Tasting on Český Krumlov
Mom put me in charge of where we would eat in Český Krumlov, so I did a bit of homework on Foursquare and my trusty USE-IT map. We ended up going to two restaurants, both of which served traditional Czech cuisines. Since this UNESCO town is the second-most popular tourist destination in the country outside of Prague, English-speaking staff and menus were readily available.
The currency in Czech Republic is the koruna (Kč), and at the time of writing, the exchange rate was about 24 Kč to US$1. All businesses are listed from most budget-friendly to least.
I emailed Na Louži for a lunch reservation at 11:30 and initially requested a pre-order of their whole roasted goose. But the staff cautioned that those birds are extremely heavy and would be quite expensive for our modest family of four (~US$75: they’re better suited for parties of five or six). So we opted to order off the regular menu. When we walked in, my name was on a card on our table.
We started with one 0.3L mug of each kind of Eggenberg beer available (light, dark, and yeast for 21 Kč each) and 0.3L of draft raspberry lemonade (23 Kč) for mom. At first, our waitress mistakenly brought out three light beers, but I got the attention of another waiter, and he gruffly took two mugs and brought out one dark and one yeast. Dad’s favorite was light, my favorite was dark, and Alex’s favorite was yeast. The lemonade was good but nothing special.
I spotted utopenec (pickled sausage for 55 Kč) and Olomoucké tvarůžky (Olomouc stinky cheese for 79 Kč) and figured my family should try these unique Czech dishes. The sausage was sour as expected, but I was weirded out by how the cheese was served in circular discs with large chunks of butter rather than with bread as I had in Olomouc.
Dad ordered the quarter of roasted duck with bread and potato knedlíky (219 Kč), Alex opted for the pork schnitzel stuffed with cheese and ham (212 Kč), and mom and I agreed on the pork platter (189 Kč). The duck was lean yet tender. The schnitzel required obvious skill to execute properly, and the pork platter was a veritable variety of different cuts and the best value. Whereas bread knedlíky is basically the equivalent of the Chinese mantou, everyone loved the potato knedlíky, which had a pleasant resistance to the tooth.
Making a reservation was the right call since the restaurant is not very big, and it filled up quickly.
U Dwau Maryí
Aspiring to share what people used to eat 12th-century Český Krumlov, U Dwau Maryí is in an historic house on the north side of city center. Thanks to its location, you can enjoy an excellent view of the castle and St. Jost Church.
Alex and I started off with hot mead: one South Bohemian (65 Kč) and one almond (70 Kč). The South Bohemian one tasted like it uses the same herbs and spices as Kofola. But we preferred the almond one because it tasted slightly less strongly of alcohol. Both were very strong! Dad enjoyed another mug of Eggenberg Light (30 Kč).
Mom wanted the garlic soup (40 Kč) and couldn’t get enough of it. I had to ask for a second spoonful, but I don’t blame her! It was very comforting.
We ordered two portions of the Old Bohemian Feast, one with rabbit (175 Kč) and the other with pheasant (195 Kč). This was plenty since we were still a bit full from lunch. Both portions came with smoked meat, millet, potato cake, dumpling, potatoes, and salad. But there was not much rabbit and pheasant, so it would’ve been nice to double the main and keep the quantity of sides. Everything tasted so carefully made, especially the millet.
I spotted an item under the vegetarian section called, “potato dumplings with poppy seeds and sugar”, which I immediately ordered because this is supposedly a dish you can’t find in restaurants and requires a Czech grandma to make it for you. You’re supposed to eat it as an entrée, but we tried it for dessert. The dumplings were al dente, and the crushed poppy seeds reminded us of black sesame powder. Mom even thought she could get away with leaving the filling of tangyuan out of the glutinous rice!
What a wonderful day I spent with my family in this little town! I’m so glad we were able to coordinate this at the last minute.