Something Much More Light-hearted After visiting the Massacre Memorial
Paprika Jancsi Restaurant, Raday utca 16
Our hotel (Ibis) was on Raday Utca, close to the Great Market Hall, and so was ideally placed for choosing dining options. Many tourists eat on Vaci Utca, the trendy (and more expensive) shopping street, but locals like Raday Utca more. There are many places to eat or just to sit and have a drink, and parts of the street are pedestrianized so tables are set out along the center of the street—-wonderful in the warm months.
We ate all our dinners along here, and a couple of lunches too. One night we chose Paprika Restaurant, and were very happy. Another night, and one lunch time, we ate at Puder (see next post).
This restaurant is named after the distinctive spice of Hungary. Paprika is derived from capsicum peppers and can be mild and sweet or hot and zesty. Hungarian paprika is known for its rich red color and robust flavor that is used liberally in many dishes. At first we walked by, a bit skeptical of a place that looked so obviously ‘touristy’, but we came back as the menu looked good and the hostess girl outside was not at all pushy.
I’m glad we did, as we were not disappointed at all. The weather was really warm, so we sat outside at tables arranged on the street and it was also fun to watch all the people parading by. The restaurant’s color scheme is red, with paprikas and red flowers featuring prominently. We sat under a red canopy with strings of red paprikas too, so there’s no doubt where you are, but it’s all bright and cheerful.
We all ordered something different and all the dishes were very good—perfectly cooked, well presented and really tasty. They pride themselves on offering “real Hungarian” food, and I’d say they succeed pretty well. Our server was really friendly and helpful, and very happy to chat to us in English.
Wild boar stew was one of the specials chalked up on the wall so Rod chose that and said it was excellent. I had a salad and a big bowl of goulash soup—one of the signature dishes of Hungary, rich and filling, and loved it. We bought a small Hungarian cookbook at the Great Market Hall and I’m planning on trying my hand at making goulash soup at home too.
Nath had a salad and a very special Hungarian dish: goose liver, with apples and mashed potato. Sonya was very happy with her pork medallion (like a schnitzel), served with salad and potatoes. All that, plus a large bottle of water and a bottle of Egri rose wine, came to 17427 forint (about US$62), which we thought was remarkably well priced for a meal for four.