My job ended about two weeks ago. The only upside is that it allowed me to journey and wander to Eastern Europe and visit two very lovely cities: Budapest and Prague. I decided to document my food experiences first and then go back and document everything else, because obviously the food is almost the best part of traveling. So stay tuned to hear about the rest of the details of the trip.
Also, this trip was not cheap for having gone to such affordable cities. We indulged in way too much drinking, and way, way too much eating. Next trip, I will eat less like a king and more like a poor traveler, considering my funds are getting pretty low! Also, excuse my fatass while I show you in detail how much food I ate on my trip. I love to eat, and I love to eat good. Normally, good means mostly healthy, but hey, traveling is different. Anyway, I want to eat all the foods...
We first went to Budapest for three days and four nights. The first two nights we were staying next to this huge market where the first floor was almost entirely made up of produce and butchers. On the second floor, there was a bunch of food stands and other various goods and souvenirs. We made it to the market twice while we were there, and ate stupid amounts of food.
Note to anyone traveling to Budapest, when you are ordering food, do not agree to any extra toppings. That price tag of 1200 forints (roughly 4 euro) goes up exponentially when you agree to add extra toppings and sides. I forgot to get a picture of the epic proportions of food we got on our first day at the market, but the 1200 forint price tag became 7800 forints (26 euro). We got stuffed cabbage, some rice casserole cabbage dish, fried cheese, fried zucchini, more cabbage sides, sauces, feta salad, and various chopped vegetables. Oh well, it was delicious, and we were splitting it between two people. However, we couldn’t finish the last few bites, because it was way too much food. That also may have been because we got a snack beforehand, of course. I remember distinctly saying that I wanted to try as much food as possible the first day. Our snack (which would be a meal for one person), was a delicious bread cone stuffed with sausages, cabbage, and sauces. It was sooo good.
Our next food adventure was for dinner this same evening. We also took an almost daily gelato break. We wandered around Budapest and just found this cool restaurant. We were told that we needed to try Palinka, which is a strong fruit liquor. We ordered our shots of Palinka, chicken paprikash and a chicken rice dish. Palinka is not pleasant. That shit is strong, whew! One of our meals came with goulash soup (delicious, and after pondering it for a few days, we decided that goulash is exactly like Irish stew, but with the meat and veggies cut up smaller, and with much better flavoring). It also came with some sort of cake dessert. I have to say the chicken paprikash was incredible. I need more of this in my life. This may have been my favorite dish of the trip.
We tried to find more traditional Hungarian food, (since the market was closed) but we ended up eating at a German restaurant. The appetizers were delightful. The main meals were pretty good, but not amazing. Also, for me, this was hilarious - my friend's pork dish was served with a cutlet circle of decorative fat (wish I would have gotten a better picture of that) and me being me, I made him try it. He said it was the absolute worst thing that he has ever eaten and immediately spit it out and lost his appetite for the rest of the meal (though he had eaten most of it before then, so I didn't feel too bad).
We of course went to the market again and tried some retes as a snack first. Mine was curd cheese and dill, and my friend’s was pumpkin something, and they were both weirdly sweet. Honestly, this was probably the worst thing I ate in Hungary. Not good. Not good at all. But then we got a bowl of goulash (forgot to get any pics of Hungarian goulash) to cleanse our palates before getting more food. After that we got "rustic" langos, otherwise known as savory pancakes, and a sausage kebab. The sign and the relayed prices did not match, but we didn't feel like complaining. Oh well, both were delicious. Of course, because we were being super fat, we got gelato afterwards and a chimney cake for later. Chimney cakes are a popular bread pastry usually covered in cinnamon and sugar generally. They are amazing.
For dinner, we went to a lovely restaurant in a hotel. We were apprehensive because we were the only guests there, but they had a lovely buffet and it was nearly all wonderful.
We woke up early to catch the train and got some 7 A.M. pizza slices. Mine was something Mexican and Hugh's had some sort of white sauce with hardboiled eggs. They were tasty enough. Later on, we decided to check on the dining cart and got our first "Czech" meals.
For dinner, we tried to go to the Prague Beer Museum, but arrived too late to eat from their full menu. So we opted for a pretzel and sausages. Of course, since we wanted to eat everything, this was not enough food, so we got kebabs later as well.
We basically went to the same pastry shop for breakfast most mornings. I forgot to take any pictures, but I really enjoyed this leek and blue cheese pastry. It was so yummy. After walking around a bit, we stopped at yet another bakery and got a mini quiche and some Thai chicken soup.
For dinner, we went to some restaurant at a hotel. It was nice, and the menu was huge. The hotel also had a club, and we went in after dinner, not realizing part of it was a strip club. Haha. Also, weird thing, you can smoke everywhere in Prague. For dinner though, us being us, we decided we wanted to eat everything yet again. We split Czech goulash soup, which is very different from Hungarian goulash. It is much thicker and has a consistency more similar to chili, still super tasty though. I got some sort of combo meat, cabbage, and dumpling plate, and my friend got sirloin with cranberry and dumplings. We are both boggled by the idea that these "dumplings" are actually dumplings, ‘cause besides the potato dumplings on my plate, the rest of it was just sliced bread. Oh well. For dessert (of course) we got creme brulee and a Bailey’s sundae. Divine.
We ate pastries for breakfast as usual. The pastries in this country are phenomenal. For dinner, we went to a highly recommended Mexican restaurant called Las Adelitas. It's probably the best Mexican food I have had overseas. Yum. They also had a Mariachi band playing which was pretty dope. And oh my god, the Mango Chile margaritas are by the far the best margaritas I have ever had in my life. I usually don't like sweet drinks either, but they were made with real Mango and were fucking amazing. We actually went back another day just to get more Mango margs.
Went to a lovely restaurant called Lokal for lunch. We ordered lentil soup and sausages (served with horseradish and mustard) as a starter, along with mead and mulled wine. Mmmm, so good. They served the mulled wine and mead with sugar cubes and honey (not really sure why, both were sweet enough) though the sugar cubes were adorable! They made up the suits of a deck of cards. For our main meals, we split some Beef shin goulash and Smažený sýr (fried cheese served with tartar sauce).
Of course we got a midday gelato snack. For dinner, we ate at a restaurant near where we were staying. We got a cabbage sausage soup and a chicken dumpling soup to start. I had chicken pesto pasta, and my friend had a burger. It was pretty good, though nothing to rave about.
We went to another pastry shop for breakfast. We got a ham croissant, some fruit pastry, and another savory spinach cheese pastry. For lunch, we went to an awesome Asian build-your-own noodles shop which was super good (I love all things Asian). This was unfortunately our last day on our lovely little adventure. The last thing we ate was a banh mi sandwich at the airport.
Budapest and Prague were both wonderful cities that I would love to go back and visit again! The nightlife and the cities were amazing (which I will write about next). The food was delightful and scrumptious in both cities, however, I must say that I really loved the Hungarian food. It was just so much better, and dare I say, healthier. Also, my Grandmother was Hungarian, so I think the food reminded me of her and her cooking as well.
I will make chicken paprikash soon and reminisce on all of the tasty things I got to eat on my trip. Though if you couldn't tell, I ate like about 10 horses on my trip, so now it's back to going to the gym hardcore and trying to eat clean...until my next adventure!