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Baricska: The csárda renaissance


  • Budavári Dóra

03/09/2013 2.00am

Csárda is a type of Hungarian restaurant, which mostly offers traditional local food. In the past decade the quality of these places has slightly decreased. Unfortunately, many of us have met the oily breaded chicken and the distasteful Fisherman's soup. The crew of Chianti Étterem from Veszprém tried to re-establish the fame of the csárda brand. The full houses at the end of the high season prove their success.

Attila Gazsi, the owner of Chianti étterem had a dream: in 2013, he wanted to open a csárda that lived up to his perfectionist and quite popular standards. It wasn't an easy project especially in these modern days, where bistros and wine bars are trending, and some of the csárda's want to hide behind the title Pizzeria & Csárda. Yes, we have seen them. True story.
In a good csárda you can eat Fisherman's soup made of local fish under the vine-arbour, and the goulash should be hot enough to make you feel good, but not so hot to make you breathe fire, like Dracaris, one of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons. In a real csárda you expect a proper amount of food as well; the degustation menu is non-existent here. The fact, that Baricska Csárda has had a full house many times proves that Balaton needed this kind of restaurant badly for some time now.

Photo: A New Team Fixed And Reopened Baricska Csárda. - Baricska

Up and running

'Our first year was very strong, but the next season will be even better. At the end of the high season our tables were filled with reservations in the weekends. There were times when we had to send guests away,' says Attila Gazsi, and he is planning developments during winter. The length of the winter break is up to the guests: Baricska will be open in September from Wednesday until Sunday, but the place could be open on October weekends as well. The owners will use the time between October and April to improve, rethink, and reconstruct many things.
Baricska has been a popular csárda in Balatonfüred since the early 1800s, but in recent years the building was neglected. Unfortunately you cannot just stare at Lake Balaton on the balcony surrounded by vineyards like in 1823. The hotel towers, the gas station and the supermarket's concrete building devalue the view to some extent.

Photo: The View, The Soda Bottle, And The Geraniums Are Still Nice. - Dóra Budavári - We Love Balaton

What can you eat in Baricska?

Baricska makes the traditional food of every csárda with modern kitchen methods. This place is like a csárda 2.0 thanks to the creative chef, László Ruprecht. He has the same job in Chianti Étterem as well. The chef, Lóránt Takács helped us to define what Baricska Csárda is all about when we visited the place. 'Goulash is made of beef shank with pinched noodles here, because this is the authentic, traditional way. The smoked duck breast with red cabbage cream is a new addition; it could be a bit avant-garde for the csárda-fans. The Catfish Paprikash is really made of catfish, you can chop my hands off if I prepare it from pangasius! The Hungarian pork cutlets are made from mangalitsa clod that we roast for 8 hours slowly on 80 degrees. Then we slow cook the steaks under vacuum on 64 degrees for another 12 hours.' This slow and meticulous process has its result: 'Now, at the end of the season it's pretty clear, that the pork cutlets and the apple pie with vanilla ice cream were the two iconic foods in our restaurant.
The apple pie is the creation of Zsolt Martonosi's (manager of Baricska) mom,' said Attila Gazsi in September.

Photo: Full House In Our Stomach, Too. - Dóra Budavári - We Love Balaton

We started our meal with a cold appetizer: cold plate with assorted sausage, ham and cheese (1700 HUF). The cheese was from Tekeresvölgyi Kézműves Tejtermékek, and it was more than enough after our exhausting bike tour. We tried a great cold summer food: cold cucumbers cream soup with zsendice cheese spiced with dill (800 HUF). Since we were there, we couldn't miss the Hungarian fish soup (1600 HUF) either. We shared a fillet mignon of pork in breadcrumbs and lettuce salad with sour cream and bacon (2500 HUF). In the end, our stomachs were completely full, because Baricska offers proper plates of food as a good csárda should. Cover photo:Péter Szúdy

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