NYC pub & grill
We were walking along Piata Trandafirilor looking for Pizzeria Leo. The place was under refurbishing and we don't know whether it will reopen again as Pizzeria. We saw two other restaurant in backyards of Piata Trandafirilor but we kept on walking. At the end of Piata Victoriei we spotted the Mures Mall shopping center and on its top floor you will find the NYC pub & grill.
There is a pub or rather lounge part with a bar and then they have some normal tables where you order à la carte ie things like pizza etc.
The bigger section is the grill bit which is actually an all you can eat place. You pay RON 19 per person at the turnstile and get a plastic card with which you then can leave again through the turnstile once you're done. Drinks have to be paid separately and are served at the table.
The buffet style meals consists of various dishes of staples, salads, meat with sauces, some fish, soups, deserts etc. and then there is the grill. Since their English is limited I only took some meat from the piglet on the spit and the lamm on the spit (lamm is only available in season). When I asked what meat it was I was told that it was white and makes "baa" :-) You can have grilled vegetable as well. Later when leaving the shopping center we picked up a leaflet and it seems that there are other meats to order but we didn't know about it then.
We would normaly choose a place like this but since it was getting late, we thought why not having a try.
Staff was friendly and I figured that they probably don't get too many tourists outside the main season.
Please note that like in most Romanian restaurants people will smoke. You cannot avoid it unless you picnic.
PS: Apparently there is free wifi in the shopping center
Cafe Galeria: Starbucks, Watch Out!
Alright, well after years and years of mediocre cafes, it seems that finally Targu Mures has caught up with the rest of Europe and cafe culture. With the opening of "Cafe Galeria" the standard of cafes has been elevated and the Galeria will be the bar for which all new cafes will be measured.
I've often touted the idea that Romania will develop and skip many a trifiling step in it's approach to modernity that such countries such as the United States, the UK and most of Western Europe had to go through. This clearly is not a step for Romanian cafes, it's one giant leap.
Starting with very comfortable surroundings, even though it's downstairs, in a cellar, it's amply lit and the walls have been finished, as in not left bare, raw with exposed brick. It's dim, but amply lit, enough so that one can read the menu and see the person sitting next to them. The background music is just right in terms of setting the atmopshere and is appropriate for the setting (as in, not blaring techno or house). In fact the cafe is furnished with plush leather couches, and comfy chairs and tables. The decor (as the cafe's name proclaims) is a collection of paintings and photographs that line its walls.
Cappucino's are the order of the day, or select from one of their modern coffee concoctions and the deserts are simply heavenly.
The staff is fluent in at least three languages one of which includes Romanian, Hungarian and English. It also is a Wi-Fi hotspot, the first of it's kind in Targu Mures.
All this at a price that is reasonable and fair with outstanding friendly service (a true rarity in Romania).
Emma Vendeglo: A True Transylvanian Delight
For an authentic Transylvanian culinary experience, look no further than that offered by the restaurant 'Emma'. Located a few meters away from Piata Trandafirilor and the Palace of Culture, this Transylvanian restaurant offers quality cuisine at a very competitive prices.
As you enter the massive double doors, below the neon sign, a short staircase takes you to the sub-level restaurant. The restaurant is separated into three rooms. The first room has a bar to the right, and tables and benches, the next room has two upholstered bench tables and the last room is similar in style to the middle room, but is non-smoking, a true rarity in Romania.
The food is fantastic, and the menus, written in Romanian, Hungarian and English, along with the daily specials are proffered by the cordial, multi-lingual wait staff. Service is prompt, efficient and friendly, again an abberation, when compared to most Romanian dining experiences.
Serving from a broadbase of traditional Romanian staples as well as Hungarian and German (Austrian) dishes served with a hint of Romanian influence, which can only be characterized simply as traditional Transylvanian.
Favorite Dish: I absolutely love the Chicken Paprikas, served on a bed of mamaliga, (a dish similar to the Italian polenta). This is a uniquely Transylvanian dish. Having had traditional paprikas served in Hungary, the one served at Emma's is different as it is served alongside mamaliga, by blending the best of two culinary traditions, making it uniquely Transylvanian.
In addition, for those on a budget, their daily specials are delightful and very inexpensive. Served from a selection of two choices, vegetarian and non-vegetarian (yet another abberation, from this traditional 'Meat and Potatoes' Country). A soup to begin, a salad, an entree and a desert for approximately two U.S. Dollars.
Leo: Restaurant Leo
'Leo' has been a Targu Mures staple for years. Frequently revamping its interior and exterior, it has most recently completed an overhaul of its furniture and awning. However, the quality of food remains, as good as ever. 'Leo' is wildy popular with the young and the old. On any given day, you can see older individuals sitting and reading the paper (included on every table) in the mornings as they open, and as the day progresses university or high school students discussing their latest assignments gossiping, and in the evenings, families or couples will share informal, dinners by candlelight.
In terms of location it is unbeatable, right in the center of Piata Trandafirilor, it sits at the very heart of the city, can't miss it.
Athough having sung the praises for their food, I must however, state that their service is "hit or miss." Now I have never had any problems personally, however, I have heard many people, both visitors and locals complain about the service, eh... rather lack thereof. So don't consider it "fast food," because it is not (in terms of quality and efficiency) and you may end up waiting half-an-hour or more for your check.
Favorite Dish: If you're visiting and not Romanian I would offer the suggestion of trying the dish "Brasovene." I have tried in the past to describe this dish, but all I could muster is that it is similar to a breaded, burrito. However, that doesn't seem to do it justice, neither in taste, nor in appearance. Nevertheless, it was once one of the least expensive dishes on the menu, and incredibly popular with university students, who were the inspiration for my initial foray into the realm of 'Brasovene'. I'd love to tell you from experience that their other dishes are excellent. However, that is only hearsay and from what I have seen. Honestly, I've never actually tried anything else.
6 Fix: Tea House
'6 Fix' is a quaint, quite, out of the way (in terms of feel) cafe. Located one street down from the Citadel, across from one of the post offices. It is situtated nicely on a quiet street, nestled in between the bustle of the city center and the relative peace of the Citadel. While they do serve coffee, beer and soda, what this establishment is known for and as most locals know, is their tea.
Serving from a menu of various teas, some fusion flavors of almond and cinnamon, and others simple. They serve each tea with its own specially prepared tea leaves and flavorings in its own tea infuser and tea pot. If you are uncertain as to how this works and just thought tea was tea, the very pleasant wait staff will show you. And if you thought all teas were the same, try the tea here.
Also if you were so inspired by their tea, you can purchase some and take it home and make it for yourself. A word of advice though, I've tried this, and it doesn't work out as well. However, since I live here and it's so near, I usually frequent it at least once a week, more often during the winter months, for my weekly tea-infusion.
Lacte Bar Balada: Cheap and good
Simple place, selfservis, meat dishes (with Polenta), Ciorbe (sour soups).
Favorite Dish: I had a excelent Ciorba de fasole verde (string bean soup), it was to hot to eat anything else that day (35° C)
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