Wednesday, July 4, 2007


A friend of mine is on her way to Hungary this week for a family affair of some sort. While not everyone who knows me is aware of my dedication to Foie Gras, they are well aware that GrasGuy plans most of his vacations around eating, and they'll usually check in before they head out. Having travelled to Budapest last year, I was more than happy to oblige when she asked for recommendations, and one restaurant was at the top of that list.

Muveszinas on MuvenBajcsy-Zsilinszky ut is about as classic a Budapest haunt as you can get - the interior looking so old and filled with so much memorabilia that there's a good chance it is haunted - all the better. Serving up an extensive menu that is pretty much an encyclopedia of Hungarian cuisine, it's the place to go if you're only going to one place. Even better, you can go there every day and run the gamut of local dishes, many of which feature Goose in it's various forms.

I'd heard the legends about the good old days in communist Hungary - good for visitors at least - when Foie Gras was available for a pittance. $5 a pound? Hard to believe, but it was cheap, nonetheless. Unfortunately, this was in part due to the more industrial nature of the business back then, and GrasGuy is more than happy to pay a bit more for Foie Gras raised in a more proper fashion. Still, Hungary remains an affordable destination for the American dollar, and while Muveszinas isn't exactly cheap, for what you get, it won't break the bank.

What I got I'm afraid I don't exactly remember as I've lost my notes and some brain cells since I was there. What is seared in my memory though, is a plate with two slices of seared Foie Gras the size of tenderloin steaks - not the kind of thing you'll likely see outside of Eastern Europe these days. It was so substantial and so decadent that I hardly needed my entree, a very large pile of sausage and peppers and lots of paprika who's name also escapes me.

If you find yourself in Budapest anytime soon I hope you'll see through this rather pathetic account of my experience at Muveszinas and recognize the true enthusiasm behind the clouded picture.

Truly the most memorable meal I can't remember.

UPDATE: Just received a text message from said friend who was enjoying a Foie Gras en Papillote w/Mushrooms and couldn't get enough. Foie Gras in parchment sounds very interesting, and is definitely not what I had - but there's always a next time.

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