When traveling, the best way to get the most out of the experience is to eat like the locals do.
True, given the spread of major American corporations around the world, many locals eat at places with familiar names such as McDonalds and Starbucks. But if you’re traveling, whether it’s to a neighboring state or a far-off country, making an effort to seek out something different can be tremendously rewarding.
The Czech Republic is best known for its beer, but if you ask the concierge at your hotel, they’ll be able to help you find a nearby wine bar. Especially in Prague, a big city that has been gaining popularity among tourists, the “wine scene” has been expanding, with bars featuring lots of selections — both homegrown and from other European countries.
It’s interesting to note that when we dine out here in America, it’s common to encounter numerous wines from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. But in the Czech Republic — and elsewhere in Europe — tracking down an American selection can be challenging.
But that’s okay, especially if you’re on a mission to eat (and drink) like a local.
A great place to do that is a Prague restaurant called, appropriately enough, Lokal. The restaurant is narrow but long, and we’re told it’s always packed — primarily with locals.
The menu changes daily, and may feature selections such as pilsner pork goulash with potato dumplings, grilled minced meat rolls with buttered potatoes, and boiled neck of beef with dill sauce and Carlsbad dumplings. Regardless of the day, the menu is extensive and varied.
Also regardless of the day, you’ll see people drinking beer. The beverage is so popular, in fact, that Lokal developed its own method of keeping track of the number of glasses consumed at a given table. It’s a simple sheet of paper adorned with literally dozens of beer mug icons. Each time a beer is delivered to the table, a line is drawn through one of the mugs. So much for modern POS systems…
Even that simple of way of tracking beer sales adds to the ambience of a restaurant like Lokal. Plus, if we really wanted the “POS experience,” we could always return to one of the more modern wine bars.
The point is this: Culinary experiences abound everywhere you go. When traveling, it’s not the time for a Big Mac. Rather, it’s the time for unique experiences — for your eyes, for your ears and most certainly for your palate.