Tuesday: Budapest

Today was a terrific Tuesday. It started off with finding a laundromat first thing after breakfast. As we waited, we met an interesting young barista from Baltimore at a coffee shop near the laundry. She made the 90 minutes go by quickly.

We dropped our clean clothes at our hotel and headed to the meeting place for a food sampler tour we had signed up for. There could be up to 12 on the tour, but only four of us were doing it today. Perfect! The mother and her 25-year old daughter were visiting from outside London.

We began in a giant food market. We learned about different kinds of sausage that are specific to the area and tried four different kinds. We checked out varieties of paprika, honey, and Hungarian Christmas candy as we walked through the huge 200-year-old building.

We left the market and walked to a fish restaurant, where we tried a sample of pates and small bites of well prepared fish as we learned about typical ways fish is served.

We visited a family-owned chocolate store, an eccentric old wine bar, a “ruins” bar – an idea developed about 20 years ago as a way to rejuvenate ancient rundown buildings. These are very popular and the one we visited was fabulous.

We had delicious matzo ball soup at a restaurant in the Jewish Quarter, then chicken paprikash and a tiramisu-type Hungarian dessert at another restaurant a few streets away. I’ve probably forgotten something, but the four-hour tour was five stars – with a very kind and able guide and fun fellow participants. Our food sampling ended up being quite a bit of delicious Hungarian foods.

photos: a quirky wine bar we visited; a family- owned, exquisite chocolate store; inside a ruins bar


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