Sunday, June 29, 2008

not Taipei: Prague, Czech Republic

Hi everyone! So part of the reason I have not been a prolific, hardworking blogger this month is that I've been traveling and had spotty internet. I went to Europe for the first time in my life and found lots of good food in Prague. We ate everything from a local sweet- Trdelnik- in a touristy spot at Old Town Square (pictured above!) to fried chicken + mashed potatoes + coleslaw from KFC on the way to the airport (They have KFC in Taipei, but not the mashed potatoes and coleslaw which I actually miss sometimes). Everything I ate was pretty good- maybe it was the escape from Chinese food 24/7- or maybe I had good luck, but here is a little culinary postcard to you guys from my trip to the Czech Republic.

day 1
dinner at Restaurant Mustek in Prague

I don't know how touristy or not this place is (located in a touristy area), but we were starving and wanted to try something "local." The pork, dumplings and goulash was good (above), but the pork medallions and grilled tomatoes and mozzarella (below) were even better.

The steak skewer (St. Charles) was a bit dry, so I'd stick to the less showy stuff. The mushroom risotto was also surprisingly good, but the pasta was bland. Both the chicken and potato soups were good and as I discovered, the potato soup is pretty traditional here.

day 2
breakfast buffet at Marriott's Brasserie Praha

I had been craving a good waffle for the LONGEST time and finally got one here, even though it was part of a breakfast buffet. Though on the pricey side, the buffet was huge, with lots of fresh fruit, breads/pastries, made to order omelettes/waffles, cheeses, cereals- everything you'd want in a western breakfast. Even though there are a lot of great bakeries in Taipei, it was just a different spread in Europe. Probably because a lot of the bakeries in Taipei are still influenced by the Japanese/Chinese flavors, even if it's bread.

lunch buffet at Ambiente Restaurante Brasileiro, my first time at Brazilian BBQ

I've never had brazilian bbq before, so I don't know how authentic Ambiente is... but it was GOOD. If you are a meat lover, then you should definitely look for one near you. You basically just watch the servers come to your table with huge racks of meat and say "yes please" or "no, I'm stuffed!" There's also a salad/appetizer/sushi buffet as well as sides you can order. My favorite was the fried bananas (sort of like plantains) and fried onions. I ate wayy too much, but all the meat was tender, flavorful and worth the calories.

day 5
afternoon snack: coffee and crepes at a cafe in the main square of Pardubice

There are so many little cafes all over Czech... it's a refreshing change from seeing Starbucks on every corner. The funny thing is that they do have a local coffee chain, Coffee Heaven and Starbucks is slowly making its mark, but it feels more romantic to sit in a random cafe, sipping a latte. We got a chance to sit down and have coffee and dessert. The coffee seems stronger here (since I'm not a big coffee drinker) and you don't always know what you are going to get.

day 6
snack: Trdelnik in Old Town Square

A lighter, fresher distant cousin of the Cinnabun- a trdelnik is a pastry made from rolling dough over a stick, covered with cinnamon, sugar and nuts and baked over heat. The smell got to me as we were walking around and I just had to try it. I peeled off pieces to eat and it's crispy on the outside and a bit softer/doughy on the inside.

Interestingly enough, I did spot Chinese restaurants here and there, but we didn't stop to eat at any. I wonder how the Chinese food is there!

There were also a ton of gelato places everywhere...


I could have eaten a lot more than I did, but there wasn't any more room. Plus everything was om the expensive side-- the US dollar is just not strong anymore. I'm looking forward to going back again someday and exploring more of Europe!!

in Wenceslas Square
Na Mustku 8, 110 00 Praha 1
Phone: 420 224 219 974

at Prague Marriott Hotel
V Celnici 8
Prague, 111 21 Czech Republic
Phone: 420 2 2288 8888

AMBIENTE Restaurante Brasileiro
Na Příkopě 22, 110 00 Praha 1
tel.: +420 221 451 200

in Main Square, Pardubice

Trdelnik vendor
in Old Town Square/in front of Astrological Clock


FarAwayRoy said...

Thanks for the comment. How the hell did you find the name of that berry? Yep, durans always been a fovorite since i visited thailand when i was 9. We have somethink simlar called Jackfruit in australia, just not as stinky. My parents even have a jackfruit tree in their backyard.

joanh said...

farawayroy: i think i looked on wikipedia for "exotic berries" or something like that, and then ran across an article for super foods and then another article with a list of berries and just went down that list!

Anonymous said...

the food looks great. i wonder if we got any similar restaurant in taipei..

Carly In Taiwan said...

funny that you mention starbucks...look at this! sign of the times i guess : / dont know if its ultimately good or bad.

Anonymous said...

Good job, Hungry Girl!! It's nice to see that even though it was your first time in that city, you did not shy away from the local cuisine. In fact, you sought it out. Great write-up as usual.

Of course, you know I'm game for anything pork, but the Trdelnik is what intrigued me most. Typical street treat?

Anonymous said...

this doesn't really have anything to do with the post, but i was curious if you've ever been to koahsiung/gaoshung/gaosiung (sorry i don't know how to pronounce anything but "qq" haha)

annnddd if any of the korean restaurants in taipei have been in business for a few decades? my mother's family came from korea and had a korean restaurant there. wow this is really long and random.

anyways, i LOVE this blog, and i hope to visit some relatives in taiwan soon and EAT EAT EAT!ha.

Brewsta said...

Quite a Prague food adventure. I enjoyed reading your impressions. BTW, Czech Chinese food is terrible! You didn't miss anything.

joanh said...

debbie: i've never seen czech food before in taipei... i wonder if German food would be similar.

carly in taiwan: so interesting.. a sign of the downward economy maybe.. or just too much saturation!

tt: thanks! definitely have to try the local cuisine.. I suppose trdelnik is a typical street treat but I only saw it in that spot.

cheesecake87: sorry, i wish i could give you some tips on kaohsiung, but i don't go there often. as for long time korean restaurants, the one I mentioned most recently said they've been around for awhile but I'm sure there are a few that have been. hope to hear more from you!

brewsta: thanks for the comment! i'm glad we didn't miss anything w/ czech chinese food. i really enjoyed really your blog and it was fun noticing places when we passed by them (from reading about them on your blog) but didn't have time to try everything!

bath mateus said...

may be nice posting, I like it.

Edegra said...

I will love to go there. maybe the next year I visit it. By the way this blog can help a lot of people to pick or decide for something in Prague, the most beautiful city in Europe.
Caverta Kamagra

que es seo said...

Quite worthwhile information, thank you for the article.