Girls’ Only Lunch at Shaker Square

Balaton ClevelandMy mother is of Hungarian descent and grew up living with both of her grandmothers. I have visions of 5 women in one kitchen in a small town in Ohio fighting over counter space making dishes like Hungarian nut roll and Chicken Paprikash. But when I ask her about the mood in the house, she always describes it as warm and loving. Somehow these women put aside their differences and lived side-by-side.

Balaton_Dec28.2016One of her favorite spots bring back memories from her childhood days is Balaton at Shaker Square. We’ve been talking about bringing all the women in our family together for a meal there for year but we’re all so spread out. This Christmas, when everyone was in town, we made a point to have a ladies’ lunch there. (Yes, I am weeks behind on my posts, but better late than never!)

We sat down with 9 women and enjoyed a leisurely lunch together. We started with freshly grated Potato Pancakes that were pan-fried to a golden crisp and their house salad. My mom and aunt buy their dressing; it’s sweet and zesty–so good. My mom had their Weiner Schnitzel (it always makes us giggle to even hear her say it.) Weiner Schnitzel or Becsi Szelet is fried veal that is served with speatzels.  I opted for the Chicken Schnitzel, not as much fun to say, but it was delicious. The chicken thighs were fried in a buttery breadcrumb batter and dusted with paprika. And I love the light spaeztle noodles that are serves with it. My aunt and cousins had the same but requested only white meat.

My daughter, who is picky and not a fan of noodles had the Hungarian pork chops. They’re pan seared and served with rice pilaf and steamed vegetables. The chop was juicy and nicely seasoned.

Chicken Schnitzel.

Chicken Schnitzel.

We weren’t rushed as we lingered over coffee, tea and dessert, Dobosh Torte which is an eight layer of cake, with creamy chocolate and covered with hard-caramel.
Balaton Dec2016 Lil
choclate torte Balaton Cleveland

Wednesday through Friday they serve their “Hungarian Lunch Special” for only $13.95. You can choose from Beef Goulash, Chicken or Veal Paprikash, Stuffed Cabbages, Szekely Goulash, Hungarian Lecso or Chicken Schnitzel plus a side salad. Generally you don’t need reservations unless you’re a big group like we were.

Balaton Hungarian Restaurant, 13133 Shaker Square Cleveland, Ohio. (216) 921 – 9691

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine and Caribbean Travel & Life, Heather is chauffeur to 3 busy kids; the president of her Home and School Association; and VP of Marketing for TipsFromTown. And she's passionate about all 3!


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