Sunday Hungarian Buffet
The Queens of Hungarian cooking reigned on Queen St West, at the Hungarian Goulash Party Tavern, of blessed memory, Nick and Leslie. Everything that you liked and ated about Hungarian restaurants was there to an extreme. Since then there has been an emptiness. I was driving along Steeles Ave West, last Sunday , nostalgic, and then I had a Sign. " Schnitzel House , all you can eat buffet, Sunday". I entered, I saw, I lunched.
Not bad, it isn't a Nick and Leslie, but when they retired they broke the mould.
Less robust thabn N&L, but better then Paprikash ,in my mind.
Three soups, I had the goulash, not bad at all. Lots of salads, believe it or not. Excellent (marsh!) beets; cucumber salad that got screwed up by using too much salt to drain the cucumbers, sliced tomatoes with onion and black pepper, chopped cucumbers with feta, caesar salad using romaine and a mixed lettuce salad using romaine, vegetable. Is this place really Hungarian ? I was reassured by the waitress's , (a daughter of the owners), smelling like a lush at 1:00 pm, and still being very efficient.
The hot stuff was in 10 bins and a good assortment. I chose to believe the soused daughter that the schnitzel was`veal even though it looked very white; quite good; excellent roast potatoes, a veal (sic) in sauerkraut dish which was tasty enough but the veal was hard, and other stuff which I didn't have and can't remember.but without much pork.
The deserts were a canned tropical fruit cocktail (not bad for what it was), a black forestesque cake which I didn't try, strudels which were quite OK.
Adults $12.95, children are free. A good deal. I will return once in a while. But oh, how I miss N&L's roast staffed chicken and getting scolded by Cathy the waitress.
Most of the clientele was Hungarian which is a good sign.
The place is in the shopping plaza across from the Canadian Tire on Steeles just west of Yonge. You can eat there and get gas. Once in the plaza`you can't mistake it. It is the only place with the whole front painted in Hungarian colours.
100 Steeles Ave West 905-889-5600
Next door is North, an Iranian restaurant. Anybody know anything about it? it looked high class with high prices.
There is also a Hungarian Buffet on Sundays - Main Street - Markham - Mr. Hungarian..despite the name, the owners have had quite a few Hungarian restaurants in Markham and Ajax....buffet is around $13.95 - cabbage rolls, schnitzel, usually a hot roast, soup and salads..poppy seed strudel....not bad for the money and very filling
IF I recall correctly, Mr. Hungarian is owned by the brother of the lady that owns Schnitzel House. At least, the last time I was there, he told me that his sister has a similar place "just west of him", and I'm fairly sure its Schn. House.
Mr. Hungarian also has a Sunday buffet, very similar to that described above. We drive from Oakville to Markham for it on occasion when the mood hits. Lets face it, you can't cook schnitzel, goulash, roast, salads etc etc unless you spend a week doing it!!! So as a lazy hungarian, I prefer to drive to Marham :). Plus the price is great.
Amy Pataki of the Toronto Star did a review of Mr. Hungarian in the paper a few years back, and she is hungarian too and liked it fine. It seems since they've redone the website, the review is no longer posted.
Do they have chicken in the buffet? by indicating the schnitzel meat is white do think they might have used chicken instead of veal?
One of the bins contained roast chicken pieces , quite moist, very well cooked but tasty. The schnitzel is not chicken.
We went to try it this weekend. As I don't like red meat, I was happy to find chicken paprikash and a breaded fried chicken among the offerings. The latter was quite crunchy and moist, I only had one piece, but when I went to get more they were all gone and replaced by a pan of peas and carrots. The paprikash and dumplings were OK, but they do seem to lack a bit in flavour. There was no " veal in sauerkraut" but instead a roast pork, so I guess they do change the menu. No cake either, but the poppy seed strudel (?) was quite good.
Service was so-so. I ordered a tea. 10 minutes later I caught the eye of the waitress, who said OK it's coming. 10 more minutes passed before she brought it out, saying she thought the other waitress got it. But my friend ordered a pop, the waitress refilled it without asking. Also the food didn't get replenished fast enough. Two people came to get takeout, they were standing around waiting for more food to appear.
Not a bad experience, but probably wouldn't go out of my way to go there again.
On one of my occasional "wanders" (my word for aimless drives which usually involve seeking out gastronomic treasures) yesterday, I found myself on the old main street of Richmond Hill (Yonge, north of Major Mac). Since one of my favourite pastimes is reading menus, I checked out Rhapsody Continental Cuisine. The menu is quite comprehensive, including all the usual suspects, and they advertise a Sunday buffet, as well, the menu for which is quite extensive.
Here's a review in Toronto Life:
Is there anything else you like on that strip? It's a hop, skip and jump for me, but I don't recall eating anything on that strip in years. Years and years ago, we used to go to Cafe au P... and "Spazz", which I don't think is there anymore. I've never had the thai food on that strip either. The only thing I usually stop for is to take my nephews to the ceramics place.
I found a nice little place called Mom's Love Delicatessen, owned and run by a really friendly and knowledgeable Romanian-Israeli man who worked for years at the Hilton in Tel Aviv. Aside from an array of Eastern European dry goods, as well as deli meats and cheeses, a number of his products are homemade. He makes a line of frozen organic Romanian-style kebobs, Moroccan cigars - both savoury and sweet, soups, bourekas, cheese blintzes, etc. There are also a few in-house-made pastries and breads.
I bought a few frozen items from him (meat cigars, potato bourekas, blintzes and beef kebobs), which I have yet to try. His mini-hamantashen (nut-filled) were gobbled up in no time, however.
There are a couple of restaurants aside from Rhapsody that look like they might be worth trying - Cafe en Passant and Richmond Grill & Cafe. You say you haven't been to Cafe en Passant for years, and I assume you haven't been to Richmond Grill.
Does anybody know anything about these restaurants?
Been there (can you tell, i love GOOD Hungarian food) being Hungarian it helps.
Rhapsody is good MODIFIED Hungarian food (to suit the 'north American pallet' a little overpriced (in terms of most Hungarian rest are good and cheap).
i would eat there, but not go out of my way to do so.