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Novak's Hungarian Restaurant: A Restaurant to Call Home

Novak's Hungarian Restaurant: A Restaurant to Call Home


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In 1957, Joseph and Matilda Novak (known as Papa and Mama by regular customers) moved from Hungary to the U.S. After much goading from family and friends alike, the two opened Novak's Hungarian Paprikas in 1984 with their twin daughters. That original restaurant in Albany, Oregon, about a 70-minute drive from Portland, has expanded into what is now Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant, serving classic Hungarian fare and some dishes with an American twist, all with insanely delicious flavor.

We popped in for breakfast, and we had no idea what we were in for. We basically tried a little bit of everything: First, we sampled their locally famous chicken soup, which they still offer for free to anyone who is sick. The broth is heavenly and the noodles are thick and dumpling-like.

We then moved on to the “Coalminer,” a plate made up of two eggs scrambled with Papa's homemade Hungarian Kolbász sausage sautéed with bell peppers and onions, served with home fries and a buttermilk biscuit. Then came the breakfast quiche: a classic Lorraine with spinach and applewood smoked bacon topped with Cheddar cheese. I have never had a more light and flavorful quiche.

Next up was the “European scramble,” two eggs scrambled with their homemade spätzle, grilled bell peppers, green onions, and chicken sausage. I love späztle, but I had never had them in my eggs, and I certainly will again. It was a lot like adding matzo to your eggs, like my Bubbe used to, or tortillas like my friends in Mexico.

Although my dining companion and I were nearly fit to burst, we had to try to the French toast. Novak’s uses thickly sliced challah bread dipped in Mama's special egg custard. If you think you’ve had good French toast before, think again. Novak’s version is equal parts dessert and breakfast; rich enough to make you swoon without being too rich to indulge in. They also make a mean beignet: light, airy confections drenched in just the right amount of powdered sugar. As if that wasn’t enough, we also sampled their langoshe, served with strawberry jam; it’s their version of fry bread (a historically Native American specialty), and it made me wish this restaurant could be my neighborhood staple. Too full for dessert, we grabbed a brownie and a meringue cookie to go. Not surprisingly, they were delicious; a slice of homemade heaven.

As I left, Mama hugged me and asked if she would see me soon. I felt more like her granddaughter than a customer, a feeling I imagine most people who come to Novak’s experience.


Novak's Hungarian Restaurant: A Restaurant to Call Home - Recipes

After reading the reviews and a friend highly recommending this place we were soooo looking forward to our first visit. The website had said the buffet started at 5PM so we killed time as we'd wanted to try a wide variety of dishes. When we arrived there was a sign saying they had a daily buffet lunch as well. Had the website said this we would have come in earlier. We ordered the buffet at $15.49 each, but were unable to see it from our table. I guess we were expecting something more akin to the Indian buffets we frequent with several lines of dishes. What we found looked more like a complimentary breakfast at a Comfort in. There were only 4 warming plates with two dishes in each one. We found the meat in the pork and beef dishes to be very dry despite being covered in gravy/sauces. Likewise the stuffed cabbage roll and spaetzle were also dry and flavorless. We wondered if we weren't being served the lunch rejects as even the signs on the warming trays didn't seem to match what was actually in the pans. The sausage pieces were tolerable, but nothing to write home about. The salad was fresh and unfortunately the best part of the meal. While the ambiance was nice and the staff was relatively friendly, we felt like we'd thrown away $30. We sadly won't be returning.

We pride ourselves on our high quality food and have spoken to our staff about maintaining the buffet to our usual standards. Most people have been very pleased with our Buffet as it includes our 4 most popular items from the menu. We hope you will join us again in the future and thank you for giving us the opportunity to further educate and reinforce our vales with the staff.


Novak's Hungarian Paprikas

A diner from Corvallis, OR tried it, liked it , and rated it . They liked the food , liked the service , and liked the ambiance .

Pros Apple strudle, Langos, Great local beers andimported Hungarian and German Wine and Spirits


Novak's Hungarian Restaurant: A Restaurant to Call Home - Recipes

Since our move to Albany two years ago we have had the pleasure of dining at Novak's many times. It is our favorite place to bring out of town visitors, celebrate special occasions and to just enjoy an excellent meal for no special reason.

I would highly recommend Novak's if you want a great meal at a reasonable price not to mention their desserts are incredible.

So glad you've found a home in Albany! We love it here also. Hope to see you agian soon!

47 - 51 of 483 reviews

You can't say you've been to Albany if you haven't dined at Novak's. this eatery has a rep that boarders on legend. you won't regret it.

Wow. Legend. Thanks for the review. Hope to see you again soon!

Great place to eat.. wonderful atmosphere..super nice wait staff that's been there forever and remembered me even though it had been a while since I had been there.

Thanks for your kind words Tom. Hope to see you again soon!

Delicious offerings especially the Buffet. Nice variety of entrees. There is a wide variety of beverages. Perfect place for a date or celebration. Oh, almost forgot. The desserts are heavenly!

Thank you for the wonderful comments! We aim to please. Hope to see you back soon!

After reading the reviews and a friend highly recommending this place we were soooo looking forward to our first visit. The website had said the buffet started at 5PM so we killed time as we'd wanted to try a wide variety of dishes. When we arrived there was a sign saying they had a daily buffet lunch as well. Had the website said this we would have come in earlier. We ordered the buffet at $15.49 each, but were unable to see it from our table. I guess we were expecting something more akin to the Indian buffets we frequent with several lines of dishes. What we found looked more like a complimentary breakfast at a Comfort in. There were only 4 warming plates with two dishes in each one. We found the meat in the pork and beef dishes to be very dry despite being covered in gravy/sauces. Likewise the stuffed cabbage roll and spaetzle were also dry and flavorless. We wondered if we weren't being served the lunch rejects as even the signs on the warming trays didn't seem to match what was actually in the pans. The sausage pieces were tolerable, but nothing to write home about. The salad was fresh and unfortunately the best part of the meal. While the ambiance was nice and the staff was relatively friendly, we felt like we'd thrown away $30. We sadly won't be returning.

We pride ourselves on our high quality food and have spoken to our staff about maintaining the buffet to our usual standards. Most people have been very pleased with our Buffet as it includes our 4 most popular items from the menu. We hope you will join us again in the future and thank you for giving us the opportunity to further educate and reinforce our vales with the staff.


Hungarian Mushroom Soup

I really like chestnut mushrooms, but you can mix things up with your favourite types. This soup is hearty and low-carb, but if you’d like to make a meal of it, you can add some nokedli – traditional Hungarian dumplings – which will cook in the soup in just a few minutes. I’ve replaced the original sour cream with creme fraiche, but you can put it back in if preferred.

2tbs vegetable oil
2 onions – chopped fine
2 cloves garlic – sliced fine
1 medium carrot – shredded fine
1 white turnip – shredded fine
500g chestnut mushrooms – sliced
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme – leaves only
½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1.5 litres of stock – vegetable or chicken
3 rounded tbs cornflour
1 tbs Hungarian paprika
200ml low-fat creme fraiche
1tsp sugar
lemon juice to taste (optional)
chopped parsley/dill to garnish


Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken tikka masala is a delicious grilled chicken dish with a thick, creamy gravy that is unforgettable after the first bite. A tomato-yogurt sauce is spiced with chili, garlic, ginger, and garam masala, the ubiquitous Indian spice blend. The chicken is marinated overnight, grilled, and then gently cooked in a slightly smoky gravy. You will want to serve this dish over basmati rice with warm naan bread for soaking up the sauce. For a quick version, try making it in the Instant Pot.


Daniela's Restaurant - Italian-Romanian-Hungarian

  In our journey we learned that wherever life may take you, there is always something that’s going to take and bring you back home to your mother’s home-made cooking.  At Daniela’s, you’ll say, “It’s just like my mom used to make it.”  No matter where you come from, let home-made food take you back in time in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere.

My sister and I combine authentic cuisine from the best of good old Europe, recipes that are based on centuries-old traditions and freshly made in our kitchen.  

Start with home-made fresh bread, then from the Pasta capital of the Northern Italy, home-made Lasagne Verdi and Tortellini, the famous Ragu alla Bolognese, with freshly grind Parmigiano -Reggiano cheese.  Oh and the Tiramisu, smoothest you’ll ever taste in Southwest Florida.

From the Romanian kitchen must haves are Cabbage rolls and Polenta, Stuffed Peppers and delicious hand rolled Mititei and not to forget the Romanian wines that have a tradition of over three millenniums.

From the spiciest cuisine of Europe, Hungarian, favorites are the Gulyas soup, Paprikas.

At Daniela's Restaurant there's something healthy cooking for everybody.  

                                            NEW Hours of operation

Open 7 days a week! 

Lunch: M onday-Friday 11:30-2pm

Dinner:Monday-Sunday  4:30- 9:30

For reservations call:𧇯-514-4414

EARLY BIRDS SPECIAL!4:30-5:30

HOUSE SALAD INCLUDED WITH YOUR DINNER!

  MONDAY-THURSDAY 4:30-5:30 PM

Thanksgiving Day Special!

 

  All the goodies $15.99/person

(white turkey breast, green beans, Daniela's cranberry sauce, creamy mashed potatoes & the best homemade gravy)


Novak's Hungarian Restaurant: A Restaurant to Call Home - Recipes

31 photos of beloved Toronto restaurants that no longer exist

Stay in the loop

COVID-19 has not been kind to bars and restaurants in Toronto, over 60 of which have closed since the start of the pandemic.

But losing restaurants, including those famous, beloved or too easily forgotten, is nothing new in the city, and looking back at what used to feed Toronto can bring on an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for some.

It would be nearly impossible to put together a definitive list of iconic or noteworthy restaurants that have shuttered over the years, but there's enough establishments with a photo history to warrant a look back.

The list below isn't anything close to a definitive list, but rather a random selection of restaurants that existed in Toronto over the last number of decades.

Here are some photos of restaurants in Toronto that were once loved but no longer exist.

Flora Dew at Hanlan's Point.

Dutch Sisters on Lake Shore Road (now Blvd).

Varsity Restaurant, Spadina and Bloor.

Sword Restaurant, Yonge and King.

Chop Suey House near Elizabeth and Dundas.

Sign of the Steer, Dupont and Davenport.

The Flame, Yonge and Heath (1950s).

Shopsy's on Spadina north of Dundas.

Brown Derby Tavern at Yonge and Dundas (1970s).

Pickin Chicken, Lake Shore Blvd West (1980s) by Patrick Cummins.

Canary Restaurant, Cherry St. by Patrick Cummins.

Cyrano's and Steak & Burger on King East.

Steak & Burger at Yonge and Bloor (1970s).

Bassel's Restaurant at Yonge and Gerrard.

Ed's Warehouse at on King West.

Lime Rickey's near Yonge and Eglinton.

Organ Grinder, The Esplanade.

Penrose Fish & Chips, Mt. Pleasant Rd.

China House, Eglinton Avenue.

Centro, Yonge north of Eglinton.

People's Foods near Dupont and St. George.

Mr. Greenjeans at the Eaton Centre.

Seniors Steakhouse, Yonge south of St. Clair.

The Steak Pit, Avenue Road north of Lawrence.


Nokedli are homemade egg noodles that come together very quickly. You’ll only need a few simple ingredients like eggs, flour, salt, and a little bit of water (depending on the consistency).

First, you drop the dough into boiling salted water and….voila…noodles are done. Admittedly though, there are few different techniques on how to make the Nokedli, which you can find below.

Hungarian noodles are similar to their cousin German Spätzle, which are also served with all sorts of meat sauces or gravies. But these egg noodles are popular throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

In Poland, for instance, you’d call them “lay-down noodles,” because they’re submerged in hot boiling water by laying them down with a spoon (we Poles are creative).

What is needed to make Hungarian noodles

As mentioned above, for the ingredients you’ll need:

TIP1: Although not a traditional ingredient, sour cream can do a world of good for these awesome noodles. The fat in sour cream can help break down the gluten, so the noodles come out super soft and not chewy or hard.

TIP2: if you have the time, let the dough rest for 30 minutes before dropping them into the water. The noodles will be even softer.

The amount of water will vary depending on the size of your eggs. If you want to pour the dough through the holes, see on the pictures below what the consistency of it should be. If you use the knife technique described below your dough should be thicker.

Add flour, egg and cream to the bowl

Add a little bit of water and mix

Hungarian Nanny Testimonial (!)

I made these Nokedli the other day for dinner with Pörkölt (a traditional Hungarian beef and onion stew, which will be featured on the blog soon) and gave it to my nanny to try. Mind you, she’s an older Hungarian lady who was born and raised in Hungary. When I mentioned that I intended to make these, she proclaimed to have eaten them every day. So, the bar was raised.

Well, obviously this dish would’ve died in my kitchen if it failed to meet the mark. Actually, she said these were exactly how her grandma used to make. That’s quite the testimonial!

She was also super surprised to learn that I found the Nokedli maker on Amazon. She has never seen one in the US and whenever she wanted to make the noodles, she would use one of the methods described below to make them without the device (FYI, I know what I’m getting her for her birthday).

Techniques to make Hungarian Nokedli

Basically, to make these noodles you’ll need to bring a big pot of water to boil. Salt it as you would water for pasta, and then drop the dough into it. Here are a couple of techniques on how to do this:

  • In my opinion, the easiest way to make these noodles is by using the Nokedli or Spatzle maker. The one I found on Amazon is absolutely amazing. See how I make it here:

Add first batch of dough to the Nokedli maker and move it along

Add another batch and move the square part along to push the dough down to the hot water

And your noodles are ready when they come to the surface and boil for a minute or two

  • But if you don’t want to have another piece of equipment in your kitchen try one of these methods:
    • The back of a cheese grater, with big holes where you can pour the dough through and use a spatula push it down into the boiling water
    • A colander, with big holes, with a similar technique as above pushing the dough through the holes into the boiling water
    • Placing the dough on a wet cutting board (angled above your water) and then cut little pieces of dough with the back of your knife straight into the boiling water. If you decide to use this technique, your dough should be slightly thicker than the one you would push through the holes (use less water or no water at all).

    If this is a dish that you remember from your childhood, please share your experience(s). And if your family uses a different technique, please share it with all of us in the comments below – other readers would greatly appreciate it.

    Other Homemade Recipes to Try

    If you like this homemade European recipe from scratch you may also like:


    Restaurant-Style Olive Oil and Herb Bread Dip

    This Carraba’s bread dip copycat is packed with flavor and oh-so-easy to make!

    Keyword Restaurant-Style Olive Oil and Herb Bread Dip

    Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2-1 whole head of roasted garlic peeled
    • 1 tsp dried parsley
    • 1/2 tsp dried basil
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt plus any extra to taste
    • 1/8 tsp paprika
    • a pinch of dried thyme
    • a pinch of cayenne or white pepper
    • freshly ground black pepper to taste

    OPTIONAL EXTRA

    Instructions

    Once the garlic is ready, the cloves should practically be bursting from the bulb. Remove anywhere from half the cloves to all the cloves in the entire head of garlic and blend together with the olive oil using a food processor or blender.

    Add the herbs and seasoning blend and let it sit so the flavors can infuse the olive oil. You can dig in after 20 minutes or give it an hour or so, totally up to you!

    Recipe Notes

    Try not to skip the roasted garlic it’s too good to leave out! serve with the freshest baguette you can get your hands on! If you’re crazy pressed for time you can try sautéing the garlic in oil on the stovetop until fragrant and tender… but the buttery roasted garlic is for sure my favorite part about this delish dip!

    When using fresh herbs instead of dried herbs, simply add extra! The dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor so a little extra of the fresh stuff should do the trick! Let your tastebuds be your guide!

    Lately I’ve been adding a little fresh squeezed lemon juice along with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the mix in place of the parmesan cheese – SO GOOD! The combination reminds me of my Marinated Tomatoes recipe that I’m so obsessed with!

    Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed based on choice of bread and optional parmesan cheese and enjoy!

    Creating that insanely addictive bread dip from Italian restaurants really is that simple, and if you run amuck with a hunk of parm and your cheese grater? Well then you know how awesome that first bite is about to get.


    Spokane chef Jon Green shares his family's recipe for stuffed Hungarian wax peppers, a Wooden City favorite

    While many things are different about the holidays this year, one thing is the same: We'll still want to eat. If you've been cooking at home more since COVID-19's onset, you may be getting to the end of your repertoire.

    Branch out by trying these delicious, personalizable stuffed peppers. Chef Jon Green, a recent Spokane transplant and co-owner of the newly opened Wooden City restaurant downtown, adapted this recipe from a similar dish he once prepared at a restaurant where he worked in high school.

    "My mom actually worked there as well," Green says of the place, which closed 15 years ago.

    "Because of how much our family liked them, they just integrated themselves into our celebrations," he continues. "Any time there was a special occasion, you knew someone was going to bring a plate of these. My family always celebrates the holidays, but we've never been super traditional about anything. So, making these peppers became our tradition. You make a big platter, and everyone grabs one and eats with their hands. It's super fun and tasty."

    In the spirit of sharing, Green is now gifting Inlander readers the recipe for his stuffed Hungarian wax peppers, which are a favorite dish at both Spokane and Tacoma Wooden City locations.

    "People are just blown away by them, because it's a stuffed pepper but in a way people haven't seen before," Green says. "It's so many people's favorite, and it all started with our family learning this from a small restaurant we worked at in Ohio."

    Green's stuffed peppers are a great dish to make at home, because there are so many ways to make it your own.

    "It's pretty flexible to whatever your personal taste is. My mom makes hers with chorizo and manchego. I like Italian sausage and sharp cheddar."

    The recipe Green provides reflects this malleability, with many of the ingredients up for your own interpretation and expression. Other ingredients, however, are more fixed.

    "Wax peppers work the best, but you could use a banana pepper or Cubanelle peppers. There's just something about the wax pepper that makes it truly what it is. They're harder to find here, but in Ohio they were everywhere," Green says. "The chive oil and fresh ciabatta are crucial."

    For those who do decide to try their hand at these, don't stress too much about drink pairings, or even other dishes on the menu.

    "It's a good one to have with beer or white wines," Green says. "We came from a humble background and never spent very much on drinks. For holidays, we would drink whatever was there." ♦

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    INSTRUCTIONS
    In advance:

    Make the chive oil by blending together chives, canola oil and salt. Pour contents into a container and store covered in the fridge. The oil is usable immediately, but the flavor improves after sitting in the fridge overnight. Chive oil will stay good in the fridge for up to two weeks.

    To prepare the stuffed peppers:

    Cook and brown the sausage in the oven or in a skillet on the stove. Cool to room temperature, drain off the fat and crumble.

    With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine the cooked sausage, tempered cream cheese, grated cheese, salt and chili flakes. Mix until evenly combined, but be careful not to overmix. If you don't have a mixer, mix with gloved hands.

    Cut a slit horizontally across the pepper near the stem. (Do NOT cut all the way through.) Then, cut a slit vertically down the pepper. Hold the cut pepper open and carefully remove the seeds.

    Stuff the peppers with the prepared stuffing.

    Roast in a preheated oven on a baking sheet at the hottest setting your oven will go* for 6-10 minutes.

    *A note from Green on temperature: "At Wooden City, we cook in the wood-fired oven at about 800 degrees Fahrenheit. We love when the peppers get blistered, but the filling doesn't melt out. When I cook at home, I start my oven at 500 degrees and then finish with the broiler setting to get the peppers blistered. Be careful cooking at this temperature it's quite a bit hotter than most recipes will call for."

    When the peppers are almost done, pop fresh ciabatta bread into the oven to toast.

    Serve peppers dressed in the chive oil. Eat with plenty of ciabatta bread. ♦

    The original print version of this article was headlined "Holiday Heat"


    Watch the video: How to Make Hungarian Pancakes. Food. Great Home Ideas (July 2022).


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