Food Journals

What I ate in HUNGARY – A Food Journal

First of all, I would like to make it clear that I must return to Hungary. There are many other things that I need to do and many more foods to try. I was in Budapest for only a few days, as I was making my way through Eastern Europe and the Balkans. My visit to Hungary was like a viewing of future experiences to come.

I chose a couple of classic restaurants and then ate many random dishes while in Hungary. I did eat lot of incredible meals while I was there, no denying that. That is why I am excited to return one day- for multiple days.

From ‘The perfect fish soup’ to eating cake at the oldest café in Budapest, my list of “What I ate in in Hungary- a Food Journal”.

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Gundel Restaurant – Iconic Budapest

Known as one of Budapest’s top luxurious dining experiences, Gundel has been in existence since the late 1800s and had a history of changing hands. The restaurant has an elegant ambiance that reflects a classic European aristocracy from eras gone by.

Their classic cuisine is prepared with the finest ingredients and with pristine care. The presentation was marvelous, as each dish was placed beautifully on fine china with gold trimming. It was an elegant dining experience in a historical setting. I live for moments like this.

For restaurant information, please visit their official website: Gundel Restaurant – One of the most iconic restaurants in Europe

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Traditional Tourist Trap Dessert in Szentendre

I have labeled this dessert just that because to me “Traditional Tourist Trap” is what it represents. According to the menu, this was a traditional Hungarian dessert. I believe the round bread like cake are traditional but the mound of whipped cream was very touristy. As for the puddle of chocolate sauce, I am still debating.

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For what it was and where I was, the middle of Old Town Szentendre it was not surprising. My friends who have Hungarian roots told me that Szentendre is a tourist trap, it was but I enjoyed it. As for this dessert? It was just so over the top and I could not taste anything but whipped cream, which I am not fond of, and chocolate syrup. This was the typical ‘Tourist Trap Dessert’.

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Café Gerbeaud – Historic Budapest

My love for historic eating establishments combined with sumptuous food lives on. Gerbeaud has been alive since the mid-1800s, has survived world wars and the communist era. It has been known through the centuries as an aristocratic café serving the best chocolate and sweets in the region.

I could not decide on what cakes to try, so I selected the traditional cake sample plate with ice cream. Then I could not decide which cake I enjoyed the best. Each traditional Hungarian cake was delicate and light with beautiful layers. I paired it with champagne which completed the experience. #CakeAndChampagne

For location and restaurant information, please visit their official website- Café Gerbeaud

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The Perfect Fish Soup

To be frank, growing up I despised fish soup. My mother cooked it a few times and I could not stomach it. Being Filipino but brought up Californian, during the 70s-80s, the words “Fish Soup” never translated well. It was not until I started traveling into Europe over a decade ago, that I started to appreciate with this dish.

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In all my travels, this had to be the perfect bowl of fish soup and it was Hungarian. It was everything! The preparation of the fine ingredients, the flavorful rich broth seasoned with Hungarian paprika, to the freshness and cut of the fish – all presented in a white china bowl and saucer with gold trim. Then to sip such a soup with a silver spoon was true luxury. The perfect fish soup!

Where to find this bowl of perfection? It was at the famous Gundel Restaurant in Budapest.

For restaurant information, please visit their official website: Gundel Restaurant – One of the most iconic restaurants in Europe

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Marzipan – A Bag Full of Love

I am a Marzipan fiend. I love it and eat it where ever I find it. If you are not familiar with marzipan it is a confection made of almond meal, sugar and honey. For some taste palates, it is close to a coconut flavor but more refined. There is a swift debate on who created marzipan as in a lot of countries I visit, they all state that they are the originators.

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So putting aside the marzipan lesson, I purchased this bag of Marzipan Love while in Szentendre, Hungary. Szamaos is a known marzipan shoppe in the area with a museum and an overwhelming selection of sweets. It was heart stopping!

For store and museum information- please visit their official website – Szamos

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Croissant, Tea and the Castle

I have been to enough European castles to know that in most cases, you have to get there before it opens. I am not one for crowds and try to avoid them as much as possible. In Budapest, I did just that and took a taxi to the castle grounds early. I found a lovely café and had a quiet breakfast waiting for the castle to open .

Tea, croissant and breakfast- such a nice way to start the day at Budapest Castle.

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Breaded Fried Cheese – A Poor Choice

This was a terrible choice for take away from a convenience store next to my flat in Budapest. This was supposed to be the beloved fried cheese that I have journaled about in my Romanian and Czech Food Blogs. Please do not associate this fried cheese with Hungary, as I am sure it is delicious when cooked properly. Also no judging on why I bought food from a convenience store next door- it had to do with the time of day, my amount of tiredness and what was open in my area.

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This fried cheese tasted how it looked, uneventful. I am sure it was frozen, you can tell by the breading, heated in the oven and sat under heat lamps for awhile.

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The Donut Library in Budapest

While having a cigarette from the top floor balcony of my flat in Budapest, I looked down and saw The Donut Library. I was filled with a bit of excitement because I like trying donuts from other countries. Plus, there was a library of donuts right across the way.

Before I flew out to Kiev, Ukraine I stopped inside The Donut Library for a cup of tea and a couple of donuts. It was such an adorable place and it was filled with sweet fun donuts.

For location and information, please visit their Facebook Page – The Donut Library

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Ham and Eggs and Hungarian Royalty

Alright, I may have been a little dramatic with that title but I did have this plate of ham and eggs at the Budapest Castle.

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Isn’t this a beautiful plate with organic orange eggs, grilled ham and vegetables? Too bad I could not eat the eggs as I am allergic to runny egg yolks. As usual in Europe, they do not ask how you like your eggs and I forgot to ask for over hard. I did not ask for them to re-cook it, I just ate around the yolks.

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Daily Wine and Champagne

I walk it off and I eat! That is how I manage to drink alcohol when I travel. Plus, I think I have built a high tolerance for it over the years. I love exploring regional wines and bubbles that we typically would not get in the United States. It is part of the cuisine culture that I enjoy exploring.

There was wine and champagne served everywhere I went. From a local café in Szentendre to a cruise down The Danube River, drinking was a daily occurrence!

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Chicken Shawarma

Long story on this Shawarma, I had flown back in from Ukraine and positioned myself blocks away from the main bus station in Budapest. The hotel restaurant had a private event happening, so I had to find food. Since I was not in a touristy area and it was a Sunday, I walked for a long time to find something to eat.

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I eventually came across a chicken shawarma stand and pretty I much inhaled this sandwich while walking back to the hotel. Even if I were not famished, I still would have ey the taste of this shawarma. The chicken was very tender and the marinade was flavorful.

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Bus Station Sandwich

I have always been in awe with the quality of food in bus or train stations in Europe. In the States, it is pure crap for the most part. Well, okay there are some places like Albania where the bus station food was worse than America’s. Let me just leave that debate right there.

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My turkey sandwich filled with fresh vegetables that I ate while waiting for my bus to Serbia- Freshly made and very flavorful.

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The Water Bottle From Hell

I swear this drove me nuts from Hungary into Serbia. Whomever designed these food trays on the busses clearly was mad, it was much too small for any drink. I had to sit there with my OCD self, just bothered by this upside down drink.

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What made it even worse was that I do not drink flavobred water or anything sweet. It’s still not clear why I grabbed this in Budapest.

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