Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Peewee Herman of chow houses

"If restaurants were rated on the basis of how many uniquely oddball quirks they affect, the Kádár Étkezde would be the Peewee Herman of chow houses. It is only open for lunch. There is no real private seating – you usually share a table with a stranger. There is a seltzer bottle on each table, and you pay by the glass on the honor system. You don’t pay the waitress after your meal – you go to the guy in the white doctor’s coat standing by the door, recite what you ordered, add in how many glasses of seltzer and pieces of bread you had, and then, after paying, return to the dining room and personally slip the waitress a tip. The walls are covered with autographed photos of Hungarian celebrities of yore. It’s been like this for years. The Kádár Étkezde was one of the only private restaurants that existed during communist times, so they had to improvise the basic practicalities of capitalism, like how to pay for a meal."
(Feb. 14, 2007, Dumneazu)

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