Turns out I’m a Hungarian Jew. My mom will be surprised when I return stateside and begin questioning her genealogy. She hasn’t been that forthcoming so far but perhaps if I smoke a brisket the way Fulemule does she’ll spill the beans.
A few years ago owner Andras Singer decided to get serious about his brisket, a Jewish restaurant staple. He decided to go the barbecue route and had a smoker imported from Canada. Furthermore, he found the Hungarian cattle quality to be inconsistent so he arranged to have his beef imported from nearby Austria.
The end result is Texas quality hickory smoked brisket being on his menu at Fulemule also known as Restaurant Nightingale.
One of my missions whenever I leave Texas is to find regional variants on barbecue. Every food culture has some version of meat cooked with fire and the Hungarian Jews have an especially good one.
Mr. Singer’s brisket comes sliced thin and piled high atop a pluperfect batch of sizzling hot, lightly salted potato discs. The sides sound standard but are far from it. The cabbage slaw is vinegary and spicy hot with two kinds of Hungarian chiles powering the cabbage.
Two sides of beans accompany the big pile of smoky meat. One a thick stew of kidneys the other a cooked down small bowl of chickpeas. Both are delicious. A small tub of spicy mustard sits off to the side, perfect for dipping everything in. It’s even better than my beloved Plochmans.
My only complaint is that the brisket has been seriously trimmed of its fat. This is an error that even seasoned pit bosses in Texas make so it’s excusable but I would pay a kings ransom for some of the charred fatty bits that didn’t make it to the table.
Fulemule is at the peak of Hungarian soul food. The Singer family have done an estimable job of creating a haven for folks seeking big platters of home cooking done in the Jewish style.
I end up eating at 15 restaurants during my Budapest trip and this is the one that I’ll continue to pine for back in the USA.
1085 Kofarago utca 5
Tel. +36 1 266-7947
Sun-Thu 12 pm – 10 pm, Fri – Sat 12 pm – 11 pm
About the Stars:
4 **** Extraordinary, life changing
3 *** Excellent
2 * Very good
1 * Good
0 * Mediocre to Acceptable
Quality, price, service and ambiance are all taken into account when rating.