June 2014


Citarella Vegetable Salad

Fruits and veggies in Berlin, Dresden, Prague and Brussels were good. But, I missed my salad!!

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One of my favorite dishes to seek out when traveling is rabbit cooked in almost any style. Coniglio in Italy. Lapin in France, or as it turns out, in Belgium. 

This is the dish I ordered in this hip little restaurant in Brussels. In English – the joint was called “Greedy Glutton.”  There were some Americans or Brits in the room, but there were as many (if not more) locals at the tables 
 
I ordered this Lapin, a saddle of rabbit, cooked in a type of Belgian Lambic called Geuze. Served with frites, of course. On the side: a simple, perfectly-dressed green salad. To drink: a flavorful blonde Belgian beer.  

Our waiter was an eccentric-looking man. Picture an Ichabod Crane dandy with high waist pants held up by a belt that hitched up the back loop. He was laconic. And possessed just enough English to take our order, and display a wry sense of humor. I asked him if a particular lambic/beer beverage was good. He wrinkled his fringe- covered brow, paused, then answered ‘well, it’s okay.’  

He almost grimaced when my table mates ordered soup and fries. “As you like…” He muttered. With a slight smile on his face. 

It was fun. And, oh so good. 

Hippety. Hoppety. Then on to the chocolate shops. 
 

Ain’t no doubt about it, I hit the best. The BEST, the veritable mother lode of awkward English menus – at a great restaurant in Prague. 

 There were special categories on the menu for “FEEDERS” – which, after we grilled the waiter (or barbecued him, as one of our guest speakers said this week) – we are pretty sure really meant “foodies.”
 
But this was my favorite on that multi-lingual ode to gastronomy. 
 
Now doesn’t that just sound delicious? Spicy sausage of the chef. Yum. Yum. 
 
 
 

When I found myself alone (got disconnected from my peeps after looking for a cash machine – more on this misadventure on Ruling Woman) — I went looking to get me some Czech food. 

I ended up at a little off-the-path (but not too much, had to get back to the hotel to meet the group – and I didn’t want to get lost again. It was bad enough I got split from my group). And ordered a potato soup that the menu described “in bread”. No suspense — you can see the picture. But I thought it was a mistranslation – and I think the waiter was laughing under his breath when I asked for bread on the side. You know, thereto.  (see fish note)

I am told it is rather typical Bohemian. And it. Was. Delicious. Just what I wanted. 

When the Italians immigrated to Germany, yes, of course they brought their pasta. And, their gelato. But then they took it one step farther. 

 

Meet “Spaghetti Eis.” This dessert (which I bought in Dresden, but is apparently ubiquitous in Germany) is ice cream extruded through a noodle maker – to look like spaghetti. 

The Eis is piled over a mound of whipped cream — which I suspect was pre-frozen — and topped with sauces and crumbles and shreds that make it look like a real spaghetti dish. “Marinara” is usually strawberry (tomato sauce) with shredded white chocolate (Parmesan).  

 I picked “Spaghetti Carbonara” – which was covered in a vanilla sauce with walnuts, hazelnuts and amaretto cookies. 

Sounds a little weird. Tastes a lotta delicious. 

Three Eis Later




This was my first meal in Dresden — if you don’t count the cake and coffee which is traditionally served at 4 o’clock Sunday afternoon.

 This was my choice for the menu, although it took me and my colleague sitting next to me at dinner about 10 minutes to decipher. 
 
Pike perch – I knew was a freshwater fish. Baked in egg turned out to be a fluffy coating around the perch – with a slightly crusty outside and an almost soufflé like inside. 

But what the heck is a thereto salad? Turns out it is bad translation of “on the side”. 

My first Dresden dinner was delicious. 

We are on the road — in our Mercedes-Benz bus, Abba and Beatles and the Who playing in the background — having left Berlin, now heading to Dresden. 

I am sad to see the Berlin leg of our visit end. Several of the other journalists will be returning — many of us not. 

I’m having my lunch on the bus right now – made from our hotel breakfast buffet. Cheese with little salami bits and another slice of stinky cheese. Bottled water. And a few crudités. All wrapped in plastic bags from our hotel bathrooms. 

I do have to laugh — one morning someone in our group said they were “sick of the bread.”

Really?!? They have the most incredible bread here. From hearty wheat to even sliced white. How can you get sick of this bread? I am reminded of people I knew back when I was in high school who, for one reason or the other, had the opportunity to travel to Europe (much rarer in those days of Pan Am and TWA). And they would come back 10 pounds heavier because of “all that bread!”  I understand. 

More coming for Dresden, I’m sure. More news. But also (hopefully) more bread. 

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