The Grand Budapest Hotel is a delightful Mittel-European pastry of a movie, just long enough, just silly enough, with a very fine cast (including beautiful baked goods) and enough of a plot line to hold one’s interest. But, most importantly, it reminded MyMEGusta of her visit to Budapest a few years ago, and all the wonderful food.
Situated on the Danube, this is the marriage of two cities, Buda and Pest, and it drips with Old World charm, although as it becomes more cosmopolitan and a tourist destination, it will surely be affected by Starbucks- and McDonalds-creep. Eminently walkable, Budapest also has an excellent subway and streetcar system, easy to get around.
And, with the proliferation of old-fashioned coffee houses, like in Vienna, you’ll need the walk.
There is also the Grand Market Hall, an indoor market bursting with fresh and dried peppers (paprika) in all forms, and even a strudel stand where you watch the pastry being made by hand, then walk away with the perfect, decadent snack.
One can feast on traditional Hungarian fare such as paprikash with spaetlzles, often accompanied by a delicious cucumber salad. Or seek out lecso, another type of stew (traditionally made with tomatoes, yellow banana peppers and, sometimes, paprika seasoning).
Café Kor, a modest, cash only restaurant full of locals, was myMEGusta’s favorite, with delicious, hearty victuals and a daily menu posted on butcher paper.
One quandary was whether to order ocean fish in this land locked city, but those fears were unfounded, particularly when eastern European touches found their way into two excellent dishes: Grilled (perfectly cooked) salmon with horseradish/crumb topping over beets with arugula and “Meunier” cod with a dollop of celery root puree (note to self reads: “Hard to stop eating.”)
Long time readers of MyMEGusta may recall the August 4, 2013 posting, “The Red Peril,” all about paprika in its many forms, including the ubiquitous paprika pastes and condiments found all over Budapest. Check it out in the archives!