A review of the only health-conscious fast food restaurant in Budapest.
Each active social media user knows how much attention fitness had been receiving in the past few years. It may bore you, it may annoy you, but the luckiest option is that it inspires you. However, when you dig deeper into the subject, the amount of rules and number of changes needed to achieve a healthier lifestyle could be scary, and not offer as much comfort as your recent lifestyle does. A slice of pizza on your way to campus or a quick run into McDonald’s are off limits now, and none of the supposedly healthy food options of the city seem attractive. Vegan menus and tasteless salads? Forget it. You miss your meat, street food and anything that resembles them. Luckily, Petra’z got the menu for that.
As someone that has been struggling with trying to follow a healthy diet for quite a while, and frequently failing it due to laziness, a busy schedule, or simply the lack of options to choose from, I was eager to try Petra’z after the first time I had heard of it. Obviously, it’s still not as extended all over the city as McDonald’s is; therefore, you have three locations to choose from: one at Nyugati Square, one at Béke utca in the 13th district, and for those preferring Buda, one at Móricz Zsigmond Square. As the latest one offers a 15% student discount, I decided to have my first Petra’z meal there.
What does it promise and what do you actually get? According to their website, they offer fast, fresh and healthy quality food that does not contain any food additives or flavor enhancers, and a menu developed with the help of nutritionists and professional sportsmen. Meals offered by Petra’z are prepared from whole-wheat flour and fresh ingredients, all of which fit into the diet of those having to deal with lactose intolerance or celiac disease. As I’m not affected by either, I cannot confirm whether the ingredients are free from lactose and gluten, but I can give my honest opinion on the taste of foods, and whether or not I can recommend this restaurant based on price, quality and value.
The menu itself is absolutely promising and already gives a sense of fulfillment for lovers of street food. They offer carb-free soups, quick bowls filled with meat and veggies, offered with healthy trimmings such as grilled vegetables, brown rice or gluten-free pasta. A wide range of wraps, burgers, meat and salad, and desserts all sugar-, lactose-, and gluten-free are also on the menu. You can even order a traditional Hungarian dessert such as somlói galuska prepared from ingredients that absolutely fit into a healthy diet.
Even though it’s possible to have a proper lunch with soup, a main dish and dessert here, my main aim was to experiment with the place’s fast food quality and got nothing else but a Petra’z burger. Sweet potatoes were offered as trimmings for the burger, so I tried them for the first time in my life, and left with mixed feelings about them. I can understand how even sweet potatoes could taste amazing if you take your healthy diet seriously and haven’t tasted French fries for quite a few months – or even years for the more devoted ones – but for me, it was simply okay. However, my overall impressions of the place and food were positive.
Petra’z does not resemble a fast food restaurant in the traditional sense. Instead of 30 people the staff consists of 3 here, a cashier and two cooks preparing your meal out of fresh ingredients with full attention. Instead of 15 seconds, you have to wait for around 15 minutes by the time the meal’s ready, but it’s all worth it. Compared to any of the burgers you can get at burger bars or fast food restaurants, these burgers taste exactly that good, for a similar price, prepared in a whole-wheat, healthy way.
In terms of the design, I can’t say it did not fulfill the expectations it promised on the website: modern and exclusive; however, I’m personally a fan of a less modern, more novel design even in the case of restaurants. For fans of modern design, it is the right place. All in all, the staff was nice, the food was delicious, the price was worth it (1490 HUF for a burger, but you can get a 15% student discount at Móricz) and the general feeling of putting an effort into my health was priceless.
I would recommend this place to all of those people struggling with the things I mentioned in the beginning of the review. If you have a busy schedule and lack the time to prepare your own healthy meals or just miss your wraps and burgers in an abnormal way, check out Petra’z.
Address: 21-27. Béke Street, Budapest, 1135
8 Nyugati Square, Budapest, 1055
11 Móricz Zsigmond Square, Budapest, 1114
Opening hours: Mon-Su: 11:00-23:00
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Petrazworldwide/
Official website: http://ptrz.hu
by Réka Árvay