“Where are we going?”asked Fondy, this despite the fact that she was the one driving and we were already halfway down 16th Avenue.
“I don’t care,”I truthfully replied. “Wherever you want to go.” The fact is, while my wife was out of town for a month and a half, I enjoyed most of my dinners at home alone, watching Food Network and eating off the marble kitchen island. So when I said “I don’t care” I really meant it. After forty days of tuna sandwiches and corn on the cob, I was just happy to be out.
“I feel like paprikash,”she informed me. And I immediately knew where we were headed: The Budapest. That family-run little establishment at the corner of Main and 16th, with its golden schnitzel, down home desserts, and frustratingly inconsistent hours. Sometimes it would be open Tuesdays to Fridays; sometimes Wednesdays to Saturdays. On occasions it would be open late. Other times, it would be shut down for weeks on end.
We rounded the corner and made our approach. “Take a look and tell me if they’re open,”Fondy instructed.
I peeked out the window as we rolled by and was greeted by a dispiriting sight. “They’re closed!”
Fondy was already considering alternatives: “We could go for Vietnamese instead.”
“No, it’s closed!”I emphasized. “Closed CLOSED!” The restaurant was dark. The tables and chairs were gone. The Budapest was no more!
This was a place that served the best chicken paprikash in the city. The best schnitzel in town (Carl and I would order the Transylvania Wooden Platter for 3, a veritable feast comprised of three kinds of schnitzel, cabbage rolls, home made sausages, fried potatoes, spaetzle, and sauerkraut). The best langos (deep-fried bread) in Vancouver. Okay, granted, I’d never tried langos anywhere else, but the cold truth remained: from this day forth, it looked like I would never get to try langos anywhere.
I’ll miss their walnut torte and their poppy seed strudel and their various kremes and their samloi galuska and their occasionally indifferent service and that pork tenderloin dish I discovered on one of my last visits that I absolutely adored and vowed I’d order again the next time I was in which will be never again.
From the culinary to the literary – I finished up The Keep last night and spent the morning composing my thoughts for tomorrow’s book discussion. Again, a reminder to get your questions and comments for author F. Paul Wilson in early as I’ll be collecting them over the next couple of days and then sending them his way mid-week.
Prep begins tomorrow on Whispers. Looks like it’s going to be a full day: 8:30 (Concept meeting), 12:00 (Art Department meeting), 13:30 (Prosthetics meeting), 14:00 (Costumes meeting), 15:30 (Props meeting). The second Fog Test has been moved to later in the week.
Today’s video: Ready to roll. Click on the link or try your luck with the video…