vegansaurus!

10/08/2010

A vegan guide to Prague: Having a Clear Head  »

I’ve been in the most beautiful city in the world for over a month now. Really, look at how beautiful my beloved Praha is!

The first bit of Czech I learned was, predictably, Jsem veganka (or Jsem vegan for you dudes out there). The first restaurant they told me to go to was Lehka Hlava; it means “Clear Head,” and it has easily one of the dreamiest interiors I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. My first time there, we were seated in the very intimate one-table room called the Rainbow Room.

The menu is mostly vegetarian, but the vegan items are clearly marked with a handy-dandy symbol, and the vegetarian-that-can-be-made-vegan meals are also clearly marked. I decided to get bulgur risotto with stir-fried tempeh, spring vegetables, and sun-dried tomato and peanut pesto.

The portion size was like, double that of my head—that’s when you know you’re getting bang for your buck (I mean, think of any nice restaurant in the Bay that will give you two heads’ worth of food for 135 CZK, or just under $7 US). I mean, really, two heads’ worth of food; look at the tomato slice for scale! Though the pesto was super-intense and there was a lot of it, I cleaned my whole fucking plate. I gained like five pounds by the time I finished, but it was soooo fucking worth it, and I felt it was sort of nutritionally balanced because they didn’t skimp on the tempeh, which was perfectly seasoned, by the way.

My friend and roommate (gluten- and dairy-free) got a tabbouleh salad for under $5 US. I didn’t try any, but was assured by both her and her empty bowl that the salad was super-filling and delicious.

As you can see, Prague is CHEAP AS FUCK. As in, this is a beautiful, fancy, sit-down-for-at-least-two-hours kind of joint, and the most you’ll pay for an entree is about $8 US, if you splurge. But they do charge for water (unless you’re smart enough to get the lunch special, which is $5 US for soup, entree, and water, but isn’t always vegan). I have since visited Lehka Hlava for Sunday brunch twice, and its sister restaurant Maitrea thousands of times for lunch, but my camera broke. So further pictures will have to wait!!

Lastly, to the haters that said I couldn’t be vegan and live in Prague: you were categorically wrong. There are many many lovely establishments, and, my Bay Area friends, I will show them all to you! In due time. When I get my mom’s camera in the mail. Which could take a while, but I’ve been czeching every day (zing!).

[all photos by Brianna]

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