Jun 232012
From Food Cart to Restaurant for Three Weeks: Tábor Authentic Czech Eatery

Two days remain to experience Czech cuisine at a brick-and-mortar restaurant here in Portland, Oregon. For three weeks until June 24, Karel and Monika from the Tábor Authentic Czech Eatery food cart will have served their home specialties at Enzo’s Caffe Italiano on NE Alberta Street while Enzo vacations in Italy. Not only is this “unique and trailblazing collaboration” an excellent instance of utilizing spare business capacity, the narrative on the reverse of the menu claims it’s the first instance in town of a collaboration between food carts and restaurants.* […] Continue reading >

Jun 152012
Home in Two Places: An Interview with Olinka Broadfoot

I discovered the Prague-born artist and Portland, Oregon, resident Olinka Broadfoot about two years ago at a new gallery in SE Portland. Being an artistically-inclined nerd, I loved her circuit board series. Then two weeks ago, that now-defunct gallery’s owner Kelley Roy, who now runs ADX, told me Olinka’s new studio is in the Ford Building, where I was heading for the First Friday Open House. I missed Olinka at the studio but left behind my American Robotnik business card, and we arranged a conversation last week. We chatted in English. American […] Continue reading >

May 172012
Czech Theater Coming to Town...With Your Help

Join my new Ahoj PDX friend Kateřina Bohadlová on Wednesday, May 30th, at MacTarnahan’s Taproom for an evening of music and merriment to benefit a not-for-profit project of the Czech contemporary theater company Geisslers Hofcomoedianten. A founder of Geisslers, Kateřina is bringing the Prague-based troupe to Portland for dates from October 15th to 18th.  In addition to nightly performances of Moliere’s “The Miser” (see clip below) Geisslers Hofcomoedianten will also lead workshops with with students at PSU and Lewis & Clark College, exchange experiences with local artists, and meet with the community. For […] Continue reading >

Nov 302011
Praha My Prague: A Micro-Memoir

This is a reprint of a guest post I wrote for Czechmate Diary. Enjoy! *** “I’ve been to Prague,” is the most frequent response I hear when I tell Americans I’m from Slovakia (“Where is that?” and “Czechoslovakia?” are close behind). Prague looms large in many people’s imagination, and every time I hear the sentence, I think of ‘my Prague’ and the layers upon layers of memories the city conjures. The Velvet Prague I visited Prague for the first time when I was 12 1/2, with my parents in […] Continue reading >

Nov 232011
Happy Marinated Thanksgiving!

This is my first Thanksgiving as an American citizen and the first to which I’m contributing a dish. I planned to make a Slovak desert, using a recipe from SlovakCooking.com, but because baking seems like a pretty major step in my Slovak cooking forays, I opted for a dish that requires no cooking. The Ghost in the Pantry‘s final post was a recipe for marinated Camembert, a Czech pub specialty (the Czech recipe uses Hermelín cheese, which is closest to Camembert). Plenty of marinated Camembert recipes live online; I like this one because it asks to slice […] Continue reading >

Nov 222011
When the Birds Confer to Tell the Tale

Whether it’s a testimony to my cultural isolation or Penguin Press’s marketing prowess, I learned about “The Conference of the Birds”, the new book by Petr Sís (Peter Sis), on All Things Considered during last Wednesday’s evening commute. By a stroke of luck, I met Petr, a Czech émigré living in the U.S. since 1982, only five days later during his book-tour stop here in Portland, Oregon. In his presentation Monday at Powell’s City of Books, Peter gave a whirlwind tour of the book’s origins and story, of his life/career […] Continue reading >

Nov 212011
Staropramen Is Prague in a Bottle...Almost

There is no shortage of Czech beer brands in the U.S., at least not in Portland, Oregon. Pilsner Urquell is unsurprisingly ubiquitous, both on tap and bottled. The real Budweiser (Budvar), sold here in individual 0.5l/16.9 oz bottles as Czechvar, has in the past few months become a staple in Safeway’s and Fred Meyer’s beer coolers. Lion (Lev), Rebel, Žatec, Primátor, and Bakálař brands are all available at beer ’boutiques’ or international grocery stores. But to discover Staropramen Lager (courtesy of my hockey buddy Brian Schmonsees) was like discovering […] Continue reading >

Nov 092011
The Dark Secret of Bakalár Dark Lager

Fall is ale season. As the Pacific Northwest skies darken, rains commence, and temperatures drop, I transition from the lightness of refreshing lagers to a more grounded feeling of darker brews. This could spell doom for Lager Field were it not for the assortment of heavier lagers available on the local market. I found Bakalář Dark Lager (Tmavý Ležák) from Pivovar Rakovník (Brewery Rakovník) at the Belmont Station beer store. Though I’ve learned to enjoy ales over the years in America, I approached Bakalář Dark Lager with skepticism. Even though […] Continue reading >