Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Prague's Small Bites

Nothing like meat on a spit to attract attention. This blog highlights several small items I tried while in Prague. In at least two historic centers, there are numerous food vendors selling Prague ham on a spit, Halušky, Trdelnik, and more. Be aware that the most advertised are per 100 grams.
These are the perfect sandwiches for carb watching Americans. The forefront features two Chlebiceks, which are open faced sandwiches. You take a slice of bread, lovingly spread potato salad, then add meats, cheeses, and other garnish. So good! My friend also ordered the Vetrnik lurking in the background. Vetrnik translates to vane, like a weather vane. I'm not sure how the translation relates to the dessert, but I strongly recommend trying one.
After trekking all day around Prague, we had to have my friend's favorite dessert, Hořické trubičky. One order gets you two feather light rolls filled with slightly sweet cream and a side of dipping chocolate. These rolled wafers will slightly absorb your bite then you'll crunch through into the light, fantastic cream. I can't get over the cream. I'm used to sugar sweet things, but this tasted real. Sugar did not mask the flavor. (Apologies for the awful picture, but it was cold and my camera lens fogged up inside).
Have I mentioned my ice cream obsession? So it's cold out, there's snow on the ground, and I'm resigned to not warming up after walking outside for so long. I hoped eating something cold might trigger a warming response. Have I mentioned my ginger obsession too? Meet Angelato's ginger and mango ice cream. So good. Dense, flavorful. Parmesan is April's flavor of the month.
Czech cuisine makes good power food before 3 hour workshops. This meal is from Lavicka Zahradni Restaurace. I ordered potato salad and beef sirloin in cream sauce with cranberries (referred to as candle sauce) and Carlsbad dumplings. Potato salad is a traditional Czech celebration food. It's often a special treat during Christmas and each person swears their recipe is the best. Studded with cubed peas and carrots, this was potato salad at its finest. The sirloin shredded easily, the sauce was divine, and the dumplings(!). I thoroughly enjoyed this meal and strongly recommend visiting this restaurant.
Beas was another restaurant I visited twice. Their specialty is vegetarian indian food offered buffet style. You pay by the weight and it's 50% off 1 hour before closing time. They offer naan, curries, rice, samosas, pudding, fruits and more. My personal highlights were the samosas, the dhal, and halvah. There is so much variety and everything is guaranteed fresh and boasts healthy origins.
My favorite Prague restaurant was Baku Fast Food, located 100 or so meters near me. The link takes you to the flagship restaurant, but Baku Fast Food is located on Dlouha. I first stopped here urgently needing a midnight snack, so I ordered pohaca and baklava. The baklava was thickly spiced with slight bitter notes, thick honey. It wasn't a dainty baklava. These are housemade, so they are slightly inconsistent day by day. The pohaca had great layered texture, some black sesame sprinkled on top, with a buttery burnt bottom and surprising feta inside.

They specialize in Azerbaijani cuisine and offer several entrees and durum. The above picture features (from left to right) baklava, sekerpare, and bülbül yuvası. On my last visit, I made sure I was hungry enough to eat their durum. That was also quite good.
I hope you enjoyed this small taste of Prague. I'll leave you with one final image, the carob and yogurt section at a local Bio store. Prague features several bio stores boasting a wide variety of carob products including carob coated Brazil nuts, dried cranberries, hazelnuts, banana chips, raisins, peanuts, and almonds. I was in heaven.

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