Monthly Archives: January 2018

Czech Food and Drink

Are you craving some hearty, satisfying Czech style cuisine but you’re nowhere near the Czech Republic? Never fear… here are five inviting, authentic restaurants in America where you can sample the finest Czech style food and drink…

Although there are millions of people of Czech descent in the United States, Czech restaurants aren’t particularly common. We are not sure why, because the cuisine is some of the most satisfying and delicious you’ll ever find at a dinner table.

Pork, beef, dumplings, and home made desserts are key elements of a Czech style dinner. The meat is prepared in a variety of ways, from hearty stews and soups to baked or pan breaded. In several heritage communities across America, you’ll find a few gems, just waiting for you to stop by.

In no particular order, here is a list of five of our favorites:

Milan’s Restaurant: Brooklyn, New York

Milan’s doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once inside you are transported to central Europe. The comfortable and traditional decor melds well with the lovingly prepared meals.

You can also buy authentic packaged goods from Slovakia and the Czech Republic here, including bottled beer, soda, and grocery items.

Our favorites here? Cabbage soup with smoked meat, roast pork with sauerkraut and dumplings, all washed down with one of the four Czech beers on the menu.

Cafe Bohemia: Omaha, Nebraska

Just a mile south of the Old Market district in downtown Omaha is Cafe Bohemia. This cozy restaurant has been serving authentic cuisine since the 1920’s, at very reasonable prices. You won’t go home hungry, that’s for sure!

Cafe Bohemia is a great place to try swieckova, a sauerbraten style dish usually served with dumplings or potato pancakes. But if you’re not sure, don’t worry. The friendly, experienced waitresses will steer you in the right direction.

Klas Restaurant: Cicero, Illinois

The largest Czech restaurant in the United State, Klas has greeted diners since 1922. It is only open Thursdays through Sundays. The large interior room is decorated with original antiques and assorted treasures directly from the Czech Republic.

We like coming here for lunch. Lunches are served Bohemian style, with soup, salad bar, entree, two sides, and dessert. Cicero is a near west suburb of Chicago, about 20 minutes from downtown.

Moldau Restaurant: Brookfield, Illinois

A staple in the thriving west suburban Chicago Czech community, this is another comfort food gem. It is located on Ogden Avenue, about 10 minutes west of Klas Restaurant.

Moldau is a small, quaint place that does brisk business on Sundays. Come here for the roast duck and home made desserts.

Czech-Tex Restaurant: Snook, Texas

Like Chicago, south central Texas also has a large Czech heritage community. The little town of Snook, about ten miles from College Station, boasts Czech-Tex, kind of combination barbecue and old world place that dished up traditional dishes to your hearts content.

The Eight Worst Holiday Food and Drink

Holidays are not only a time for family and friends, but one of the times where food plays a big role in the celebrations, with special holiday food and drink that we all like to have. Delicious dinners, rich appetizers and all those yummy deserts are just as much a part of the holidays as the decorations and gifts. And at this time of year we’re all (even those of us who usually eat healthy) in the mood for a little indulgence.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that most of us will gain about a pound between Thanksgiving dinner and the New Year’s celebrations.

Sure that doesn’t sound like a lot, but the research also finds that this extra weight never comes back off.

So to help you keep your calorie intake under control, we’ve pulled together eight healthier options to the traditional holiday treats we all enjoy.

1) Cheese straws are made from a block of cheddar cheese combined with flour and as much as a full cup of butter. You’re better off snacking on pretzels, popcorn or some whole grain chips and salsa.

2) Swedish meatballs are a delicious appetizer but with a whopping 300 calories (just under half from fat) and include white bread, butter, heavy cream and salt laden beef broth. Choose a handful of mixed nuts of shrimp cocktail, or use some of the lighter recipes available.

3) Eggnog has not one redeeming nutritional aspect, and it’s easy to see why with things like sugar, eggs, whipping cream and bourbon. Instead choose beverages like hot chocolate or spiced cider. You might also try lighter versions of this holiday favorite if you simply must indulge, and remember to watch those potion sizes.

4) Stuffed potatoes while rich in vitamin C and fiber, when laden with cheese, sour cream and butter take a good thing to a bad place. To make them healthier use low fat dairy products, add good for you onions or spinach, and try turkey bacon or herbs for added flavor.

5) Creamed spinach is another case where holidays take a healthy veggie and add cream, butter and cheese to create a dish with more than 75% of your saturated fat for the day. Use low fat milk and light cream cheese instead of the cream when making this dish to save on calories.

6) Pot roast a popular and delicious part of the holidays, but even lean versions of this meat contain 7 grams of saturated fat. Add to that the calories from the gravy and you can see how the trouble starts. Consider lean beef tenderloin or the white meat of a turkey as healthier options.

7) Fruitcake does indeed have fruit, but it also includes plenty of butter, sugar and corn syrup, so that you’d actually be better off having a slice of pumpkin pie (about 250 calories/slice) instead. If this is your favorite, consider some lighter recipes and watch your portion sizes.

8) Pecan pie is centered around pecans which are a high calorie nut on their own, and then add sugar, butter and corn syrup to create a dessert where a single slice will deliver more than 500 calories, 20 grams of fat and 30 grams of sugar. Try lighter pies instead – apple, sweet potato or pear-cranberry versions.