Breakfast was a bit of an eye opener. Never have I been in audience of so many variations of salami, pepperoni, sausage, mortadella, links, and meat stuffed pastry dough. Along with eggs and pork, a huge assortment of adorably sugared pastries, breads, fruit, ham, blue cheese, muenster, swiss, and cereals. It really wasn't the quantity of animal flesh that caught me off guard--see any farmer at our local cafe on a Saturday morning attack his 'side' of bacon--it was the variety. Glorious, beautiful, and terrifying animal flesh in more varieties than I had ever considered for breakfast.
Lunch seemed to be a typical affair--two or three Pilsner Urquell's, and some oddly appropriated cuisine. Several of my team mates ordered 'Chile con Carne' at a local cafe, and what they received was a half rolled up tortilla with kidney beans, a slightly sweet sauce, and ground beef. All of them agreed that it was quite tastey, but unlike any chile con carne they have ever had. As side dishes, it's already a running joke, "American potatoes, french fries, or boiled potatoes?". If one asks if there is a vegetable available as a side, the answer is "American potatoes, french fries, or boiled potatoes?".
For dinner, we went to a 'Texan Steakhouse'. Now, I really don't want to make fun, since ethnic restaurants in the states certainly commit as many faux pas, but I couldn't help but laugh at the text in the menu and the decor.
First off, the chef, "Has had authentic work experience in the state of Texas". The menu for adult dishes was 18 or so pages long, with additional pages for children and beverages (everything is bigger in Texas!). While this was a steakhouse and they had kangaroo and buffalo steaks, the only moo-cow steaks they had were sirloin. No ribeye, no New York strip, no T-Bone (even though they had pictures of all these on their menus, and we even asked the waiter), and virtually every steak was swimming in some kind of cheese sauce.
Second, the decor. Of course this is gonna be kinda wonky, but the mannequin 'cowboy', the plastic cacti on the table, and the Confederate flag was a bit much. It really reminded me of an 'American Pub' me and my wife visited in the UK that was wall to wall Harley memorabilia, along with a six foot tall statue of a bald eagle. I can't tell if it was tacky, out of proportion, or just fecking awesome.
Third, the food. We were with perhaps a dozen other Czech folks, and I don't know why I found this strange, but the most popular appetizer was the beef carpaccio, topped with cheese. I guess the reason I found this a little odd was simply ordering cow before you got more cow seemed a tad, maybe, monotonous? I had a taste and the carpaccio was quite good and don't think I am not dissing the quality here, but the constant meat/cheese/tater trifecta for every meal feels alien.
All in all though the Czech Republic is awesome. It is not however some place that a vegetarian, let alone a vegan could reasonably order food in. Perhaps in Prague, but when you get outside of Prague then you won't be eating at restaurants if you have a vegetarian lifestyle.
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.