I’m all for quirky. Give me somewhere different, with a twist, over conventional design any day of the week. Throw in some good pizza and some half-decent wine, and you’re on a promise. Make me cross the river to Buda… well… that’s a different story.
I don’t have an aversion as such to crossing the Danube and going out on the other side. I’ll do it. But I’ll rarely instigate it. Not one to generally refuse an invitation, I was happy to apply for the requisite mental visa and join the lovelies for pizza one night last week, having been promised an experience.
It was somewhat amusing to think that my Aussie/Irish mates, after a few months in Budapest, have sussed out places I’d never heard of. But I swallowed my pride and went forth into lands unknown. I’d never realised that at the back of the two Mammuts, a couple of blocks up from Millenáris, there’s a pedestrianised area lined with pubs and restaurants. A lot like Liszt Ferenc Tér but without the pretentiousness; and a lot like Raday utca, but less pricey. I was in my element, but this was only the warm-up.
Our pizza was being served at Marxim Pizzéria és Pub on Kisrókus utca, a cellar bar/restaurant in the II district. Decorated with barbed wire, chicken wire, flags and 1950s murals, the place does Communism to a C. The menu is creative and cleverly done, offering ewe cheese vs the usual mozzarella. I laughed out loud at the piss-taking pussy-pussy Monica and Bill but settled for sharing the Maximalista – with tejföl (sour cream), sonka (ham), brokkoli (broccoli), sajt (cheese), bacon, and fokhagyma (garlic). I had a little plate envy though – I’m quite partial to a fried egg on my pizza. They come in two sizes – 23 inch or 30 inch – the latter nicely sized for sharing, the former not big enough to worry about doggie bags.
Across the aisle, four lads drank beer, ate pizza and played cards. From a side-cellar came the echoes of birthday celebrations. At the back, a table of ten were sorting out the world’s problems. Out in the garden the early summerers braved the chill. The murals, posters, and the graffiti were a great distraction. The place had it all. The service was friendly but not intrusive. The prices were reasonable. The wine was a little warm but nothing that a few cubes of ice didn’t fix. And the pizzas were the best I’ve had that side of the Danube… actually, come to think of it, either side of the Danube.
4/6 tram to Mechwart Liget and then walk towards Széna tér taking the second turn on the right. It’s up on the right, No. 23, just past the Feny utca intersection.