Located by the ferry in Szántód, there’s a place serving huge slices of meat and massive portions of side dishes, which pose a challenge to even the most experienced eating champions. We gave devouring everything on our plate a try, and found out what a pitmaster is, where the meat comes from, and why a smoke ring forming on cooked meat is a good thing.
Móricz Zsigmond Street, the quasi-main street of Szántód is not a particularly exciting place, but if you take the time to drive down the slow paced lane, you’ll sooner or later get a whiff of delicious meat cooking by the side of the road. There was no mistaking the heavenly smell coming from Déli Part BBQ; even Herbie got a little excited.
If you’re into food that comes off the barbecue, drive no further because the dishes here will seriously blow your mind, which is no wonder: the ingredients and the methods of preparation are apparently absolutely unique in the entire county. József Barica, alias “Dzsozi”, the pitmaster of Déli Part BBQ told us that there were two keys to the amazing flavor of their grub: high-quality beef and the huge smoker.
The Angus beef they work with comes from a farm in the village of Somogysimonyi where a one-and-a-half-year-old animal is slaughtered every week, producing ca. 700 kilograms of fresh meat. The quality of the product is what convinced the owners to open a buffet specializing in barbecue dishes cooked to perfection, and Dzsozi to become a pitmaster two and a half years ago.
They picked Szántód as a base because they wanted a place far from the bustle of Siófok with neighbors who were willing to put up with the smoke generated during the cooking process. The only thing left on their list of items to get was the smoker, which was a big part of the budget. In the end, they found a company that’s so professional they even build smokers for export, and bought the specimen you can see in the garden today; it has enough room to smoke 75 kilograms of meat at a time.
The selection is not wide, but everything they serve from the ribs to the brisket is extremely filling. We tried the former, and couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it (if you’re a pickier eater, you might not like the chewier, fattier bits). The meat was nice and tender, cooked all the way through, and had a lovely peppery crust. One large portion costs 2,990 forints, which includes a variety of side dishes, namely potato chips, slices of pain paillasse, jalapeno peppers, slightly sweet coleslaw, and three homemade sauces. This fine composition is sheer heaven for a very hungry visitor.
Vegetarian patrons can go for the enticing bagel-goat’s cheese combination, but the bagels (1,790 forints) and burgers (1,690 forints) made with shin of beef are pretty spectacular as well. The bagels are supposed to be very popular; Dzsozi said a couple came in last Thursday, and after eating one each, they ordered eleven more to go. The brisket cooked in the smoker for 18 hours (3,390 forints) is their premier product. It’s a big piece of meat that can be cooked sous vide, but real pitmasters don’t bother with that; they whack the cherry wood into the smoker, and prepare the meat that way. If done properly, this technique creates a smoke ring and gives a characteristic, faint smoky taste to the meat.
Déli Part BBQ is open every day except Monday from July 1 through September. Thursdays and Fridays are an especially good time to visit; that’s when you can sample such specialties as authentic chili con carne or jalapeno peppers wrapped in minced beef, filled with cheese. If you’re worried that they’ll only be open for a few days per week outside the season, you’ll be pleased to hear that they’re already looking for a place for a new joint in Budapest.
Until that project is fully realized, it’s worth popping down to Szántód for a hearty meal and some tasty craft beer. They currently stock the products of Monyó Brewery, but they are planning on working with the major Hungarian microbreweries and throwing beer dinners for 40 people.