the main square, down a small street overlooking the Soca river, is an amazingly great small restaurtant with a terrace overlooking the river. Basically northern Italian cuisine - roast, polenta with fontina cheese, good soups. The town is tiny so everybody can tell you where it is - the teenagers all speak English. The wines from the Istrian coast are by far the best. The Alps on this route are fantastic - take your time and sty over in Bovec or near Trglav. Go trout fishing, it is considered one of the world's choicest spots and the season, I believe, goes into October.
  17. I'll have to check on Wichmann's or give them a call. There has been a lot of construction on Kiraly utca and it may have closed temporarily. For home cooked meals, the best bets are out in the back neighborhoods of Pest - lunch at little "etkezde" restaurants - sadly these are becoming ever more rare. These restaurants used to be the choice for cheap lunches, but have been edged out by fast food, cheap chinese lunch joints (all of which are really miderably bad) and the rising costs of ingredients. Still, do not pass a chance for luinch at Kadar Etkezde, on Klauzal ter in the Jewish Ghetto of Pest. Usually closed on Monday, and open from about 11AM to 3:30 pm. Great home style food with a Jewish angle - lots of goose dishes, like the goose risotto cooked with huge goose wings. Friday is "solet" day (the hungarian pronounciation of the yiddish "cholent".) (Be aware that the solet probably has smoked pork meat in it. If you want home style Kosher food go to the Hanna restaurant down the street on Kazinzcy utca, in the courtyard of the Orthodox Synagogue. Really bad food... absolutely authentic!) It isn't fancy. Go no later than 1 pm, before the good specials start running out. Dishes are pretty cheap - it is really hard to spend more than US$6 on a meal. You may share a table, you may find the service ritual confusing (you pay by telling the owner what you ate, how much bread, and how many glasses of seltzer you served yourself. Remember to personally tip your waitress!) But you will go back the next day.
  18. The tourist books will send you to the Vamhaz Piac (market is piac - "pee-atz") in Pest next to the Petofi Bridge, which is not really a farmer's market at all. Better to take the #7 bus (the red 7 is an express bus) all the way out to the end of the line at Bosznyak ter, get off the bus, and follow the people there into the brick building, which reveals a huge market, especially on Saturday mornings. The back part of the market is where local peasants (we don't really have "farmers...") sell produce, including home made bacon and bootleg brandy. The ladies in folk costume are usually from the Slovak minority villages just east of Pest. Other markets are at Hunyadi ter (ter=square) near Oktagon station and Rakoczi ter near Blaha lujza station. In Buda there is the Szena ter piac right behind the Moszkva ter metrio and the Mammut shopping center, but it is a bit upscale and chi-chi, not very farmer's market style. On Thurdays there is an organic farmers' market in front of Marczibanyi ter Culture House about ten minutes walk from Moszkva ter. Dobos torte you can find everywhere, but for the best creme cakes (kremes) go to the Auguszt Cukraszda on Rakoczi utca near downtown Pest's shopping area. The real best cake bakery is the Perity ("peritch) next to the Kossuth movie theater on Vaci ut next to the Westend City shopping ceneter (not the downtown shopping street called Vaci utca.) It used to be located next to the Muvesz Coffeehouse near the Opera, and supplies all of their pastries and cakes. Good places to eat? Check the listings at www.pestiside.com, a local blog in english. Alas, a lot of us foreign residents feel that good eating has gone downhill in recent years as prices rise and chefs wages don't. (I used to chef at a cafe in Pest.) When I go out I tend to go to the Casztro Bisztro for the Serbian grilled meat or the gulyas. It is very difficult to find an honest, genuine, gulyas soup in town anymore...
  19. Well, I am off to Bulgaria in two days and I don't actually look forward to the food there. It's pretty grim all around, except for the fried sardines. I'm not kidding. Bulgaria is not a gourmet kind of place - everthing is ground pork flavored with cumin. Everything. Basically I eat roast chickens and salad when I am there and let the alchohol fill in the gaps. Actually there is one good restaurant in Varna down by the old town square. Folkloric-looking place, absolutely the only good food I ever found in Bulgaria, and I go almost every year. I'll be in Koprivshtitsa next week, the big folk festival is Aug. 4-7th. Again, not much to recomend, I actually got food poisoning there at the last festival five yeras ago. Stay away from the kebabche sellers. For Your Romanian list: Romania is another place you don't go expecting fine cuisine. Be happy with friptura cu prajiti (fried meat and fries) when you can get it. Pizza is fast becoming the national food. 1.Baile-Herculane: A cheesy resort, should have some options. 2.Bucharest : eat Italian. And get out of there - it is the most exp[ensive place in Romania, and you want to see the countryside. 3.Sighisoara: fried meat and chips! Sighisoara is pretty, but try one of the grimier neighbor towns, like Medias or Trnava for a funkier - and equally bad food - experience. Your next suggestion made me reach for my map: Maramures!!! One of my favorite places in the world! I do hope you like sheep cheese and tripe soup! Basically, while traveling you'll see green agro-tourism signs in villages. For about ten Euro you can sleep, and for about three euro your hosts will cook up a meal: wanna bet it is mamaliga with sheep cheese again? Or shnitzel, if you are lucky. Go to www.antrec.ro for a very good web page on booking village accomodations in Maramures. Stay about a month and learn Romanian. Noroc! 4. Viseu de Sus: Make sure you are in de Sus, not de Jos - the only option in Viseu de Jos is beer and pretzel stix at the train station... There is one restaurant in town, shnitzel, mititei or mici (say "meech") and tripe soup (ciorba de burta). Maybe a pizza place. Do not stay at the ugly state hotel, but directly next door (on the street where the Hotel entrance is) is a three story modern house (entrance next to the hotel - a gate into somebody's funbky peasant garden) you can rent cheap, very nice rooms in - sometimes the hotel under-help will tell you about this after the disagreeable platinum blonde at the desk sends you away for bothering her siesta. They also make fine food and home made brandy. 5. Budesti: no resturant. At all. Beer and pretzel stix again! Why Budeasti? Master Fiddler Ion Pop has a guest house in Hoteni. In Sighet and in Borsa there are decent restuarants at the Perla hotels. Outside of Sighet, Borsa, Moisei, Bogdan Voda and Viseu there are no restaurants in Maramures. The one in Saliste is usually closed.... buy a salami and carry it with you. You will eat what your hosts cook where you stay. It isn't Club Med, but it is a better experience. As for Croatia... you get lucky. Excellent food all along the coast. Everywhere. Really fine dining, don't need to do more than stroll around and watch what people eat on the terraces.
  20. Bratislava is likely to offer some finer eating. The city has really developed in the last couple of years, and asking around should get you some decent meals. Mind you - Slovaks like Slovak food. Heavy, starchy, occasionally greasy, and filling. They are really proud of their local food, even though to an outsider it can seem a bit boring. Every roadside cafe has a big cut-out sign of a happy chef holding a menu saying "Halushka with Brinza! 45 Kr!" It is simply that Halushka with brinza cheese is what Slovaks will choose to eat 75% of the time. Most restaurant menus offer the same things: fried shnitzels, goose or duck roats, roast trout, potatoes, and almost always, halushka, dense potato dumplings swimming in sheep cheese and bacon drippings. Madzarska Gulas is a bit different than the name suggests: it is more of a beef stew with Czech style bread dumplings. There are lots of pizzerias, not very good. I go fishing in the Tatras quite often, and the food is basic, stick-to-your-ribs fare. Local dishes include liver sausage, and halushka with fried kolbasz sausage. After years of eating around, I tend to choose the cheaper resturants. You get the same food with less posh surroundings.
  21. Hungary is not going to be a foodie paradise - access to good ingredients just is not there for chefs anymore, and around the Balaton, a lot of the ingredients will be bought at giant supermarkets like Tesco, or even in Austria, where bulk goods are now cheaper. Also, Hungarian law regulates the set up of a restaurant kitchen in such a way that chefs never actually work together - there has to be a separate room for meat prep, a separate room for veg prep, etc. It is frustrating, especially at the Balaton, where prices are high but many of the kitchen help are students on vacation. That said, I generally prefer my Hungarian food in the countryside. Just avoid the obvious tourist traps. Small town csardas along the highways are usually good. When in doubt, stick to guyas or bab leves (bean soup.) After that, the menu will usually be something fried with an egg plopped on top, and for a Hungarian the question of quality is usually trumped by quantity - it was a wonderful meal because a Big Piece of Meat had a Big Egg on top. The Halasz Csarda in downtown Szeged has the best fish soup in Hungary, hands down. For Budapest recomendations, check out www.pestiside.hu
  22. Whole chicken more $$$ in Japan than legs? My significant other is a Nihonjin, and tells me that whole chickens are the big-production-holiday dish for Xmas or other gaijin holdidays. Since we both live in Hungary we do whole roats chicken weekely... but I digree. My SigOther refers to me as "Toriniku Sensei" and I am commanded to fry chicken whenever her Tokyo friends show up in Budapest. Which will be next week, they seem to love my chicken that much. I will keep it brief: I like to use legs and thighs, but if using a whole chicken cut the wings off the breast and cut the breast in half. Skin the chicken parts and soak 'em in milk for an hour. Buttermilk will work if you have it, but what milk does is provide a protein that helps the flour to adhere to the chicken - just as eggs would. You can flavor the milk with garlic, although my Edoko GF won't allow that, so I add thyme, pepper, a bit of salt, and mustard. You don't have paper bags and we Magyars don't either. So dump some flour in a plastic bag, add some salt and pepper, a smidge of paprika, some dried parsley. Dump chicken parts in bag, coat well, take out, wait a few minutes while you do the next batch, and re-flour them. Gotta flour them twice. Let them sit someplace for at least 30 minutes. That makes a BIG difference. Use a cast iron frying pan. I brought mine home from NY. In the US they cost 15 bucks, in Europe $80. Heat it up for seven to ten minutes - the pan should be hot before you pour the oil in, because that is how you will control the heat and prevent burning. I pour enough oil in to come 1/3 up the chickens when I put them in. Put the floured chicken pieces in the oil, and when they fill the pan without crowding, give them a minute and then turn the heat down to just below medium. Let them sit for seven minutes or so (the time it takes me to smoke a cigarette in the hallway just outside the kitchen.) Time to turn the pieces, so first put the heat up a bit, then turn, wait, and turn the heat down again so you don't burn them. Another seven minutes wait. Now the fun begins. the ideas is to prevent burning, so at this point the chicken doesn't look "golden brown" but every three minutes of so you keep turning the pieces - on a low-medium fire - so to make sure that the interior of the thigh, leg or breast is actually cooking while the outside does not burn. remove from pan, set on absorban\t paper, let the chicken sit for five minutes, and serve. the whole process takes about twenty minutes a pan full, which is why a nice big cast iron pan is worth $15. Gravy, hot sauce? Whatever you want. I have learned to not add too many flavors to the chicken itself when soaking or flouring in order not to influence the flavor of chicken as "bearer of heavenly condiments". Let people add what they want. My preferences are just hot pepper or gravy. Fried chicken and hot indian lime pickle is a food group unto itself.
  23. I travel to the Romanian part of Moldavia often. The food used to be better - now so many Romanians have gone to find work in Italy that 80% of the restaurants are Italian cuisine - not that I complain. Real Romanian home style food is almost unavailable in restaurants there these days. Hotel food is as icky as ever. Iasi has a pretty good Hong-Kong style Chinese restaurant near the train station, which was a real surprise. Suceava... well, let's just say that at Suceava I, my Japanese girlfriend, and a french friend actually CHOSE to eat at McDonalds. There is a woman in Sucevitsa (a Bukovina monestary vilage), however, who does rent out rooms on an agrotourism basis, and she is one of the absolute (and I do not use the term loosely) best cooks in Europe. I compare her home cooking to what I ate in one of Italy's best restaurants in terms of memorable meals. Frshly slaughtered lamb, veal and eggs from her farm, fresh yogurt daily. I asked her secret and she responded "I have never, in my life, eaten in a resturant." As for Mrs. Derevlean on the road to Voivodeasa village just east outside of Sucevitsa... I was raised with jewish Moldavian food - mamaliga, psha, and garlic muzhdej, but I doubt that you will find much local cuisine in the Republic of Moldova's restaurants beyond mamaliga dishes. Remember that it is the poorest country in Europe, and haute cuisine is not on everybody''s mind. Being able to afford meat is. There isn't enough of a middle class to trigger a cuisine movement, and the few Yuppies who can afford to eat out tend to eat pizza made by somebody who worked in a pizzeria in Milan for two years and can therefore charge a bit more. Try to get invited into somebody's home if you want local food. Learn some Romanian - it is a ridiculously easy language and nobody cares if you can barely speak it. And ***watch your baggage!*** - urban Moldova is famous for disappearing luggage.
  24. Ljubljana has great borek stands run by Kosovars and Macedonians. There is nothing better for breakfast than borek and yogurt. I go to Slovenia every now and then for the trout fishing - the best in Europe, really - and I love the place because it has so many distinct regions, each with its own cuisine. Unfortunately, Bled is in the alpine region: Alpine food is not a favorite of mine. Lots of mushroom soup and cheese spreads... ho hum. In Kanal nad Soca there is a great restaurant serving northern Italian style grills. If you can get on down to the adriatic coast, in Isola or Piran, and eat fresh fish. Koper can be avoided.
  25. If you are staying in downtown Pest you can get kosher food at the Rothschild "Koser" market on Dob utca. Actually, all the Rothschild's supermarkets have a kosher section. A block away is Frohlich's kosher cukraszda (pastry shop.) Kosher salamis (ask for the goose "liba kolbasz", also beef - "marha) are on sale at the kosher butcher shop on dob utca next to the Orthodox shul on Kazinczy utca (where the Hannah is.) There is a pretty good fleyshedik kosher restaurant on Dohany utca next to the big synagogue. For veggie food, near the danube in the third district is the Wabisabi restuarant. Haven't been, but a lot of veggies rave. Pick up a copy of the Time Out! city guide to Budapest. The editor was a veggie.
  • Create New...