KILGORE — Brigitta’s Hungarian Restaurant in Kilgore is known for serving up unique dishes that are hard to find elsewhere in the Lone Star State, and the distinctive menu and story have caught the attention of a long-running Texas TV series.
“The Daytripper,” hosted by Chet Garner, paid a visit Thursday to Brigitta’s, at 202 Texas 31 East. The show, which airs on PBS, follows Garner and his crew as they visit towns across the state to explore the food, culture and stories of folks who live there. The show premiered in 2009.
Mike and Brigitta Gyorfi sat down with Garner on Thursday evening to introduce him to their Hungarian specialties, including sausages, cheese, beef and chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage and sauerkraut.
While filming a segment for “The Daytripper,” the owners told Garner about the secret to good Hungarian cooking: paprika. The restaurants order its paprika through a specialty supplier, as the authentic stuff is almost impossible to find on American store shelves.
Garner said it was the first time he and his crew had visited a Hungarian restaurant after many seasons on the air and asked the owners if there were any others of its kind in the area.
“We’re the only one!” Mike Brigitta said with a laugh. He told Garner about a Hungarian family from Maryland who often ordered food from the restaurant, which has handmade, fresh-from-scratch items available frozen for pickup or shipment. The family enjoyed the food so much they stopped by for an in-person visit while traveling in Texas.
In between filming segments, Mike Brigitta hurried to the kitchen to check on a batch of cabbage lasagna in the oven and to prepare palacsinta, a Hungarian dessert similar to crepes, for customers.
Garner said the sausage at Brigitta’s was among the best he’d ever had.
Learn more about Garner’s adventures across Texas and watch episodes of “The Daytripper” at thedaytripper.com.
For information about Brigitta’s, go to www.facebook.com/hungarianrestaurant.