Country Style Hungarian Restaurant
Country Style Hungarian is an Annex fixture that’s been around for over fifty years. The establishment was passed down to Katalin Koltai by her mother. Koltai calls herself “management” but it’s clear she pitches in with anything and everything, bustling up and down the narrow passages of the restaurant with a smile.
This place serves gut-busting, stick-to-your-ribs, totally European staples. They’re known for the many deep-fried delights available here like breaded mushrooms ($11.50), or dive into the deep end with tripe goulash or chicken gizzard stew ($13.95).
In 2016 the place got a facelift, replacing all the walls and floors, getting a new bar and all new appliances. Fortunately no gaudy aesthetic updates have been made, sticking with old school decor and red and white checked table cloths.
Hungarian raspberry soda ($2.50) is made with Malnaszorp imported from Hungary. It’s really refreshing and the light taste goes well with all the heavy food.
Of course for an appetizer we also have to grab some breaded cheese ($11.50 for an order of four hefty triangles, or, shockingly, do it as an entree with a carb and salad for $19.95). It’s mozzarella served with homemade tartar sauce, but I think I can leave it at deep-fried cheese and you’ll get the picture.
The thing to do here is come with a group and share a wooden platter ($39.95 for two, $69.95 for four) of Country Style Hungarian’s specialties: Parisian schnitzel, wiener schnitzel, Debreceni sausage, cabbage rolls, home fried potatoes, dumplings, and beets.
The cabbage roll ($13.95 for one, $19.95 for two) is just what you want it to be, especially if you grew up eating sloppy, funky European food like this. Stuffed with zesty pork and rice on an ample heap of tangy sauerkraut and topped with a healthy dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of paprika, it’s pure mouth-stuffing goodness.
The difference between the Parisian and wiener schnitzel is that the Parisian is coated in flour and egg, whereas the wiener schnitzel coating also uses bread crumbs. The taste difference is mostly in lightness and crunch, the same tender pounded chicken inside.
Veal paprikash ($19.95) is super basic and meaty, and dumplings, our carb option, are soft and chewy. Along with a carb option entrees come with a salad, and we go for a light little cucumber salad. We also order unexpectedly good house coleslaw.
When I ask Koltai what she thinks of how the space looks newly renovated, she’s always looking to improve, saying it could use more greenery. Plants are lovely, but it’s the animals treated with such reverence and tradition here that will keep regulars coming back.