Then: At 5:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, I was rattled from my sleep with an idea. The sit-up-straight-out-of-bed kind of idea. Instead of setting up shop at one French cooking school, what if I hopped around the European continent and sampled from a variety of courses in different cities and countries? That's how Culinary Hopscotch was born. Follow me on an epicurean tour of cooking schools in countries around Europe and beyond. I'll be traveling and cooking for about three months, so if you're curious about where I'm headed, just ask. Otherwise, I'll be updating my whereabouts in the Twitter section on the right. The culinary crusade starts on January 29, 2010, and I'll be doing it all in a carry-on.

Now: We live in Portland, a culinary capital in its own right. I man the stove chez nous and plan our meals weekly on a colorful pad from Anthropologie. Things have changed a bit from the old school days of Culinary Hopscotch, but it makes sense (to me) to keep it alive. Look for posts on restaurants we visit, culinary happenings in the news, what's on the menu in our kitchen, and more!

Been There, Cooked That

Monday, March 8, 2010

Not Going Hungry in Hungary

This post is a bit of an anomaly. It's a restaurant review, and perhaps you've noticed that I haven't wasted space on my blog waxing poetically about restaurants (and yes, I have been eating in them). That's because I've yet to find one worthy of a ringing endorsement, until today...

I'm currently stuffing my face full of three courses at Stand Bistro. And including a glass of wine, the entire meal is setting me back less than 2000 HUF (roughly $10). I'm not sacrificing ambiance (in fact I'm staring directly at DIO, another Budapest institution), and the food is fresh, tasty, and most certainly, affordable. My pumpkin soup with chickpeas was silky and warm, a perfect insulator on this bitter day. And the papardelle affumicata was a bed of delicate noodles with the perfect amount of light red sauce and pancetta. On deck: an almond mascarpone mousse.

So, while I'm sorry your other two restaurants closed, thank you Chef Viktor Segal for this cataclismic and cost-effective addition to my culinary crusade. Stand Bistro is brilliant, and was well worth tracking down on Google Maps for Blackberry. This just further verifies my point that with a bit of research, you can dine substantially well for pennies on the dollar. Or Forint. Whatever I'm paying with today.

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