Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Ode to street meat!

I’m sure all of you know that I love food. Part of what makes a city great to me is the quality of the food. I could be in the most amazing place, but if the food is bad it’s a thumbs down for me. So in the past six weeks, I’ve indulged in local cuisine and sought out small restaurants and bars and have found some great food in Spain. The food in Madrid, Granada, Sevilla was really good, but only average in Tenerife so I was hoping for good food in Prague. I was skeptical given that I wasn’t sure what Prague was known for. All I could think of was the one type of food that I hate…German.  While walking the streets of Prague on my first day, I saw a stand on the street with sausages on a grill. The sausages looked and smelled so good that I stopped in my tracks. I whispered to Ana that I secretly wanted one and she said she did too. So we snuck away from our health conscious companions to buy some “street meat”. We emerged from the stand with a huge sausage that was so good, we ravished it in minutes. At that moment, I was hooked. The sausage cost 50 Kc with is about $3.00. This was great given that we had lunch at a place that was charging 500-600 Kc ($30-40) for a salad or sandwich. The sausage became my “Zahir” (see previous post) for the moment and I became obsessed with street meat. I obsessed over it so, that I turned it into a form of currency. I had a hard time making sense of the value of a Czech Koruna ($1=0.055Kc) was so I just started quoting things in street meat. “For that bottle of water, I could get 60 street meats….for that salad, I could feed 100 kids with 25 street meats…” I had to have street meat daily and probably drove my travel buddies crazy one day when were walking around a less touristy area that had no street meat vendors. I told them that I thought we should go look for street meat. I ignored the blank stares and continued on my pursuit. Luckily, I turned the corner and happen upon this guy with a grill selling street meat. Ahhh…divine intervention. I even got Janel to get one who kept telling herself that she shouldn’t. You probably think I’m crazy right now, but to drive the point home even more I’ve included a few photos to show the deliciousness that is Prague street meat!


Things NOT to eat while in Madrid: Callos madrileños

“Be adventurous! Just make sure you understand the language while doing so. – Me

I’m an adventurous person and am also an adventurous eater. Last night I learned that being adventurous does not always pay off.  In the US, I often order food that I’ve never had before or blindly go with the waiter’s recommendation. I’ve used this same approach here in Madrid and it has paid off with me trying some of the best dishes ever. Well not last night. I randomly picked something on the menu, Callos madrileños, and asked what it was. The waiter provided a detailed description. Unfortunately, I only understood about 1% of what he said.  So we go ahead and order it. The waiter brings out this halfway decent looking dish with meat in a red tomato sauce and bread to go with it. I notice that the pieces swimming around in the dish look a little fatty, but I assume there will be some meatier pieces underneath. Well, there were not. So I scoop up a few fatty pieces of meat with the bread and take a bite. It didn’t taste that bad, but I realized that this was not something I could eat an entire bowl of. It hit us that these rubbery pieces had to be some part of the pig like the stomach, intestines, ear or hoof. I felt like a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. I know chitterlings well so I immediately eliminated intestines. I’ve seen pig’s feet before as a whole, but not as pieces. Hmm…I don’t think pig’s feet can be cut up this small so that’s out. Ear is just plain disgusting and illogical. Therefore, I select A. Stomach. Final Answer.

Unfortunately, I did not win a million dollars. Instead I was able to send the dish back with a simple, “No me gusta. Es un poco extraño” (I don’t like. It’s a little strange). The cow stomach was then replaced with an interesting tasting group of samosas.  So, today’s motivational quote of the day is from yours truly. Be adventurous! Just make sure you understand the language while doing so.

Here’s a picture. Look at your own risk.