Sunday, May 2, 2010

I ate my weight in Prague

I'm discovering that food is among the top 3 things I love most about Europe. I've become really experimental, here. I'm an anxious, nervous, and gullible person whose pretty much scared of everything, including breathing. I've got a long list of fears and were I to try and list them I'd find years from now I'd still be adding to the list. One of these fears is food. I have trouble trying new foods. When I was in Little Cayman I began my quest to overcome this fear. On that island we had a chef who cooked lunch and dinner. If I wanted to eat, I needed to try new things. The very first new things I tried was Mexican rice and beans. Guess who liked it? Since then the new foods I've tried have included: bananas, cantaloupe, lentil soup, cucumbers... the list continues. Since being in Italy, I've tried strawberries, tomatoes, guacamole (I know, not Italian), zucchini, red peppers... the list continues. Anyway, I've found that since being in Europe I actually enjoy this game where I try to eat new things. I've become quite the chef since living here, too. I challenged myself to try something traditional from each new place I found myself.

Praha was particularly challenging. I didn't know a damn thing about Prague and especially didn't know about its cuisine. And when I got there, I found myself surrounded by the American delicacies I love. I had a fried chicken sandwich from one of the hundred thousand 24 hour food stands that litter the city. I had a starbucks coffee (and never in my entire life have I been so publicly indecent. I was making sexual sounds loud enough that blocks over probably wondered who was being pleasured). I had Lipton Green Tea. I was in heaven. During dinner on my first night I reassesed what I was doing here in Praha. I used to work in a Starbucks Cafe at BN, was I really that desperate for it? No, I guess I am not. I miss American coffee passionatly, but I'll be in America again soon enough. I vowed that I would eat something Prahaian before the night was through. And then I looked at the menu. Fried chicken and mashed potatoes, complimented by a beerstein for only 500 crowns? Plus a before and after dinner shot of sweet Prahaian alcohol, and all this to the fun tunes from these dudes? videoI'd be insane to pass that up. I drank a stein full of Budweiser and ate every last bit of mashed potato on my plate.

I woke up the next morning and decided that today was the day I would eat something traditionally Czech. I went downstairs and to my surprise and delight our continental breakfast included my favorite cereal of all time: Kashi. Fucking Prague has Kashi. I ate two bowls of Kashi cereal and drank about 20 mugfulls of the freshly brewed American coffee they offered. It was by far the best breakfast I've had here in Europe. That day my friend Caah, who came with me to Prague, and I heard about a bakery. Not just any bakery, though. This was a bagel bakery. Apparently, this place was home to Europe's greatest bagel sandwich. Were we going to go here for lunch? Yes. We met two of our friends, one who I'll call Rosso and one who I'll call Poof, and the four of us went to try the best bagel sandwiches in Europe. I'll vouch for this place. I had a plain bagel with egg and cheese, toasted, with a coffee. An American coffee. We were so happy with the place that the four of us sat there for four hours and gossiped like old ladies. A perfect day of eating American style.

By the time we left we were already planning dinner and I'd long since given up on the idea of eating anything Czech before I left Prague the next morning. In one last ditch attempt to find something Prahaian Caah asked the receptionist at our hotel if there was anyplace good to eat. She told us to walk five minutes and we'd find a place. We did, and on the corner was a little hole in the wall, run-down looking joint whose menu was cheap and simple. We met Rosso, Poof, and another friend and the five of us went inside. I immediately loved the place. On their huge screen LCD televisions a Flyers/Penguins game was on. Live. All hope of a Czech meal melted then, but I didn't care. There was hockey. My eyes were glued to the screen and I barely looked at the menu. "I'll have what she's having" I said when the waitress came to take our order and I pointed to Caah. Thank you, Caah, for doing me that solid. I ate Czech. When my dish came out I looked down dismayed. I had a piece of chicken smothered in some strange white, bleu cheese sauce I'd never seen before. The sauce was touching my roasted potatoes. I'm one of those, whose foods can't ever touch. And to be honest, the look of the sauce was really giving me a panic attack. Anxious me kicked in. I'd become so used to American food that my fear of trying new things was returning. Right before my hyperventiliation kicked in I took a deep breath and looked over at Caah, whose eyes were closed in what seemed like certain pleasure. So I closed mine and dug in. Foodgasm. One big, fat, foodgasm. I nearly popped the button on my pants.
Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby

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