Last year, when Huszar restaurant launched its traditional Hungarian Bacon Roast, owners Judy and Michael Torma hoped for 50 guests. They underestimated the power of bacon (and community): Some 200 folks showed, with others turned away at the door. This year, they’re adding a fire pit to last year’s battery of three, but you still should probably get tickets early for this sociable throwback to old-country village tradition.
Participants use wooden skewers to roast slab bacon over wood-fired open-air fire pits in a small gravel lot by the North Side restaurant, and eat the crispy cured meat on fresh sourdough bread with peppers, onions and tomatoes. The $35 ticket ($25 without alcohol) includes a shot of plum brandy, a bottle of Karlovacko beer, dessert and live music by the Gypsy Strings, Huszar’s four-piece house band, playing traditional tunes.
Judy Torma, born in Pittsburgh to Hungarian-refugee parents, met Michael Torma in 1986 in his native Hungary, where she was studying folk dance. In 2015, after her parents died, the Tormas took over the bar her dad had long operated. A new menu with authentic favorites like chicken paprikás debuted this past fall. The couple says the bacon roasts (szalona sutes), with their picnic atmosphere, draw folks of Hungarian descent as well as “people who just love bacon.”
The 2017 roast runs 4:30-8:30 p.m. Sat., May 20.