By Renato Ghio
There are certain eateries in Danbury that are institutions. These places have been around for as long as I can remember, and they continue to be a draw for loyal and new customers alike. Food trends and hip restaurants may come and go, but these places just keep doing what they do.
One of those restaurants is Goulash Place on Highland Avenue. Opened in 1977 by John Aczel, and his late wife Magda, Goulash Place has been serving up Hungarian food that some say is the best they’ve had outside of Hungary. John, who is not only the owner but also the chef, has never changed the menu. Why change what works?
At this small neighborhood restaurant, you’ll find made-from-scratch specialties like goulash, chicken paprikash and stuffed cabbage. The portions are generous and reasonably priced.
Despite the fact that Goulash Place has been around for most of my life and has a good reputation, you might be surprised to know that it was only recently that Alicia and I dined there for the first time. Upon a friend’s recommendation, we both decided to order the Transylvanian goulash featuring slow-cooked pork atop sauerkraut. We chose to have dumplings as the side dish, rather than potatoes. The pork was incredibly tender; no knife required. The dish was a balance of slightly sweet and slightly sour. The buttery dumplings were the perfect accompaniment. I don’t know much about Hungarian food, but I do know that the meal was delicious.
This isn’t a spot for a quick meal. The pace is slower, so be prepared for your meal to take some time. Just relax and enjoy the Old World charm. John is friendly with a delightful dry sense of humor.
Goulash Place is a humble, quaint spot that should not be overlooked. I’m so glad we finally tried it. We will be back.