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“Delicious Schnitzel & Goulash ”
Review of Balaton Restaurant

Balaton Restaurant
Ranked #73 of 1,922 Restaurants in Cleveland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$15 - US$30
Cuisines: Hungarian, Eastern European, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, View, Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 20 March 2016 via mobile

If you like great food in a simple, yet charming setting, Balaton is not to be missed! My sweetie and I happened upon this quaint eatery on a cold, blustery day and ended up having one of the most delightful afternoons in recent memory. :)
Starting with a warming cup of delicious chicken noodle soup (authentic in its composition, as my hubby claimed it tasted exactly like his Hungarian mother's and grandmother's version) we enjoyed an appetizer of stuffed cabbage which was out-of-this-world yummy! If you've never tried stuffed cabbage - or think it might taste too much like that mushy, odd-smelling veggie dish they served in the elementary school cafeteria line on certain days of the week - let me assure you that the stuffed cabbage at Balaton is a culinary delight! The spicy (but not crazy-spicy) filling is fantastic, but it's the sauce that makes the dish. We had to ask our server what kind of paprika was in the dish, as we were both using our complimentary bread to sop up every drop of that crazy-good sauce!
Our entrées were outstanding, as well. My sweetie opted for the Beef Goulash, which had melt-in-your-mouth bits of tender beef, veggies, and perfectly prepared spaetzle (a kind of dumpling-like accompaniment). My Schnitzel Sandwich was perfectly prepared and served with fresh tomatoes, red onion and cucumber slices on two enormously thick slices of homemade Hungarian bread. Outrageously good!
Our only disappointment was the fact that we were both so stuffed we could not indulge in one of the tempting dessert offerings...which is, of course, a fabulous reason to return to this gem of a restaurant. :)

1  Thank heidiharris19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 - 46 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 19 March 2016

My husband and I went here for dinner after a long day spent in Cleveland. The restaurant had a nice atmosphere to it. My husband had a chicken salad and I had mushroom paprikash. With my meal, I had a salad. The food was delicious. The portion sizes were huge. The prices were average. Service was not the best. Rather than the waitress asking if we wanted refills for our drinks, my husband had to wave to get her attention. If your in the Cleveland area, definitely give this little restaurant a try!

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Thank The_Wanderer1992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2016

Our waitress was rude, she did not care that we were celebrating a birthday. Made no attempt to make our visit special, especially when we told her we drove 2.5 hours to get there. Wouldn't even speak Hungarian when we talked to her, just gave us an annoyed awkward smile. We thought maybe she didn't speak but later we saw she was speaking and being really friendly to an older Hungarian woman she was waiting on.
Food was not impressive, it was bland. You could tell they don't use authentic spices, felt we paid too much for such poor quality.

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Thank Iski2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2016

My wife and I were in Cleveland for a nephew's wedding and decided to find a Balkan or Central European family style restaurant, which we had enjoyed while I was assigned in Germany. We found the Balaton in Shaker Square. It was wonderful! We walked in from a cold, windy January night, and it was bright, warm and cheery. The founder's picture and a "grotto" were on the sideboard just inside the door, where we were met by our waitress and taken to our table in the front room. We ordered wine and the Hungarian platters; mine had chicken paprikash, hers with veal, and the rest of the platter: cabbage rolls, a huge schnitzel, and spatzle. We tried to do it justice, but, after the fresh warm bread and wine, I could only get through the part of cabbage rolls, spaetzle and the paprikash, and my wife through part of the paprikash and spaetzle. The food tasted fantastic but the servings are very, very substantial.
We took the rest with us, as well as the Dobosh Torte we were going to have for dessert. The next day we drove to my in-laws and the four of us had full meals from the leftovers. We cut each schnitzel in half and split the remaining cabbage rolls, spaetzle and paprikash. It tasted just as good the next day and my in-laws, who had visited while we were overseas, were thrilled to eat authentic Central European food again.
It was a great experience which I wouldn't hesitate to do again if I were in Cleveland. I have recommended the Balaton to my brother's family who live in the area and who haven't visited, a situation soon to be remedied.
Go already, you will enjoy.

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1  Thank COStraveler80920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2016

All the dishes are good: paprikas, goulash, schnitzel, spaetzle, etc. If it is your first time, try the combo platter. The cooking is truly outstanding. The portions are excessive both for appetizers and main dishes. The beer list is good. The wine list is pretty sparse. The pricing is reasonable. The service is terrible.

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Thank cgny1fwd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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