Best-Kept Restaurant Secret (2002)

Peter's Budapest Cafe

If people knew Hungarian food like we know Hungarian food, they'd be at Peter's Budapest Cafe every night of the week.

Prepare to indulge heartily here, and heavily. Hungarian food mostly is enormous platters of tender, juicy beef piled atop plump noodles; breaded, fried veal cutlets nestled alongside great hunks of buttery fried potatoes; and deep-fried mushrooms, proud of their grease and cloaked in fat suits of tartar sauce. It's classic comfort. Favorite dishes include gently sautéed chicken livers, oven-baked pork loin, meat loaf in chubby slabs, sausage-potato-egg casserole, and obese sausage links resting on a bed of glossy tricolor peppers. There's no holding back the good stuff, either, with pools of rich cream sauce, lava flows of molten cheese, dollops of tangy sour cream and desserts that are more huge, sugar-entombed shrines than simply food. But most gratifying for us, the cuisine is rapturous, thanks to creative use of distinguished spices like paprika (spicy-sweet crushed pepper powder) and poppy seeds, plus sour cream to enrich rather than overwhelm.

If people only knew. If they'd only give it a try. The Valley would be such a happier place.


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