Sunday, September 8, 2013

Breaking Bread and Bugging out for Bratislava.

Our last day in Budapest started with breakfast. Scooterchick is ready to go, and once we finished our breakfast, we headed upstairs to finish packing.

I had my usual huge plate of stuff, and surprised myself by being unable to finish. Whether it was excitement about leaving or just still being full from all the delicious food of the last few days, I don't know but I left food on my plate.

We checked out of our hotel and prepared to head to Keleti train station. We were going to take a taxi to the subway but inquired about a rate straight to Keleti and found it to be reasonable so we rode in air conditioned comfort.

When we arrived at Keleti we went to purchase a ticket. Wait, first you get a ticket then you when your number is called you go to the window to purchase the actual ticket. the urge to call out BINGO when your number comes up is almost overwhelming. Trainfare was about $43.00. Fair enough.

Keleti is a large station, that has 13 tracks. We had time before our train left.

This is a look down the main platform, with a large tote board giving you odds, I mean announcing trains and departure times.

We had time for lunch so we went into Baross Etterem, a restaurant that has been serving travelers since 1879. Accoutrements of  faded glory still remain, like the chandelier and other light sconces etc.

The back bar was wooden with some decent detail. The columns were decorative, and well turned out in Fin de siecle style.

I ordered a Hungarian pancake which was served with a Paprika Gravy. It was delicious and filling. No dessert for me thanks.

Patsy decided on cordon bleu schnitzel. It was huge, and we both worked hard to try and finish the plate. Almost managed too.

There is a huge ornate carving looming over the diners.

We got ourselves settled on the train. We had second class tickets, so got a cabin to ourselves. Very comfortable travel.

Here are your correspondents Scootard and Scooterchick heading to Bratislava.

A slight clunk and we are on our way. Rail travel in Europe is usually very comfortable, and this trip was no exception. Smooth and very comfortable at about 130km/h (about 80mph) We leave the station.

What follows are a series of landscape shots along the way. This trip reminded me of our previous Euro rail excursions.

Passing through a series of small and medium sized towns where life seems almost sleepy as we speed past. Lots to see, but it goes by fast.

I like the style of architecture. It seems solid and well constructed as though they expect it to last 3 or 4 centuries, with proper care and feeding (maintenance).

Another small town speeds past, neat well kept and compact.

We passed through a field of sunflowers. They must be almost ready for harvest, since the heads are bending low now.

When we arrived at our destination, we checked into our hotel, I will share more hotel details later, but when we walked into the room the TV came on and said welcome Mr. Coutts. How unusual is that?

The room is furnished in Euro Chic style, and will be very comfortable for our time here. It does have some unusual features.

One of the weird things is that the shower is glassed in, and visible from the main room. There are a set of modesty drapes to pull for those who need them.

After a shower, we headed downstairs for dinner. They started us out with a Dark Rye bread that had caraway and sun flower seeds in it. Outstanding. There was also a side dish with a local creamy cheese for spreading. Piquant and smooth.

I started with a soup of Ox-Tail broth, that was smooth, tasty and filling.

This is the small stainless bowl of bread. We were unable to eat it all, but not for lack of trying. The flavor was superb.

I moved on from there to a chicken caesar. Subtle but robust, delicate yet strong.

Scooterchick settled for a plate of risotto with chanterelle mushrooms and what she swears were oysters. Perhaps they harvest freshwater oysters from the river.

The piece de la resistance was a strawberry dessert. I had to wait while it was being prepared. The finished product was a work of art, to wit:

  • A crepelike ball with a whole strawberry inside, rolled in finely powdered almond. This was served hot and juicy.
  • A light strawberry mousse topped with minced strawberry and a sprig of mint. It was served in get this a chocolate bowl. 
  • Last but not least there was a ginger sugar snap, where the sugar is flavored with ginger while liquid and then rolled while cooling. Exquisite.
This is not a world I bandy about lightly, but the combination of flavors, textures and sensations cannot be overplayed. I invite you to recall with delight the best dessert you have ever eaten. Then double the beauty of that experience, and you come close.

I cannot possibly top this so I'll leave you here. See you later.


Helen Marie said...

Wow Chris...You and AP really need to get that food critique thingee going. You sold me!

:) Helen

Scootard said...

Thanks Helen.
Yeah we like to eat, should profit from the reportage!