Hello from DC! After two long yet short, tiring yet thrilling weeks away, it’s good to be back in the good ol’ USofA. I have quite the week of back-to-the-grindness ahead of me, but before I let myself face that reality, wanted to take a moment to reminisce and share a couple of Prague food suggestions. Prague was my favorite stop of the trip and the delicacies had quite a lot to do with it. Dobrou chuť (Bon Appetit)!
Our very first Prague meal was a very rushed one. Between the time we got to our hotel (a great one that I highly recommend) and our first appointment, we had about one hour to grab a quick bite to eat, so a small group of us took a short walk to Old Town Square and sat down at the first tourist-trappy place we could find.
To be honest, the meal was rather forgettable and I didn’t even bother to write down the restaurant’s name, but I did manage to check off trying Nakládaný Hermelín, one of the must-eat Czech foods from this helpful list.
Nakládaný Hermelín is pickled hermelin cheese (similar to camembert), typically served with peppers, onions and oil. The one I tried came with some sort of tomato pesto sandwiched in between. I wasn’t a fan. I had high hopes for this particular delicacy considering my love for cheese and pickles, but it just didn’t do it for me. It seemed only slightly pickled and I expected more. Part of me thinks the restaurant was to blame, so I’ll give the pickled cheese the benefit of doubt, and will give it another go on my next trip to Prague. There will definitely be a next one.
Much more impressive was the Trdelnik, a Hungarian pastry also popular with the Czechs. Think of it as a cross between a sweet pretzel (I’ve had pretzels on the brain since Germany) and a flaky croissant. It’s made from rolled dough that’s wrapped around a stick, that’s then rolled and grilled over hot coals, before being coated in a sugar and chopped walnut mix. Delicious.
But the absolute highlight of the short visit, and perhaps the very best meal I had the whole trip, was at U Pinkasu, a veritable Prague institution founded in 1843, as in forever ago.
Located near Old Town Square, the restaurant can be easy to miss, but you must do your best to not let that happen. The ambience was lovely both inside and out and the food was incredible. The traditional Czech dishes were entirely foreign to me, but I’ve since learned that comfort food knows no geographic boundaries and taste like love and care to whoever’s eating it.
Janet, my best bud on the trip and a food blogger herself, let me try some of her Traditional Roasted Pork with Two-Color Cabbage. The meat was perfectly tender and the cabbage was some of the best sauerkraut I’ve ever had.
The real winner, my order (of course) was the Svíčková, aka Old Bohemian Beef in Cream Sauce with Cranberries and Bread Dumplings, aka Czech Thanksgiving. That last part is all you need to know. Words cannot describe how tasty it was, and I can’t wait to go back for more.
Honorable mentions go to the desserts. I ordered the Homemade Pancakes with Forest Fruit Sauce and Whipped Cream. At the time, I thought I requested Czech-style crepes known as Palačinky, but it turned out to be a plate of dessert potato pancakes. They tasted like Toaster Strudel which was more than fine by me. Palačinky will have to wait for next time.
Equally delicious were the Fried Apples in Beer Dough with Caramel. They were like little apple pie nuggets wrapped in a hint-of-beer crust. Very tasty.
That does it for my short list of Prague recommendations. Next time, I will definitely be staying for longer than 24 hours. One day in that beautiful city just wasn’t enough, not when there are so many sights to see and delicacies to eat. I’ll be back!