Posts tagged ‘Dining’

July 23, 2010

Budapest: Menza Restaurant

1061 Budapest, Liszt Ferenc ter 2. +3614131482

Since a couple of years now, Im a big fan of The Menza restaurant, which is located next to Andrassy street- fashion and cultural center of Budapest. It was always hipp and trendy, Young hungarians and also the foregniers living here liked to hand out at this restaurant, which had a very much decent menu, with decent price and nice service.  I was never dissapointed, only nowdays its better to have a reservation, You cant just walk in and aspect a table, this only shows the popularity of the place anyway. But in the last couple of months something happaned. Few of my friends, who were having lunch there frequently started complaining and moaning, about how bad the food was, and etc etc. I thought im going to check this out for myself, and i managed to dine there twice in a row this week for lunch.

The experience:

First, its a tuesday, with a friend of mine around 1 pm, the place is semi-full, there are only tables inside we dont mind. The service is tip-top they pick up our drink orders everything is going smoothly.  My friend is picking a meal from the lunch offer menu, im having a spring vegetable cannelloni. I picked that as not too many places in the city (even italian ones) have it on their plate so i thought i give it a go.

The soup my frined ordered was nice, a bit too watery but nice (potato and sausage soup). The main, “hentes tokany” with pasta. Tokany-is also a hungarian speciality again i coud say out somewhere between a stew and a ragout. This one looks decent, tastes decent, but its really not my cup of tea, neither my friends. This one is a bit sour made out of pork, ham, and gherkins. Dont get me wrong some poeple love it. He struggles but eats it, but i warned him before he ordered.  And, my cannelloni, which was nothing like a cannelloni. I very much think it was made out of lasagna sheets, also it was very very oily. The taste was so-so, but the spring vegetables in it, more or less reminded me on the ready cut vegetable mix ones can by frozen is supermarkets. Big dissapointment to be honest, also it wasnt a good choice on my side as well as its about 35C outside, and the dish is increadibly warm as well. Anyway, we decide to come back tomorrow for an other test run and to try the lunch, which sounds very promising.

Wednesday, 1pm again, four of us this time. No tables at all and people are already on the waiting list inside. The girl at the door tells us we can take the corner table outside, but its right at the sun, or we can wait a littlebi. We take the table. The drink orders take a bit more time today and some waiters are just helplessly running around, trying to deal with the crowd. Theres no more lunch offer! At 1pm! I find that unacceptable. Not even an alternative choice for that prise. One of my friend backs off from eating there, as he had way too many dissapointing moments nowdays, im ordering a goose-lover pathe with vegetables, i figure if yesterday the warm food didnt do well, some cold will be better.  Theres alos a cold fruit soup order and a “Hagymas rostelyos”-also hungarian specialit which incoled beef stake, fried onions, brown sauce and potatoe wedges. The overall experience this time is nice, everything tastes good. The pate is a decent portion with enough bread and vegetables. Also its lot better to eat that in this heat then a complete meal.  My friends “rostelyos” is massive, and he likes it. I had that once there myslef and it tastted fantastic, also, then it was winter.

So thankfully, the food we got was nice, but Menza puts a lot of pressure on the costumers now. Will there be lunch deal? My food is going to be cooked? Is it going to taste nice?-these questions never came up before. Hopefully everything will go back to normal soon,till then im keeping an eye on them!

July 21, 2010

Panzerotto heaven-Di Cosimo pizzeria

Di Cosimo pizzeria Bari

A few weeks ago i visited Bari, which is located South of Italy. I have to admit i had amazing food there, also I learned a lot, and was very much impressed about the city and its surrounding. So far Apulia/Puglia was very much unfamiliar, and was very surprised about the lack of tourism in the area. I’m very sure im going to refer to Bari in my upcoming posts, but first of all I would like to introduce you to the Panzerotto!

Many of you know Calzone, which is a pizza folded in half-baked in an oven. Theres not much difference with the panzerotto, but instead of the oven, its deep-fried in oil. Its dough is also a bit different, it’s somehow a bit lighter-but correct me if im wrong! Not only in Puglia, but all around in the country you can meet with the dish in different panetterias and forno-s (which means the oven itself). Most of the time they offer small panzerottos, 3-4 of those in the heath and you have a nice filling meal, also if you don’t pay attention, you can have some of the filling on your nice clean shirt-and im speaking from experience!

The filling itself can be very simple, a tomato sauce-mozarella duo, and as conservatives the italians ca be with their food, if we do a home made addition, we can be creative with inside.

So one night my boyfriend took me to this place called Di Cosimo pizzeria, in Bari. When i first saw the place i knew we are not talking about a romantic candle-light dinner. The place itself located on the bottom of a big concrete building, the only way you could actually spot it, was the crowd infront of it. Inside its even worse, there are people everywhere and the shop itself is pretty small, ofcourse you need to pick a number. The chefs shout out the number who is next, there are about 20 orders infront of us..ok at least i can take a better look on, what makes this place so popular. Theres not much choice on the menu, You either order the deep fried panzerotto or its oven baked partner, or some pizzas, theres about 6 different kind on the menu. Later on an other night i tryed the gorgonzola pizza…. if you like the cheese, its a must try! Its so many of us in there, some people already taking some place in the kitchen right behind the deep frier. Most of the orders are for take-away, but theres a small room behind the kitchen, you can have your meal there if you want. Its steaming hot, some people scream for beer or water while they wait. It sure has its atmosphere. To be honest i wasnt really hungry before we got there, but looking at all those amazing pizzas in and out of the owen for hal an hour, sure brings my apetite! Also they are increadibly fast, a pizza is ready within 3-4 minutes in the steaming hot forno, and You can see, the people who work there have experience.

My boyfriend tells me his been coming here since he was a boy, and always the same people ran the place, everybody having their own section and duty. One of them is making the pizzas, other two gets the panzerotto dough ready, somebody fries them, an other guy is responsible for the goods inside the oven, and there’s one person talking with the public and collecting the money. I’m being shy with taking photos, of course nobody speaks english and they are making fun of me in italian. “If you live in Bari, You know this place” explains my boyfriend to me, the popularity also comes because of the “big-size” panzerotto they make, eating one of those is almost like a complete meal.

After all of this i wasnt even surprised to find even Youtube videos about the place!

Mult heten Del-Olaszorszagban, Bariban jartam. Nagyon jokat ettem, es rengeteget tanultam, illetve teljesen lenyugozott a varos es megyeje.Szamomra idaig teljesen ismeretlen volt Apulia/Puglia kornyeke, es meglepoen keves turistat lattam ezalatt a 10 nap alatt mig ott voltam. Bari-ra meg biztosan vissza fogok terni mas posztokban de most elsosorban a Panzerotto(i)-rol szeretnek irni

Sokan ismerik a Calzone-t ami igazabol egy felbe hajtott toltott pizza. Ez a Panzerotto eseteben sincs maskent, de a kulonbseg az, hogy olajban sutik ki. A tesztaja is egy kicsit mas, konyebben emesztheto. Nem csak Pugliaban hanem orszag szerte is lehet vele talalkozni panetteriakban vagy fornokban (a forno maga a kemencet jelenti, igy is szoktak nevezni a peksegeket). De legtobb esetben a kicsi panzerottikat talalhatjuk ott, 3-4 darab belole mar eleg is. A toltelek nagyon egyszeru szokott lenni, paradicsomszosz es mozarella parosra eskusznek de egy kreativ szakacs tehet hozza barmit. Amugy az olasz peksegek nagy rajongoja vagyok, imadom a focacciakat, a supplikat, imadom a crocchetta di patate es a mindenfele rantott dolgokat .Receptek hamarosan

Aztan egyik este a baratom elvitt a Di Cosimo nevu kis pizzeriaba. Amikor eloszor meglattam a helyet, tudtam hogy nem romantikus vacsorarol lesz szo. Az uzlet egy lakotelepi haz aljaban talalhato es mar elotte hatalmas tomeg gyult ossze, mikor el kezd esni az eso, ez a sok ember mind probal a kis pizzeriaba beferkozni. persze szamot kell huznunk. Nem sok valasztasi lehetosegunk van, vagy rantott panzerottot kerunk vagy kemenceben sultet, illetve van kb 4-5 fele pizza is. Minden szo szerint az orrunk elott keszul. Annyian vagyunk, hogy mar mi is a konyha reszei leszunk, egyesek mar csak az olajsuto mogott kapnak helyet. A legtobb ember elvitelre rendel, de hatul helyet is foglalhatunk ha gondoljuk. Rekord mennyisegu embert szolgalnak ki, kb 3-4 perc alatt kesz egy pizza a forro kemenceben. Hiaba a gyorsasag, fel orat biztos, hogy sorban allunk, kozben be-kiabalos modon lehet uditot vagy sort rendelni, mivel bent biztos van vagy 40 fok, szuksegunk is van ra.

A baratom kozben elmondta, hogy o mar gyerekkora ota jar ide. Es mindig ugyenezek az emberek vittek a helyet, es mindig mindenkinek meg volt a maga feladata. Az egyik kesziti elo a pizzat vagy a  sult panzerottot a masik ki-be helyezi a kemencebel, az egyik csak penzt szed, harman pedig rantanak es csomagolnak. A tomeg engem kozben olaszul szivat, hogy miert is fenykepezek, meg se fordul a fejukben hogy nem vagyok helyi. “Ha Bariban elsz, ismered ezt a helyet” nepszeruseguket meg az fokozza, hogy ok nagy panzerottot keszitenek, ami egy kiados vacsoraval er fel.

Amikor  hazajottem, mar meg se lepodtem nagyon, hogy a helyrol mar youtube-on is talalunk videokat.