Review: Gypsy Cafe

I’m sorry I left you hanging, but I’m back to recap the rest of my family’s visit. We ended the wonderful weekend in style…with Hungarian food and music! Before moving to Pgh, I bought a few Groupons to various restaurants in an effort to force myself to get out there and try new things. One of the featured restaurants was Gypsy Cafe, which immediately peaked my interest, because they “follow a seasonal path through Europe, offering an eclectic selection of homestyle dishes that is a perfect fit to our location in a landmark reclaimed church on the historic South Side.” They said ‘Europe,’ specifically central, eastern, and southern. I’m IN.

Then I found out that the weekend my mom and bro were visiting was when they would host their annual Hungarian Cimbalom event with a 4-course meal and gypsy music throughout the night. To top it off, they actually had a vegetarian option for each of the 4 courses! That is ridiculously hard to do with Hungarian cuisine, which is all about pork, duck, and more meat…seasoned with paprika of course! It was a good meal, too 🙂

1st course - Korozott Cheese Spread with crostini and radish

2nd course - Chilled Apple Soup with sour cream

3rd course - Cucumber Salad with red bell pepper and parsley

4th course - Roasted Stuffed Onion in Lecso (letch-oh)

All of this food was really good as were the meat dishes my family devoured, so they told me…I especially enjoyed my main meal which was a roasted onion stuffed with bulgur, pinenuts, herbs and Romano, braised in green pepper, onion, and tomato lecso sauce, garnished with Romano cheese. Mmmmm, doesn’t that sound good?!

Lecso was one of my favorite foods while living in Hungary and continues to satisfy. As much as I enjoyed this, the Romano cheese really threw me off because that is not typical of Hungarian cuisine. The gulyas (goo-yash), a typical Hungarian soupy stew, was also much thicker than necessary, and acted more like a meat sauce on top of the noodles my mom enjoyed. So, I say it was a good effort by the Gypsy Cafe, but we are spoiled Hungarians I suppose! We also got quite upset when our waiter let us know that they sold out of palacsinta (puh-luh-cheen-tuh) for dessert. It’s a Hungarian-style crepe with fruity, cheesy, and sometimes chocolatey fillings. It’s sooooo good! But none for us… 😦

All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening that reminded me of an amazing 5 months spent in Budapest immersed in Hungarian culture. I had great food, lovely music, and the best company I could ask for. All I have to say is Egeszsegedre! (Eh-gayce-shay-ged-reh) (Cheers/To your health!)


Gypsies! (well three of them...)


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. geraldine
    Sep 15, 2010 @ 04:13:20

    omg! that stuffed onion has me brimming with ideas! it looks good. i think i’ll be doing some experimenting tomorrow…


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