Europe Bar and Restaurant
Europe Bar and Restaurant boasts a bountiful array of Hungarian classics on Bathurst just south of Lawrence in an area better known for its Cash for Gold stores than its dining options. Vegetarians and the cholesterol-averse take heed — this is a primal mecca of fried, stewed and spicy meat-centricity!
With murals on the walls and hand embroidered tablecloths, the modest dining room and friendly staff make this the perfect place for a casual meal of old-world European favourites. From fresh rye bread and goulash to cabbage rolls, chicken paprikash, pörkölt, lángos and crepes, they don't muck about when it comes to portion sizes and super tasting food.
There is one particular dish, however, which is defined by much more than any of the singular items above. An amalgamation of animal products, piles of fried goods layered one on top of the other, a seven-item tower of tantalizing proportions; I come here to eat Hungarian (or Transylvanian) wooden platters!
With an option of ordering for two or four people ($35,45 / $56.45), bring your appetite along with your friends. The Wooden Plate for two comes stocked with a starter-course cabbage roll filled with moist pork and rice, sweet shaved cabbage and rich, smooth house-made tejföl (sour cream). A heaping platter of two veal wiener schnitzel ("It says one on the menu, but that's not true!" laughs our server in a thick Hungarian accent), a pork chop, four fried mushrooms, four fried perogies, a slice of thick cut bacon, pork sausage, a generous bed of fried potatoes, rice and a simple marinated cucumber salad follows.
Everything is warm, tender and crisp. A little squeeze of lemon and an added sprinkle of some of the fine Hungarian paprika that sits on the table, and I'm struggling to hold back jubilant tears.
If the Wooden Plate doesn't quite fill your tank, or send you into a coronary attack, a nice bowl of Goulash Soup ($7/S $9.45/L) is my idea of a great desert course. Buttery-tender morsels of beef, carrots, celery, potato and nokedli (egg dumpling) meld perfectly in the hot soothing broth with a smoky paprika flavour.
For those who prefer a sweet finish, go for their crepes ($3.25). Lined with your choice of walnut, chocolate, cheese, jam or poppy seed, they'll leave you licking the powdered sugar off the plate.