Pizza and Food Culture

THE BEST PIZZA IN TOWN …

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Pizza Aqua – CORN?!

We were eager to try pizza from as many places in town as we could (its kind of a tradition for us) but we learned quickly that it was going to be tough to find a satisfying pie.

Pizza Aqua was our first stop and this veggie pizza complete with CORN was an underwhelming flop. C+

Vitafit pizza was next, and it turned out to be doughy, cheese-heavy and rather flavorless. C

Next up was Jack’s. Jack’s actually has terrific food (I’ll post about it later) but the pizza, although better than the previous two restaurants, was mediocre at best. B+

We finally settled at Antonio’s, and that proved to be a win!  Its unique, as the toppings are all encompassing (like massive pepperonis the size of an entire slice) but the flavor and thin cooked but chewy crust will serve to satisfy for many pizza meals to come! A

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Kattani – MASSIVE slices!

When friends came to visit in June who had previously lived here, they introduced us to Kattani gyros and pizza – probably the largest pizza and also the most American pizza in town. It was delicious, with smaller toppings than Antoino’s and a more familiar flavor overall. I would recommend it almost as highly as Anotnio’s except its very hard to get an order placed there! They only have a few ovens and they’re usually very busy. A-

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Antonio’s Pizzeria

LOCAL FOODS: We ate at the Galleria in the town square the first night, and Vitafit shortly after. The foods there are pretty good, and really cheap. Our entire family can eat for around $20 or less! We found a great Kebab place (about $2.80 for a huge Doner Kebab!), and heard of another good kebab place to try soon too. The Stork’s Nest was a yummy and cute restaurant we tried out with friends, and it made me realize that most restaurants here are surprisingly kid friendly! Many have little outside play areas or even inside kid-friendly space. It’s fun to go for walks or ride bikes around town to get lunch, gelato or go out to eat.

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Mmmm Doner Kebabs!

We have enjoyed eating breakfast at the Hotel Villa Classica, but the prices there are just a bit higher than other restaurants in town.  The lovely ambiance and great menu are worth it though!

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Breakfast at Hotel Villa Classica

One thing I’ve learned – unless you want to pay for water, order csapvís “chop-veez” which is tap water. NO ONE has ice, so drinks are usually cool, not cold. And Hungarians (and Europeans in general, apparently) LOVE their “gas” in their drinks! Fizzy water, fizzy lemonade, or soda water with sweet syrup flavorings are popular! They definitely do not have La Croix or any unsweetened flavored sparkling water though, so I’ll have to make a special order of that!

The grocery stores will take some time to adjust to. You have to bag and tag your own produce at one of grocery stores in town (Interspar) and most people don’t load up their carts like we do in America, so we look funny buying so much each week.  You have to insert a coin (100Ft) to get a cart outside, and you get the coin back when you return the cart. None of the carts have fixed wheels so all four wheels move in the same direction which can get tricky when the carts are heavy! It’s a good core workout.  Ha!  The four main grocery stores are TESCO, Interspar, Aldi and Lidl.  They sell beer, liquor and wine in the stores, and most stores also have household and personal items to buy too. I learned if an item says “bio” it means organic! It’s really hard to find creamer for coffee – for now I have settled on milk.  The coffee here in Europe is strong and usually quite small, and espresso is also popular. It’s delicious!

But I’ll get my cream in the form of gelato! Gelato, which is around 90¢ per scoop, will be my DAILY cream intake!

Hungary is famous for paprika. They put it in everything – especially sausages and meat dishes! It’s growing one me, and I’ve decided the paprika chips are my favorite. They’re reminiscent of barbecue chips (which I’m not a big fan of) but even better! Another snack we love are the Bake Rolls (bagel chips). They are a daily indulgence!

Other local foods we have tried are goulash (meat and vegetable stew similar to beef stew but with paprika), Willow’s favorite Pörkölt (similar to paprikás – like a paprika meat stew eaten with egg noodle dumplings – yum!), and my personal favorite, kürtös kalács (cinnamon sugar chimney pastries).  Cold fruit soups (that taste like melted ice cream), túrós – a pastry with poppy seed filling or a special sweet cottage filling are popoular, as well as a local strong alcohol called pálinka, which is basically a strong fruit brandy.  More to come!

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