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No Reservations: Prague

I didn't think this was one of the better episodes. The pig lust was a little over done in my opinion. It also seemed like they were stretching for material by making a big deal about not being allowed to film in the pho place. This might have been one of the locations where some of the food time should have been substituted for some human interest type material.

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  1. I agree.

    I found that the Czech Republic was a difficult place to be a Chowhound. More difficult than Slovakia, and much more difficult than Poland, where the food is uniformly very, very good.

    Yeah, he should have delved into some other aspects, even allied aspects of the food, but not hanging out in restaurants. I never got the feeling from this episode I was really in Prague.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Oh, I missed that one! And I am a huge Prague fan - I'm sure it will be on again at some point. I know what you mean about being a Chowhound in the Czech Republic. We have found a few great rural gems serving up great traditional food but found far fewer in Prague (as with many European cities). Whenever we go we have to do a lot of advance research, that is for sure.

      From comments I am afraid I will be disappointed in this episode but still am curious!

      1. re: chefathome

        I would be very interested any recommendations for rural Czech places. I live in Vienna and the cuisine of the 'Bohemian grandmother' plays a big role here.
        However, I have always been disappointed whenever I have tried to search for the 'source' of this tradition. But I am still holding out hope!
        I'm planning to take a trip from Vienna to Prague in early July and would gladly make a detour if it would involve good food. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    2. I havent liked the episodes from this seasonas much as past seasons.

      The cocaine scene in panama was impressive though

      1. I'd say an average episode. Still beats most other shows on TV.

        I was surprised by Tony's reaction to the beer bong. Was that really the first time he saw one of those things? They are all over New York. Even the Port Authority bowling alley has them. He seemed to imply that it was a Prague thing.

        1. After seeing all that meat one wants to become vegetarian. I hated this show. Even Tony looked tired.

          1. One of my least favorite episodes of NR. It all seemed a bit forced, and badly researched. I love meat, but I came away having no culinary interest in ever visiting Prague. I do know, however, from friends, that Prague has a far more varied food scene. The show just seemed to have a theme of "Let's make Tony look like he's in pork and beer heaven". Tony didn't seem like he was being his natural self.

            1. The product placement close-up of the sapphire credit card on the table jarred me. Have they ever done anything like that before on NR?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Up With Olives

                Actually, I think they're worked the Sapphire card into each of the episodes this season. Obviously, it's expensive to produce an Emmy-award-winning series, and so they're going the obtrusive, product-placement route.

              2. All of the beer talk actually made me go to my fridge after the show and crack one open.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Philly Ray

                  same here, I went out over the weekend a bought a few czech beers

                2. This may have been my least favorite NR episode ever. I usually come away from each episode thinking "Oooh, I'd love to go there and try X." Didn't get that once from this episode. It made Prague out to be a culinary wasteland, especially when the most enthusiasm was directed toward a fried cheese sandwich and sausages from a street cart. Having never been to Prague, I am not sure if the culinary scene is that bad or if NR just did it no justice.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mels

                    There's a lot going on in Prague, but more so with foreign cuisines. I drove through the Czech Republic from Kromierziz near the Slovak border to Prague. I don't think anyone is going to get rich organizing food tours, if ya know what I mean.

                    1. re: mels

                      When your drunk and waiting for your street car, a fried cheese sandwich will bring out that sort of enthusiasm in anybody. I miss those....my mornings after don't.

                      1. re: mels

                        I too found this episode extremely disappointing. I spent a week in Prague last September and while it's not the easiest place to find great food, it can be done. One meal in particular, at V Zátiší, was one of the best I've eaten anywhere in the past year. I wrote it up here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/652584

                      2. I don't watch this show but did go to Prague last summer and thought it was absolutely charming. Foodwise, if you don't like meat, you're in a bit of a pickle. For me, the food was hearty and tasty--really stick to your ribs--and I had no issues with it. We also had some fabulous desserts--something about the cream they use just doesn't taste like anything I've had in the States (and I mean that in a good way).

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: gloriousfood

                          There's nothing that prepares you for the beauty of Prague. It is stunning. But I'm not sure it will ever be a top Chowhound destination.

                          1. re: Steve

                            Prob not. But that would not stop me from going again.

                            1. re: Steve

                              Couldn't disagree more! :) I lived in Prague for a semester and visit as often as I can ever since. There are several places that have fantastic cuisine- both in fine dining restaurants as well as in hole in the wall places. And there is lots more variety than people think.

                              1. re: eviemichael

                                Are you saying that there is more variety in Czech food than people think, or more variety in the Prague food scene as a whole?

                                In terms of the variety of cuisines in Prague, I think NR is going to focus mostly on Czech food because that's the nature of the show.

                                Did you see the program? What did Tony Bourdain miss?

                                1. re: Steve

                                  I meant to say that there is more variety in the Prague food scene. I was mostly disagreeing with the notion that it isn't a Chowhound destination. I believe it is.
                                  I caught only half of Bourdain's show.
                                  Also, there were restaurants outside of Prague 1 (the touristy center) where I discovered very special restaurants with variations on the traditional cuisine, and some great homemade baked goods. If you ever go back, I'd be happy to give some recs of restaurants.

                          2. I'm 50-50 on the episode. Definitely not the best, it was informational (I was unaware of the large Vietnamese population), and I did enjoy the pig scene (that sausage making was unreal). It did, at times, seem forced though.

                            1. Finally saw this episode as well. Prague was beautiful and I found the episode mostly informative. I was amused by the veggie situation but not too surprised. To the best of my knowledge, Eastern Europe isn't renowned for its vegetarian cuisine. At first I was surprised to hear the contention that the entire or much of the traditional cuisine was wiped out under communism but after some thought that made sense. That part of the world suffered greatly in WWII and since the Soviet situation started shortly after, it would make sense that a lot of food culture died off. I travelled to East Berlin in the early 80s and boy, there was NOT much to eat that was particularly tasty or yummy.

                              As far as Tony and pork, hey he ALWAYS talks about piggy goodness so that didn't seem any different to me. But my husband was amused by the blurring of the label on some beer.

                              1. Maybe not one of the best NR episodes, but we have been traveling in the CR for the last two weeks and have had a great time with some very good food.

                                V Zatisi was quite nice, the barley risotto with mead roasted quail being the standout; La Degustation was absolutely stunning and perhaps the best dining experience that we've ever had.

                                In terms of pub food, koleno is certainly a treat but probably not something that you want to eat on a regular (or even semi-regular) basis. Go for the beer, the food is only a compliment. And OH what beer! After liters and liters, smazeny syr and sausages seem like, and are, a good idea!

                                I guess Prague, for a CHer, is what you make of it... certainly not a paradise but what I wouldn't give for a sausage cart back home in New Hampshire! That being said, I think upon arriving home, I'll be eating salads for the next 6 months.