Probably the most unexpected thing about Prague has been the quality of the food. I expected food to be affordable, if not downright cheap, but I didn’t really know what to expect as far as type of food. My vision of Eastern European food (from somewhere not necessarily based on any facts) was meat and potatoes – probably fairly bland. Well, it has certainly been affordable (by US standards) but it has also been excellent!
Tonight I walked about a mile east (away from touristy areas like the Charles Bridge) and ate at Krystal Mozaika Bistro. I think at least tied for favorite meal of the trip so far, and definitely wins for value (oops, will post about 2nd place soon). First, the neighborhood certainly changed – almost no tourists or hotels as opposed to my current spot (sort of on the eastern edge of Praha 1). However, it seemed pretty nice, and the bars and restaurants along the way were varied and several quite busy with young, fairly prosperous-looking types, though not what I would call yuppies nor hipsters. Many places looked like nice little restaurants + bars where dinner would cost between US$10-20. Also along the way were tons of cheaper eats, Chinese / Vietnamese and Turkish offerings where you could get a meal for about US$5. Even a cheap sushi place!
Anyways, back to Krystal… it was a cool place, tucked away in between some offices / industrial looking buildings. Inside it was fairly casually decorated, and cool modern music was playing. But a look at the menu dispelled any casualness – interesting sounding dishes like “Cherry Smoked Duck Breasts – 5 hours smoked with home-made plums chutney” vied with “Free Range Chicken Thigh ala Coq a Vin”. It was hard to decide — but I finally settled on Pickled Mushrooms to start, followed by the “Fillet of Fallow Deer, hokkaido pumpkin puree, autumn vegetables, veal jus and pumpkin seed oil.” Plus a large draft beer (I think I missed the wine list which was on the blackboard, in Czech. The waiter quickly gave me an English menu as soon as I said hello…)
The deer was amazing… perfectly medium-rare, and not gamey at all. Have a better look after the jump, vegetarians may want to avoid… 🙂