I’ve been meaning to put up a full review of The Dandelion, my favorite brunch spot in Philadelphia, but between my freelance editing gig for O, The Oprah Magazine, gutting and painting the apartment, and figuring out how to deal with Cercospora leaf spot on my Swiss chard, I just haven’t had the time. And now that the weather is warming up, I’ve also been trying to soak up the heat outdoors as much as possible: jogging, strolling aimlessly, meeting up with friends in the city. One such get-together led me to the Hungarian Pastry Shop on the Upper West Side.
I often wish that I could afford to take another trip to Hungary. I miss Pest’s Central Market Hall and the walled gardens behind Buda Castle, the sunny lawns on Margaret Island, the spires of the Fisherman’s Bastion looking out over the Danube River, the white and sea-green cabins along Lake Balaton, and even the rotten sulfur scent of the mineral-filled Lake Hévíz. I cherish any moment that lets me feel like I’m back in my ancestors’ homeland, which is why I couldn’t wait for the 39th Annual Hungarian Festival in New Jersey.