Tasting My Way through Prague
Saturday afternoon two of my roommates and I decided to explore parts of Prague we had not seen before, whether on an organized tour with CET or in our own travelling/getting lost antics. We live in Praha 1, which is a very centralized location deep in the heart of Prague and conveniently surrounded by an assortment of supermarkets, restaurants, and other useful shops. On this brisk Saturday afternoon however, we decided to walk away from what we knew and took a left at the end of a street less traveled.
After a few minutes we came across a giant silver building that looked beautifully out of place in historic Prague. The modern look of the building greatly contrasted with the old stone architecture surrounding it, yet it did not look strange or unwelcomed at all. We quickly realized (after spending hours on end pouring through the numerous Prague guidebooks) that it was the highly-esteemed and quite newly erected Dancing House building which was built in 1996 and overlooks the Vltava River. It is a modern glass building dropped in the heart of historical architecture. Unfortunately the Dancing House was closed when we went but we all decided having dinner at the restaurant located at the top of the House was a must-do before the conclusion of our study abroad experience.
After posing for numerous pictures taken by extremely willing Czech natives by the Dancing House and Vltava River and staring off at the beautiful towns situated across the river, we took a leisurely stroll on the cobblestone sidewalks back to our apartment. We passed families with little babies bundled up and protected against the cold, cute puppies wandering after their owners (a common sight in Prague) and various cafes and shops expelling delicious aromas every turn we took. It is still surreal that this is our home. A city which houses numerous forms of architecture, so many different types of people, and the rich European history we all came to Prague to soak in.
When we got back to our nice and warm apartment and could feel our fingers and toes again, we discovered that our Czech buddy, Zuzana, was making us pancakes for dinner! Of course when I heard this I assumed she was making the pancakes I drool over at American diners and I got extremely excited. Thick pancakes filled with blueberries and covered in maple syrup. Talk about comfort food! YUM! I was pleasantly surprised however to discover that Zuzana was making a dish that most resembled French crepes. They were very thin pancakes made with just a few staple ingredients and smelled absolutely delicious! After she was finished (I couldn’t wait to try one of these) all of the roommates sat together at our dining room table in our kitchen for our crepe feast! Zuzana also mixed together a concoction that I could only describe as a sweeter sour cream cheese mixture and told us that the custom was to mix this cheese with a fruit jelly or jam and cover our crepe with it. We rolled the crepe up and all of us were silent after our first bite…except for the sound of our mouths busy at work chewing this incredible meal. It was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. The combination of the sweet crepe and the savory cheese/strawberry jam rolled in was heaven. I was definitely on cloud 9 after my first bite…so of course I had to eat 3 more.
If that wasn’t enough, one of my roommates and I decided to end the night with some dessert at a café we discovered on our walk home from the Dancing House earlier that day. We stumbled upon the Globe Café and had heard so many great things about it from different travel books and previous study abroad students so we knew we had to try it. The great thing about the Globe is that when you first walk in the café, it simply looks like a cute mom and pop bookstore with books in both Czech and English and a large travel section that makes you want to sit down at one of the tables there with a hot chocolate and a book and never get up….until you smell the most sweet aroma coming from the back of the café, and come across a cozy and dim-lit restaurant that has tons of American comfort foods, as well as all of our new Czech favorites. I ordered a peanut butter cheesecake and had to stop myself from finishing it in one bite. All of their desserts are homemade and definitely tasted like it. My roommate ordered a slice of chocolate cake, or čokoládový dort as you say in Czech, and before we finished our desserts we knew we were coming back soon. As we sat and discussed our goals for our study abroad experience, Karaoke night at the Globe was just beginning! The Globe hosts Karaoke every Saturday night and a movie every Sunday so needless to say, we will be returning to the Globe soon for some live entertainment and homemade treats!