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Apr 7, 2014 08:54 AM

Hungarian food and/or cooks?

I know, I know -- the time of the Hungarian restaurant in NYC has come and gone, and I'll search for an alternative to Andre's in vain. But...I'm searching: does anyone on here know of any place in the city that still offers Hungarian food? The classic sort -- not the (fine) Austrian fare at Wallse or Seasonal or Sabarsky, not the item or two of Slovakian fare at Korzo, but actual Hungarian food, either a restaurant or a store?

Failing that...does anyone know someone who can cook classic Hungarian meals and would enjoy doing so for the upcoming 83rd birthday of a fine fellow (my father) who misses the flavors of his youth and would smile the broadest smile you've ever seen if someone made a decent plate of stuffed cabbage, perhaps with chestnut puree for dessert?

All ideas and suggestions welcome, short of a plane trip to Budapest...

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    1. re: scoopG

      Take another look at the second line of the OP's post.

    2. If you call in advance, you can still get a straightforward Hungarian meal at the First Hungarian Literary Society on the UES. You will know it by the two motorized scooters on the stairs -- not glamorous, but might hit the spot!

      1 Reply
      1. re: sadie

        Thanks so much - that sounds great!

      2. dinner for how many?
        cabbage with sour cream or tomato?
        how about a torte?
        made in your kitchen or brought to NYC?

        6 Replies
        1. re: khars

          Could be just me and him; could be 3 or 4 people. Cabbage with tomato, I'd say -- think he'd like that better. As for where...whatever the cook preferred would be fine with me. If you know of someone who could do this and would enjoy it (or if you would yourself), drop me a note...

          1. re: CArdai

            Actually I live in CT (travel to NYC via Metro North)

            so carrying food on the train is, well, iffy

            warning: I learned to cook from my grandmother...about 50 years ago - and every cook's stuffed cabbage tastes unique
            I can use lard, or not; pork or beef?
            onions essential, paprika I have is Szeged, regular

            tortes - well, there are so many

            ps my Hungarian is limited to igen and hem

            and I'm the only person I know who can do this i.e. my network is limited

            1. re: khars

              Learning from one's grandmother is by far the best way to learn Hungarian cooking. It's where I got my best recipes! (And I'm limited to igen and nem myself, more or less.)

              If you send me an email address, I'll drop you a note and we can see if we can pull this off!

              1. re: CArdai

                I work, weekdays, so I'd only have would have time on a weekend

                do you have a large casserole type pot (it needs a lid) and basic kitchen tools?

                torte would have to commute with me, takes too long to bake in situ

                email to

                1. re: khars

                  Thanks - I'll send you email.

              2. re: khars

                My aunt used to make something called kabbagedatesta ( phonetically) ,,, basically it was flat noodles with cabbage and some kind of oil or butter or animal fat. It was delicious.
                I also liked Polacsinta crepe dessert.
                Years ago , the East 70's had many Hungarian restaurants. My favorite was Budapest. Eva's was a cheaper one.

          2. The restaurant at Estonia House on 34th St. has good stuffed cabbage. I put some lemon juice on mine to make it more like the one my Hungarian grandmother made. They are only open after 5 and only Wednesday through Friday, I think and on some Saturdays. You might try one of the Hungarian churches in Manhattan to see if they have restaurants.

            I was hoping to try the cabbage strudel at Andre's. Have you had it and is there something bad about the rest of their menu?

            1. Mmmmm I just traveled down a wormhole inspired by some beautiful postage stamps affixed to a package that just arrived from Hungary. This is what I found: an (almost satisfyingly) long video in Hungarian featuring the strudel-making of two seasoned pros. You have got to check this out. I know zero about Hungarian other than singing music by Bartok and Kodaly, but was able to glean a lot from this fab vid.


              I believe this is where this strudel-making magic happens:

              I'm up for a strudel-making meetup any time.