Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Szeged Vendéglo (Budapest)

Szeged is my absolute favorite restaurant in Budapest. My friend introduced me to this place when I first visited 7 years ago, and I've been dreaming about coming back ever since! I was worried that it wouldn't live up to my memory (you know how sometimes things become idealized in your memory...) but I'm happy to report that it is just as good as it was 7 years ago.

Szeged (XI. Bartók Béla út 1) is a traditional Hungarian restaurant, located very close to the famous Gellert Hotel (known for its thermal hot springs/spa) on the Buda side. It serves cuisine from its namesake city in southern Hungary. Its most well-known dish is the fish soup, made with tasty chunks of fresh catch of the day simmered in a tomato-based soup with a multitude of spice. The soup is thick, its density borderlining on stew, so if you order a bowl of the soup, it could almost be a meal, especially since you'll be eating a lot of bread and using the bread to wipe every last drop from the bowl! And if you like spicy, be sure to ask for the hot pepper sauce and put a healthy dollop into the soup.

In addition to the fish soup, I've also been dreaming about the pork cutlet stuffed with foie gras for the last 7 years. I love foie gras in any shape or form, but the most common preparation in US (or France) is either seared or as a terrine. Szeged is the only place where I've had it stuffed in a pork cutlet, which is then breaded and deep fried. When it is prepared like that, the foie gras is protected inside the pork and remains very tender. When you cut the pork open, juices from the foie gras will flow out, and the slightly tough texture of the pork contrasts extremely well with the softness of the foie gras. Yes, this is probably one of the fattest dishes you'll ever eat, but it is worth every cholesterol!

We went for a late lunch so there was only one other table in the restaurant when we were there so I couldn't make an accurate assessment of the typical customer. Even though I can't give it any Q's, but trust me, if you are ever in Budapest, you will not want to miss this gem of a restaurant!

18 comments:

Marc e said...

I am continually amazed at how enjoyable and informative your writings are - I can almost taste the food. Should you ever decide to, you could definitely write for food pubs.
Likewise, I hadn't realized your European trip included a trip into Hungary. I've never ever considered visiting, but after reading your, and your sisters, writings, I'm putting it on my list of places to visit.
Looking forward to more posts!!
Marc

Ms. Lin said...

Thanks Marc for the compliments! If food pubs ever want to hire me to review some restaurants, you know I would be all over that! :-)
Hungary is definitely very cool - you should visit when you get a chance!

Kat said...

Thanks Marc. I am really glad you enjoy our posts and pictures. Since I started my website so much later, I have not gotten a chance to back post Europe and more. Hopefully we will both put up more pictures! ^_^

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