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I didn’t have a ton of time to plan the details of our time in Budapest because I was out of town for work right up until we left. The bulk of my research consisted of reading this NYT article, which led us to Kádár Étkezde.
In the piece the restaurant is described as a “Hungarian-Jewish spot with self-serve seltzer bottles on the table, red-and-white checkered tablecloths and a packed crowd.” There was no way we were not going there. They have weird hours and at first we tried to go for dinner, found it closed, and then came back the next day for lunch.
In Central Europe, in my experience, Jewish restaurant is not always synonymous with kosher restaurant. I am glad about this. I have eaten some good kosher food, but I have also eaten some baaaaad kosher food. Even in Jerusalem, which is literally kosher city. So, this food wasn’t kosher. And it was great. I ordered boiled beef with horseradish, which came with perfect, fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes. This isn’t something my Jewish grandmother has ever cooked for me, but it’s related to many things that my Jewish grandmother has cooked for me. That’s what’s cool about heritage.