Balaton is a Hungarian restaurant on Shaker Square. It has been in business since 1964 and is known for its Wiener Schnitzel and Chicken Paprikash. For those who are not familiar with Austro-Hungarian cuisine, Wiener Schnitzel is a veal cutlet pounded flat and battered and fried to a golden brown. It is traditionally served with spaetzel (delicate dumplings made of flour, eggs and water) and applesauce.
My German group met there recently and enjoyed a delightful dinner on a Friday night. We were a fairly large group and the restaurant was full, but we had no problems with the service. They seated us at an L-shaped table by the window.
The salad was swimming in dressing, but it was a light European oil and vinegar blend. It was just your typical iceberg lettuce salad, but it was good – as was the bread, which I unfortunately did not take a picture of.
I had the Wiener Schnitzel and spaetzel, which was delicious. The first time I was there I ordered the Hungarian platter, which features the schnitzel, chicken paprikash and stuffed cabbage. I enjoyed it too, but the stuffed cabbage was not like my grandmother’s. But then again, her stuffed cabbage was Ukrainian and tough to beat. If you are there for the first time though I highly recommend getting the Hungarian platter to try all three of their specialties.
Everyone there really enjoyed their meals. We ordered just about everything off the menu, from the Hungarian Lecso (a summer stew of
yellow bell pepper and tomato) to the various combinations of paprikash (veal or chicken) and goulash (beef or pork).
Most of us were too full for dessert, but I can highly recommend the strudel and (my personal favorite here) the Napoleon. I am also a sucker for Palacsinta, which are crepes with apricot, walnut, sweet cottage cheese, or poppy seed fillings, but I haven’t had Balaton’s yet. I remember a delicious Eispalatschicken in Austria, which was a crepe filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce and Grand Marnier that was then lit on fire. I remember it like it was yesterday, but it was twenty years ago. It was that divine. If Balaton were to add that to the menu I would eat here at least once a month.
13133 Shaker Square
Cleveland, Ohio 44120