Category Archives: Hungary

Food Retrospective

I’ve decided it’s time for a virtual exhibition of culinary delights that have passed through my digestive system in the last year. We’ll start with the most recent and work our way back in time.

FYI: You can click on the photos to make them larger and more appetizing.

Rome: Delights prepared at home.

(AKA I’m a badass who can cook.)

Damon and I prepared this last night. It’s asparagus with roasted pine nuts, red pepper and fennel risotto and mussels cooked in dry white wine and heavy cream. We also made bruschetta (not pictured here).

I made this a few days ago for Damon because he’s never had brussel sprouts before. It’s polenta with sauteed mushrooms and steamed brussel sprouts. A word to the wise: If you think you hate brussel sprouts, you’ve either never tried them or you overcooked them. No biggie, just give them a second chance!

Leisha and I used to make shoyu chicken all the time last quarter when we were sick of pasta, but I’ll be honest. It was really Leisha who did the making of this dish. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I was successful without her guidance. Just add rice!

The Roman Culinary Experience Outside My Kitchen:

One food that I have absolutely fallen in love with here in Rome is the chestnut. Roasted, turned into a savory sauce, baked into bread, or candied–all delicious.

Castagnole are currently on my mind because they only come out during Carnevale. They’re kind of like doughnut holes, but oh-so-much better!

A typical Roman dish is Carciofi alla Romana, Roman-style artichokes. This was the appetizer to a lovely meal I shared with Dan and Oana their first night visiting Rome.

How could I neglect the open-air market right outside my front door? I can’t. So, here it is: fresh fruits and vegetables daily, people.

Paris: Dishes I cannot pronounce.

Well, I finally had authentic French creme brulee, but I have to say that Mama Skeers’ takes the cake… or the cream… or something. It’s good.

In reality, I ate a lot of finger food to save money while in Paris. Here’s a spread that Elyse prepared for us one night.

Greece: Food as divine as the gods.

This is just some pasta thing I had in a tavern in Athens.

Breakfast is delish in Greece. Fresh fruit and honey on top of a waffle in Santorini.

Dessert is also yummy. Here is some baklava. Man, honey on everything!

However, lunch was the best. Chicken souvlaki is definitely the most delicious thing I ate in Greece and a contestant for the best meal I have ever had in my life. You’ve never tasted chicken so tender or tsaziki so flavorful. *mouth watering*

Tübingen, Germany:

So, I ate the traditional pretzel and beer, but I couldn’t help but crave some Asian. It had been a while…

So, we made Pho from an instant packet and it was absolutely disgusting. Sure, it looks alright in the picture, but I’ll never do it again.

Salzburg, Austria:

Knödel smothered in sauce and mushrooms. Love it!

Prague, Czech Republic: Feeling a bit adventurous…

So, I ordered rabbit. It was interesting. Yes, it did taste a bit like chicken, but with every tender and delicious bite, my mind wandered to Chester… to Cottontail… to all those fluffy friends I loved growing up on the farm. Sorry guys!Lamb is still pretty adventurous for me, but not as crazy as the white rabbit.

After letting myself go out on a limb with a few orders, I decided to go with an old safety for lunch– the best bagels east of New York… Wait, I’ve never been to New York. Hmm. Best bagels west of Seattle that I’ve tasted. Haha

Copenhagen, Denmark:

This is Hallie eating a Danish in Denmark, which they actually call Viennese Bread there. It wasn’t that impressive. I didn’t get a picture of the hot dogs, which were much better, but ridiculously expensive.

We ate open-face sandwiches or Smørrebrød outside of the Hamlet castle and they were delish. I ordered a second! They had this odd, yet scrumptious tartar sauce type thing on them.

Budapest, Hungary:

Mmmmmm. Hungarian sweets!

Whoa, you could smell these from miles away. As soon as we stepped off the train, our noses were filled with the smell of their dough. And then we got to see Hungarian funnel cakes being grilled right before our eyes! You could choose to have yours plain or rolled in toasted almonds, powered sugar or normal sugar. They were so huge, I could hardly finish mine.

Munich, Germany:

Munich was the first place that I had the traditional German Bier Garten experience. Here is some curry wurst, a pretzel and a glass of Radler, which is beer mixed with lemonade. It’s quite a treat on a warm summer day.

And then there’s Käsespätzle, which is kind of like mac ‘n’ cheese only a million, billion times better.

Vienna, Austria: All things hearty

In Vienna, nearly every meal is a total gut bomb, but grease is delicious, right?

So, this is the most famous Viennese dish: Wienerschnitzel (breaded and fried filet of pork) with Erdapfelsalat (potato salad) and Sommersalat (veggie salad with tomatoes, cucumber and onion). This is the meal that we prepared ourselves at IKI, our school in Vienna.

Here’s your classic sausage + sauerkraut combo. I absolutely love sausage and Vienna has the best! I even liked sausage in Vienna better than sausage in Germany.

Okay, so I can’t remember what this is called, but just look at it. Whoa. What the hell is that? Well, it’s egg and potato and craziness. That’s what.

Here’s another one of those mystery meals. This is called Shaufel, which means shovel. As you can see, it’s served in a shovel. It’s basically whatever is left over in the kitchen, cooked up in some grease and put in a shovel. Genius!

On to the desserts:

This is another one of those really famous Viennese things: Sacher torte, the most expensive chocolate cake you will ever eat. Yum, yum.

Another very Viennese thing is Kaisershmarrn, ripped up bits of pancake with plum sauce and powdered sugar on top. Sounds irresistable, but Andrea and I decided that it’s just okay.

The things that really top my list as the best Viennese desserts have everything to do with ice cream. This is a Schneeball or snowball. It’s a ball of ice cream covered with hard marshmellows and served with a raspberry sauce. There are two other versions: Eismarillenknödl, apricot mouse surrounded by vanilla ice cream rolled in chocolate cookie crumbs and essentially the same thing, but it’s raspberry mouse and regular cookie crumbs instead. Great, now I’m craving ice cream dumpling.

Last but not least is this tricky little dish. Is it spaghetti? Is it ice cream? You’ll never know until you take a bite… or until I tell you! It’s both! They put vanilla ice cream through a strainer and top it with raspberry “marinara” and coconut “parmesan”. How creative!

Anyway, that is a sneak peak into the things I have been eating. The things I have been missing are great and many, but at least I have this to hold me over until sushi town.


Filed under Asnieres, Athens, Austria, Budapest, Copenhagen, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rome, Salzburg, Santorini, Tübingen, Vienna

Why I’m not allowed to choose the hostel anymore.

We had Friday off of school because of Arbeitstag (kind of like Labor Day), so Billy, Joseph, Andrea, Bobby, Andrew, Michelle, Amanda and I decided to wake up early and jump on the train. It was just after Sebastian’s birthday so we didn’t all feel our best, but we were able to sleep on the train. We arrived in Budapest around lunch time to find out that it was a lot warmer in Hungary than in Austria. After stealing a map from a Best Western, we attempted to find our hostel. The sun was beating down our necks and as it turns out, our hostel was on the outskirts of town. So we had to walk pretty far. When we finally got there, the hostel owners didn’t speak English. Haha, welcome to Eastern Europe.

We jumped on the metro, which was quite frightening. The trams are so old and when they stop at a station, they put on the breaks and then the tram skids to a stop. We made it to the inner city and took a walk around the Pest side.

Amanda and I in front of Parliament.

Amanda and I in front of Parliament.

We visited the beautiful Parliament building and walked to the famous Széchenyi-Lánchíd bridge. Then we walked to Szent Istvánbazilika, or St. Stephen’s basilica. It was a beautiful Neo-Renaissance church. The even had a reliquery with the hand of St. Stephen in it. In the evening we walked to Margit-sziget, or Margeret Island. It was a warm evening and we explored the gardens and the ancient ruins of a monastery.

We were quite ambitious the next morning and we decided to explore the Buda side of the city. We stuck mainly to the area called Castle Hill, but we started the day with a hike up to Statue Park. This is where the moved all the old communist monuments after Russia’s occupation of Hungary ended. They also had old weaponry on display next to the citadel. When we climbed down the other side of Statue Park, we ran into a couple bands setting up for a concert. Billy started getting excited because we happened upon an Iron Maiden concert, but it turned out that they were actually Iron Maidnem, a cover band, and they would be playing that night with Jon Bovi and AB/CD. Oh well.

Then we climbed up to the entrance to the fortified section of Castle Hill. We wandered around here for hours exploring the castle grounds. Yet another reminder that we were in Eastern Europe were the signs reading, “Watch for Falling Rocks.” You mean the castle might crumble down upon me?

Michelle, Andrea, Amanda and I at the entrance to Buda Castle.

Michelle, Andrea, Amanda and I at the entrance to Buda Castle.

On the other side of Castle Hill we spent some time at Mátyás Templom before descending the hill and ending up in a Burger King for some grub and a bathroom. Then we walked along the river to a beautiful view of Parliament and crossed over the Széchenyi-Lánchíd bridge to close up the miles-long circle we hiked through the Buda side. On the Pest side, we visited the largest Synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. Then we ate a traditional Hungarian dinner of goulash. After dinner we walked back to the river to see the city lights.

View of Parliament from the Buda side.

View of Parliament from the Buda side.

The next morning we headed to the Varosliget district of Budapest where they were having a fair for Arbeitstag. We bought some delicious fair food and enjoyed traditional Hungarian funnel cake before heading to the baths. Andrew, Joseph, Bobby, Michelle and I bought tickets to the baths and played around in the lazy river, the mineral pool and the sauna. What a relaxing day in the sun! After our pool time, we walked to the train station and headed back to Vienna. I finished the book Joey got me for Christmas on the train, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. It was fun, but we’re happy to be back in Western Europe!

*** A final reason why I’m not allowed to choose the hostel anymore: I didn’t shower for three days for fear of getting fungus from the hostel showers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Budapest, Hungary