A Okrent, great tip on Paprikash. I may not be the Hungarian food maven that you are, but I surely enjoyed our dinner there tonight. I had been anxious to go since your write-up as it sounded so good, yet so different. It was. While I was inspired to hit Paprikash from your review, I have to say you may have accidentily failed to mention one of the biggest attractions of the place.
Shortly after sitting down, they bring you four puffy discs of fried bread, dusted with garlic chips instead of powdered sugar. Not only a great, great taste teaser, but a foreshadowing of the mass amounts of garlic soon to arrive. This and a few drinks, I'd be happy for the rest of the night. The room itself is very pretty, and everyone is warm and helpful. You are put in a good mood.
Our table started with the hungarian cheese spread--is there a Hungarian influence in Wisconsin, it tasted like one of the dishes at Mars Cheese factory or something. Since we were so well conditioned from the fried dough, and some imported beer, we were not that put off by the bland cheese. Nothing else, however, was bland.
The rest of the meal included romanian skirt steak, chicken paprikash, the gulash pancake polish/hungarian combo mentioned by A.Okrent and the gypsy steak. As I said, garlic stood out, even more than paprika. Not just whole cloves strewn over the plates, but encrusted in the gypsy steak and especially infusing the hungarian potatos. The pancake stood up well to the gulash. The gulash itself was tender, flavorful and not the least bit fatty.
I had originally eyed the crepes for desert, but our great waitress told us that the cake was just like back home. Great choice, a huge plate of something like a cross between tiramisu and black forest cake doused heavily with whipped cream. One order fed four easily.
I forgot about the schnaps, maybe next time. The bar itself is so pretty. When I lead my 24 hour of chow tour, I think one of the stops should be this bar for a bit of drink and the garlic dough.
Speaking of 24 hours of chow, I guess if it was not for Zim and his cockamamie quests, Paprikash would never had bubbled up. So, thanks to Zim and A.Okrent.