24 Jan

The Sunny Side of winter

Thanks to a Hungarian music band, the Kispál és a Borz, we already know from the ’90s that being on the sunny side is good. Of course, at that time we didn’t know that being on the Sunny Side is also good if we look at gastronomy. Although there aren’t any cold foxes or pullover knitting chickens – like in the song -, we could find a lot of healthy, delicious and environment friendly specialities.

The Napos Oldal (translated to English as Sunny Side) is a mixture between a shop and a bistro, which is more and more popular nowadays. The conscious eaters can have a meal, enjoy a drink and buy healthy products at the same time. We visited the place for lunch on a Tuesday a few months ago as on weekdays, we can choose the daily offer besides the offers in the bar. At ordering, we suspected that the orders are noted on a used sheet of paper, which later it proved to be true. Thus, they reuse the non-necessary papers and delivery notes.

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The meals are prepared on-site and we can choose from salads, sandwiches, fried vegetables and healthy desserts. As the manager said, they don’t use eggs, yeast or white sugar. For the desserts, spelt flour is used; apple, cane sugar, honey or xilit are for sweetening. Therefore it is not surprising that people with allergies or making a diet can find something to eat. Besides the meals, we can taste hand-made ginger drink, lemonade with rose water or we can buy organic or fair trade coffee for home.

We asked tasters from almost every salad on one plate (sauerkraut, beetroot and sprout salad, buckwheat and bulgur salad), an alu patra (Indian fried potato swirl) with salad and of course we couldn’t miss the desserts; we chose an apple-sour cherry strudel and a millet pudding.

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This sounds really good but the menu and the offers could be read on the website, too. Let’s look at what we have known from Tünde Rádler, manager of the Napos Oldal. What we love the most: the solution for reusing the leftover. „The leftover – which is luckily only a small portion – is donated to the homeless people or – in case of a bigger portion – to the women’s hostel of Rés Foundation in Podmaniczky street. Our offers depend on the season, they never contain meat and dairy products are rarely used. The ingredients are from Hungarian manufacturers in 60%; frozen food is rarely used, and the rate of fried food is only 30%. Creating the weekly offer, it is important to provide healthy alternatives and the staff is also well informed about the health qualities of the foods and drinks.

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And there are those small things: energy-saving bulbs even in the kitchen, where overhead light is used. “Unfortunately, when buying the fridges – which are 5-6 years old now in the kitchen – energy saving was not a criteria but since I work here, it became more important so we have bought a new super energy saving fridge in the kitchen, too. Besides the stove and oven, we also use a vegetable slicer, which saves energy, too. Our other kitchen wares used by the patisserie are smaller ones and I think they are suitable for an energy saving environment. Of course, we prefer separate collection and we use where we can biodegradable cleaning products. Otherwise our restaurant is easily available by public transport or bicycle.” – said Tünde.

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As in many restaurants, there are other possibilities which enable a more environment friendly daily operation. On the other hand, we can rarely find places where the vegetarians, vegans, people with celiac disease, reform food lovers and others on special diets can choose from such a wide range of offers. Moreover, we can find a lot of healthy ingredients in the shop, if we decide to prepare our special meal at home.

The Napos Oldal – a certified Sustainable Restaurant – is obligatory to try for people with special eating habits and for the others, it is also worth a try to widen our perspective of lunch or dinner.

Thank you, Linda Kovács for translating
the original article (published Jan, 2014) to English! :)