Monday, November 01, 2004

What's a great way to spend a weekend?

Why, in Prague, of course! I was lucky enough to be invited to go on a short weekend getaway with my fiance’s department. They’re five people working there, and since I tagged along, as well as another significant other, we were seven in total. It was my first trip to Prague (for some reason, I keep wanting to write “The Prague” just because, I assume, it rhymes with “The Hague”, but… I’ll try to control myself.) and it was glorious. Prague is a very beautiful city, and very old. We spent most of our free time out walking, and in some instances, shopping. I surprisingly didn’t lug home too much stuff, but certainly, some.

Foodwise, it’s not *that* exciting. Czech food is good, and very rustic – but there also wasn’t that much to choose from. The menus typically had a few very bohemian dishes, and the rest was standard fare. For dinner the first night (arriving late at the hotel, having only eaten a less-than-great sandwich on the plane) I opted for an easy solution and ordered pasta. It was quite good – penne in a cream sauce with chicken, peas and parmesan. Nothing special, but it certainly hit the spot right then and there. The highlight of that evening was the bread basket. They had a gorgeous little breadstick, made of some kind of rye dough, rolled in at least six different seeds and grains. (From memory, there was at least oats, sunflower seeds, sesame, poppy, linseed… um, and something else.) I did take pictures, so I’ll add one here later. I immediately went for one of those – and it was as delicious as it looked.

Next morning, at the breakfast buffet, I was delighted to see the same breadsticks featuring here too. So, I had one for breakfast every day. Breakfast was fairly standard – they had different flavours of one of my favourite little things: The Laughing Cow cheese. Not very gourmet, obviously, but oh so good. They also had a lot of different little salads – not what I want in the morning, but Per enjoyed a salami salad every day.

Lunch the second day was, and I am embarrassed to tell you this, at Kentucky Fried Chicken. I know it’s almost a crime to go to a US chain fastfood place when you’re abroad, but.. I had missed it so. We don’t have it in Sweden, and it really is one of my favourites. So… I had two pieces of chicken, fries and cole slaw. Great, great stuff.

Dinner was at a very touristy place just off the old town square. We had been out looking for a restaurant for a while, so we were quite hungry. Nothing extremely special about this meal – I had fillet of beef garnished with asparagus and parmesan, and served with some very good sliced fried potatoes. And a big, big, big glass of beer. Not normally much of a beer drinker, but when in Prague, it’s really a requisite.

Now, the best part – dinner on Saturday night. We went to a very fun restaurant that had live music entertainment (in the form of two guys in soldier costumes, one playing the accordion, and one playing a huge brass instrument of some sort) and great food. We started with a shot of traditional Czech liquor, called Becherovka. The waiter said it was herbal – tasted just like gingerbread to me. Very very Christmassy (which led us to buy three bottles – one for us, one for our neighbors and one for my mom, as a thank you for cat-sitting) and very yummy. They also had bowls of salted almonds on the table, which led me to order goat’s cheese for a starter. Nothing special about it – just a fairly regular slice of chevre, but OH so good. And it went great with the almonds. I had ordered a glass of red wine, and although it was a rather standard wine, it really added to the experience in this case.

For my main course, I really wanted something Czech, so I ordered the fried duck, which was served with two kinds of dumplings (bread and potato) and two kinds of sauerkraut. Everything was absolutely delicious – the duck was extremely flavourful and juicy, the kraut was about a million times better than I would have expected – packed with wine and butter, and the dumplings… were an acquired taste. I liked them well enough with the rest of the food, but I don’t know that I would cook them with a lot of other things. Anyway, it was great to have tried a more traditional dish.

For dessert, Per ordered apfelstrudel which was very good (and something I’ll definitely try to recreate at home) while I stuck to an Irish coffee. Bad, bad move. For some reason, they didn’t use regular cream in the coffee (and they HAD regular cream – since that’s what they used to garnish the strudel) but instead some kind of lemon flavoured goo. It was disgusting –especially as it separated from the coffee and was just nasty. Other than that, a perfect night…

No comments: