Old-world style in the heart of Danbury, The Goulash place is rounding out it’s fourth decade and remains one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Opened by Hungarian immigrant John Aczel and his late wife in 1977, in the residential area of Highland Avenue, next to his home. The restaurant is subtle driving by, seeming like an extension on a home, with just black lettering above the doorway, marking it as “GOULASH”. Parking is limited in the back, and extra street parking for the bold. Inside, tchotchkes and articles boasting the restaurant’s excellence adorn the walls. Sure, it isn’t an upscale white-gloved restaurant, but I find the decor charming and reminds me of walking into Grandma’s house.
The menu has been the same for these four decades, and the prices really haven’t budged much either. At $12.70 a plate, you really can’t beat the final bill. First things first, order a glass of Bull’s Blood, a robust dry red Hungarian wine that pairs perfectly with the hearty meal ahead. Or for my beer-loving pals, a bottle of Pilsner Urquell or Carlsberg goes just as well. My personal favorite dish is the Transylvanian Goulash, a stew of pork, sauerkraut, vegetables and homemade dumplings, topped with sour cream. Roast pork, stuffed cabbage and the famous chicken paprikash are also mainstays. There’s a salad bar that is included with your meal, but don’t expect the moon. But really it is just a precursor to the amazing meal ahead of you. Dessert consists of a variety of stuffed crepes and strudels.
It should be said that a dining experience here will take no less than 2 hours. Everything is made right then and there, and John frequently serves the tables himself. So sit back, order a glass of Bull’s Blood or Pilsner Urquell, and prepare yourself for some incredible Hungarian food.
The Goulash Place
42 Highland Ave, Danbury, CT 06810