I've been working in Albany, OR all summer. That means commuting 150 miles a day round trip from Portland. That means experiencing life in rural Oregon. Well not until I get that bear meat I've been promised - but I did stay at the glamrous Super 8 motel a few times, conveniently located at the HWY 5 - McDonald's Drive Thru - HWY 99 trifecta and I did do some urban hikes, despite being picked up by co-workers on my last attempt due to fear of my safety (?) walking through the Meth part of town. I am saving that part for another post about how I ate a burger that was completely recycled from the same beer I drank.
A Hungarian family settled in Albany, and opened Novak's some years ago and business has been good. They are an I-5 "Food At Next Stop" Stop. Never trying Hungarian food, I didn't know what to expect just that this place was crazy delicious per local commentary.
Paprika Butter and Multigrain Bread
There is nothing like fresh, granular bread. Especially with a spiced up, fluted butter.
Marinated Cucumber Salad
Sweet, refreshing, with just enough dill and the right amount of cooling sour cream.
Székely Töltött Káposzta: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
One of the house specialties. Cabbage leaves stuffed with a warming spiced ground pork, topped with sour cream. There was tangy stewed sour kraut, buttered red potatoes and perfectly pan fried zucchinis as well. This is not something I would usually eat/order, but I felt compelled to as it was what my work mates were ordering and raving about per previous conquests. And It was absolutely delicious. Every bite of the roll was full of flavor, with good doses of sweet and hot paprika and a depth of never been tasted before Hungarian spice that was contrasted with a large dollop of sour cream.
Hungarian Close Up
On another occasion I picked up a ricotta lemon bar for breakfast. It was atypically spectacular having the perfect tinge of lemon and a moist crumb. I wasn't expecting this.
Lemon Ricotta Bar
If you find yourself on the 5 and hungry. You must stop. On future trips I am getting the house made sausage. And hopefully taking a glorious comatose nap afterwards.
Novak's Hungarian Restaurant
2306 Heritage Way SE
Albany, OR 97321