Margit is my only Hungarian friend, so I was eager to have her help me enjoy an authentic Hungarian feast! Much to our surprise, there is no restaurant that claims to be simply Hungarian.
However Ziggy, of Kenny and Ziggy's is 3rd generation Hungarian and the menu includes many Hungarian dishes, from goulash to stuffed cabbage. The story of how Ziggy's grandfather immigrated from Budapest to open the first New York Deli on Broadway, is a curious one.
http://kennyandziggys.com/ Check out their website for fun and humorous details of this lively restaurant!
At 11:30 K &Z's was already hopping. Servers in black vests and ties zipped from table to table with trays holding everything from bagels to 5 inch high corned beef sandwiches. The location on Post Oak, in the Galleria area packs in a big crowd of shoppers and business folk...but I'm guessing half the crowd is made up of regulars who just appreciate an authentic kosher deli with a lively NYC atmosphere. The walls are entertaining, too...covered with Broadway and NY related movie posters and caricatures of stars! Okay, there is nothing Hungarian about the atmosphere, but I like it! 3 bonus points for atmosphere!
I think we also get 1 bonus point for being greeted by a bowl of pickles at the table! I've gotten free bread and chips, but this was a treat! Margit, I think you said something about pickles being Hungarian and not just NY Deli?? Anyway, that was a positive way to get started.
Margit took one look at the specials and her jaw dropped to see "Chilled Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup" on the list! She said she has never seen this served in the States. We shared a large bowl and it was cool and tangy. The cherries were delicious flavor bursts! Margit makes this at home and has to buy imported sour cherries from a shop in Houston. She said this was delicious...although not as good as hers!
Friends, Katharine and Lilian joined us a little later for some more American dining...BLT and coffee. The giantic pile of fried onions in the foreground is hiding a few fried pierogis! Margit said it was a must that we have something salty after our sweet soup!
We were also eager to try the Hungarian stuffed cabbage. This is a rather scary looking picture, but the sweet and sour tomato sauce added quite a zing to the dish. Margit, said the dish was "fair" and she mentioned this kind of sauce was not usually served in the summer with stuffed cabbage. So there are seasonal ways to eat stuffed cabbage?! I learned something... 1 bonus! Overall the food rating for Hungarian food is 4+...at least for me, the non-Hungarian.
A ways back I mentioned that as a child I gave myself the job of rating bathrooms. I don't often comment on restrooms in this blog, but I did enjoy the entertaining posters...and I believe some Broadway music was playing! Gotta love bathroom decor with Liberace and hey, there's the St. Louis arch over there! 2 bonus points!
Beverly was our very busy, but patient server. She had to deliver the sad news that Ziggy was not in and I could not meet him. I told her, she could stand in for Ziggy in my photo and she was eager to do so. Well, I'm not sure the photo captured the enthusiasm, but Beverly was a good sport. Beverly, along with our dining neighbors (who were excited to see what we ordered and talked with Margit about visiting Budapest) means we get at least 3 bonus points for people encounters!
TOTAL OF 14+ POINTS FOR KENNY AND ZIGGY'S (this rating will go up if I can come back and meet Ziggy!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.