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Texas' Only Hungarian Restaurant Keeps Things Interesting

By Kelly Church

The restaurant earned its moniker from an old sign that was stenciled on a brick wall in Dallas' Deep Ellum District, particularly fitting considering the eatery was opened by a group of locals. According to Co-Founder Peter Novotny, Head Chef Abram Vargas has created a menu that blends classic Hungarian fare with twists on the traditional and menu offerings that appeals to conventional American cuisine, too. The restaurant is a place for elevated comfort food, seven nights a week, and offers brunch on the weekends.

Novotny says Armoury D.E. is the only restaurant in the state that puts the focus on Hungarian food, also featuring variations of traditional Hungarian dishes. He says the smoked mako shark on top of a Hungarian crepe is the perfect example. It takes a traditional element (the crepe) and introduces a new meat that Hungarians don't cook with, the shark.

The cheesy spätzle is a twist on a favorite Hungarian dish. Spätzle is a type of soft egg noodle or dumpling, and at Armoury D.E. it's covered in a blend with aged cheese and paired with your choice of any protein. There is truffle salami, Hungarian sausage, wild boar, pork belly, pulled duck, duck salami, and even duck bacon. You can add veggies too! Similar to macaroni and cheese, Novotny says, but with pasta dumplings instead of macaroni noodles.

The menu features more traditional American dishes as well. The damn burger is a perfect example of that with an 8-oz. short rib and brisket blend patty, Widmer cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles on a Challah bun. Guests can choose to customize by adding a farm fresh egg, bacon, or specialty meat or cheese.

Novotny says on the list of favorite menu items is always the charred octopus, simmered in white wine and Spanish spices, basted then charred and served with limes and a specialty sauce. Fridays feature a specialty burger during lunch hours. Recently, Novotny says, the burger of choice was a hickory smoked patty with hatch green chilies topped with Swiss cheese.

Friday through Sunday, Armoury D. E. also hosts brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can order breakfast sandwiches, savory and traditional Hungarian crepes, count chocula French toast, build their own omelettes or tacos. With about ten meat options, several types of cheese and a variety of vegetables, a customized meal could go many directions on the weekend so everyone can have their favorites.

"I'd describe the atmosphere at Armoury as laid back, warm and cozy," Novotny says. "It's fairly dimly lit, and we have a lot of original artwork from local artists displayed throughout our building. Our patio especially is covered in artwork, and is a really unique atmosphere for watching some great live music."

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