Czech Food: meat sweats may be a real thing- Prague

Chilli Sausages

Chilli Sausages
No side plate, so I had to beast it.

 

That’s right, Czech Republic.  The quintessential European city.

Czech food is the grandmother of good old ‘meat and potatoes’ cuisine, and you get great value for your dollar. You truly don’t need to worry about budgeting for a good meal.

 

Prague is a MEAT LOVERS PARADISE (Vegetarians, this is not your culinary city) however, heaven can quickly turn into hell (read: meat night sweats by day 3 and dreaming about a salad to cool.) Of course you can find more then just Czech food to get a bit more variation, I spotted a couple Vietnamese places in the Vinorady district… but I couldn’t help myself and indulged in Czech fare exclusively.  Just remember: that Pork knuckle you are ordering is a dish, of a huge pork knuckle (with perhaps a bit of horseradish and mustard on side) you will need to scour the menu (and even then I would just ask to see if they have any sides, that isn’t a potato)

Nakládaný hermelín (pickled cheese)

You know you’re neck deep in a beer culture when all the starters, even at a restaurant, pairs well with (you guessed it): BEER. It would be great to have some of these bad boys to start making an appearance on the local pub menu… or gastro pub for that matter (hint hint all you cool bar owners out west). I must say, I do enjoy a good sausage, and this city rules this specialty. However, there’s lots more then sausages, I’d try the Nakládaný hermelín (pickled cheese)

LOKAL: I like this place

Lokal is a beer hall restaurant not far from old town square, and my meal here really made my whole trip. Not just the food, but also the atmosphere. It is more of a beer hall, with long communal tables, bustling with life (and a bit of smoke in the front section). I am still thinking about the tripe soup (from bar buffet) … it was so tasty, I wanted to go back for more the next day. True to Czech fashion, there was only tripe in it- but between that and the broth I really didn’t need anything else. On the menu they state “no flavorings added” and Maggie (a seasoning salt) on request with goulash. This lack of confidence must only be as far as the goulash because all I needed was a spoon for that tripe soup… I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

The schnitzel with potato salad didn’t look like much coming out, but cut a piece and it’s buttery crisp in all the right places. Very well done. Don’t let it get cold while you take pictures, eat it fresh out the pan or not at all. I don’t claim to be a schnitzel aficionado; but I know a damn thing or two about fried food… hats off. Well played.

Mandatory tourist stop: pay for the pleasure of eating in the municipal house restaurant downstairs, a serious Art Nouveau gem (I could go on and on about how much I love Art Nouveau.) Or just have a drink in the small “American Bar” attached to the dinning room and take a peak inside the dinning room at your leisure. I’ll save my words and allow these photos by Claes Helander, speak for me.

Municipal House, Prague Photo: Claes Helander

Municipal House, Prague Photo: Claes Helander

 

plzenska restaurace, Municipal House, Prague
Photo: Claes Helander

Note on Czech service:
Only inexperienced travelers will call it terrible. I saw people ripping the service left and right online, and honestly I suspect they are mostly of the hordes of Americans visiting. There are few places in the world you will get the kind of service Americans are accustomed to. The wait staff are generally straightforward (no smiling nonsense) and work hard. Always moving and watching your beer glass from afar, which is better then many restaurant cultures (Holler back Italy.) Besides, with the mammoth portions they send out, you really should not be bothering with asking for anything else!