Monday, February 4, 2013

How Do I Love Thee?

Since February is the month of love (and also of Black history, LGBT history, bird feeding [skipping that one], the Super Bowl, when the US eagerly watches a groundhog in hopes of spring, when Sri Lanka and St. Lucia celebrate their independence, when Argentinians praise the sun, where Brits and Yanks wear red and when the whole world celebrates their mother tongue [no English lessons on February 21st?]), I decided to have a little list of all of the things I love about my city. A round up of my favorite places and spaces. A review of all that's hot, hip and happening cheap, convenient, and delicious, in no particular order. So let's have at it, shall we?

1. The first thing on my list is quite a newcomer. It's Kava Růžová, which is a really tiny, no frills, bare bones little coffee shop. They've got beans that you can buy, some fancy coffee accoutrements, a counter with an espresso machine, and one little table with some stirrers and sugar packets on it. Its white and clean and not much to look at, but my god. I picked up a latte on my way to school, got to the library, took a sip and literally said out loud "Oh my gosh, that is a good coffee." (Which I'm pretty sure I have not said, or even thought, once since I got to the Czech Republic.) It was just heavenly. No bitterness, no frills, just perfect coffee. Ahhhhh.

2. There are many things I miss from home, but very near the top of the list has got to be our weekend Far East Feasts. Where are my crab rangoons, my pork lo mein, my fortune cookies?! Not here. But Binh Minh, aka Asia Fast Food, found at Dukelských hrdinů 27, will do until I can get back home. Mind you, nothing I order is similar to what I get from my beloved Sun Far, but my standard order of #3 (Tom Kha Gai, 49,-) and #M3 (8 pieces avocado roll, 4 salmon and 4 crab, 159,-) is still delicious. And in a landlocked city where seafood isn't as prevalent, it's pretty darn good sushi. Fresh fish, nice rolls, good prices and friendly staff. And it doesn't hurt that it's across the street (although so is another Chinese food place, and I avoid that one like the plague, as every time we've gone either Peej or I has ended up with this awful mystery sauce that tastes like licorice and grossness, so proximity isn't my only criteria). 

3. It's not the first time, and will probably not be the last, that I mention my love of Hemingways. It's swanky and cool and the bartenders are not only super skilled, but they're also really helpful and always ready with a suggestion. My favorites are definitely the old fashioned, the Basil and Pineapple Martini, the Desmond Smash and the Lavender Fizz, but I will happily continue to investigate and compare/contrast. In the great land of beer, it's a nice break to have something that comes served in a fancy glass (or even in a book!). 

4. Also making the cut largely due to proximity is Fabbricia. Their pizza is nothing to write home about, but the reason that I love them so very much is that when I roll out of bed on the weekend and am absolutely starved but too lazy or too lacking in ingredients to make pancakes and too uninterested to eat the fruit I have, I continue rolling out the front door, down the stairs and across the street, where I gleefully pick out a number of scrumptious little pastries. I'm fairly sure none of them are actually baked there, but I don't care where they come from, as long as they make it into my belly. Rolka pudinkova, fricadella, quiche, strudels and cheese twists and doughnuts and oh my. Needless to say, since discovering that all of these buttery morsels are a stone's throw from my front door, my jeans are a bit snugger, but what's life without a little enjoyment? They're also good for grabbing a nice loaf of Italian bread or ciabatta when I don't feel like searching somewhere else, or eating the dreaded dark Czech loaf that I just cannot get down with. 

So there you have it, the first four things on my list. Enjoy, and know that when you come to visit, these are the places we'll be going. 

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