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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.


Hybernia Needle House

Okay, due to some popular demand, I've decided to put my Sydney reports on hold for a moment and talk about my recent spring break trip to Prague and Budapest. I'm back in Boston now, and after a week of relaxing and good eats, I'm back to the grind of school as I approach graduation. I'll get back to the loads of Sydney stuff (as well as some residual SF and Vancouver stuff) eventually...



We had our first meal in Prague at a restaurant called Hybernia (aka the Needle House), just across the street from our hotel. I'd planned on most of our dinners for the trip, but I decided to just play the lunches by ear for the most part. I read some decent comments about Hybernia on the TripAdvisor page about our hotel. After a decent bit of flying, we were eager to just get some food in our stomachs. The restaurant has an upstairs section, and also a cavernous part going down into the basement. This actually seems to be the case with a lot of the buildings in Prague - they go really really deep. The decor was nice enough, but I have to mention our waiter had some vicious BO. It was a rude awakening that we weren't in America anymore...

steak tartare, Czech style - Kč 172 I decided to try this steak tartare served Czech style. It isn't much to look at here... in fact, I'd say it's downright unappetizing. The way they served it was to have everything completely separate, and let you mix in what you want yourself.

tartare fixins This plate of fixins (along with a few sauces and dressings) came on the side. Mustard, onions, country spice, chili, capers, Worschestire, even soy sauce - there was a ton of stuff to put in. I pretty much threw in everything and started mixing. Unfortunately, it seems that I forgot to take a pic of the finished product. It looked much more like your typical tartare.

fried bread The main distinguishing feature about this Czech tartare was the fried bread that it came with, along with whole cloves of garlic. You heard me right - fried bread. Oh man, what an absolutely brilliant idea. The waiter instructed us to mix up the tartare, throw on some garlic, and put it all on the bread. And boy was it delicious. The fried bread was crunchy (and quite oily), but still had a bit of doughy chewiness to it. I think this stuff beats the usual crouton type of thing that comes with tartare. I'm surprised I've never seen it used anywhere else. So the tartare was just alright, but the bread was freakin awesome. All for about $7. I would love to try one of the great steak tartares I've had with a side of the fried bread and see what that would be like. Seems pretty foolproof...

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Reader Comments (4)

woooo perfect yolk!!!
Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 2:48PM | Unregistered CommenterMina

Oh what a wonderful blog! and please believe me when I say that separate is a good thing.

I've been ordering steak tartare for 20 years in Paris and who better than I to know how much echalotte and how much tabasco to add. Preparing your own is a lovely and delightful prelude to eating it.

As far as your tartare is concerned I would knock off points for the fact that the meat looks like a prepared patty ready for the grill and not just like fresh beef direct from the meat grinder and also they could have cracked an eggshell in half and served the yolk inside of it. You can try this with a quail egg...so lovely and delicate.

But always, always insist that you want to prepare your own.

thanks again from one tartare fan to another,
Friday, March 24, 2006 at 7:38AM | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Indeed, they didn't use as good beef as some of the great tartare places out there. I'd say that was the main fault of the thing. The quail egg thing is very cool, I agree.

I do love the ceremony of mixing it though... and adjusting to your taste.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 6:14AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Che
Fried Bread? It's too good to be true!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 10:42AM | Unregistered CommenterErin Cooper

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