After reading many good things about Paprikash here and elsewhere, we finally went there tonight.
Apparently they have had a very recent ownership change; perhaps that explains our TERRIBLE experience.
Immediately when we walked in, the hostess told us rather rudely that we should have made a reservation (it was Thursday night), although there was an open table. Service was extremely slow. The waiter was charming, but inattentive because overextended. We had to ask for water (after our entrees arrive), pile up our own plates when finished, and put on our coats before we could get our bill.
The marvelous menu we'd heard about didn't exist. Instead, there was a very limited and uninteresting "party menu" because there was, apparently, live music in the next room over. However, it cost $35 to sit in that room. The menu explanation was also misleading. We recognized that the prices per entree were $3-5 more than those posted outside the restaurant door, but the "party menu" explained that soup or salad and dessert came with dinner. So we went ahead and ordered. We received neither soup nor salad -- when we asked, we discovered that "dinner" meant paying $35 for the special table. With our $15 entrees, we got nothing.
The primary indignity, though, was the food. The none-too-large portions were slopped onto plates. The chicken paprikash was bland and hardly heated though, the spatzle (though tasty) were not even warm. My companion swore he would rather eat his own bodily products than the weird-tasting beef stew. I have eaten wonderful Hungarian food, but this was like something you might get at a Hungarian train station cafe.
For this, and two glasses of wine, we paid $42 (plus tip). At least two other tables just in our little anteroom were distinctly displeased with their experiences, too. One guy two tables over complained about having been misled about the price of the meal, and was refusing to pay because he hadn't known about several extra charges. He complained that, in addition, all the prices had been recently and significantly raised. He said that he'd had many wonderful culinary experiences at Paprikash, and had had warm service and a good relationship with the owner. This time, though, the service had been disgraceful and he'd eaten many times, and had wonderful meals, and arm service. This time, though, he said he'd had better meat out of a box of frozen food. Ouch.
The waiter was too busy to register our displeasure until we were paying the bill. We then complained about the bad lukewarm meals. He said the ownership had "just" changed, and that the new owner was screwing everything up.
I would never go there again. It was an expensive disappointment, and an insult to its customers.
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