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Španělský ptáček

Španelský ptácek, a rolled beef dish with bread and potato dumplings, from Lokal in Prague, Czech Republic

What: Translating as “Spanish bird,” this dish is not at all avian or Spanish, but is beef (often veal) rolled up with various foods—boiled egg, bacon, sausage, pickle, mustard—stuffed inside, all of it stewed and served in a rich gravy with the usual dumplings. It ain’t pretty to look at, but it’s what’s inside that really counts, right?

Where: We tried the beef-bird at Lokál (two locations including Dlouhá 33, Praha 1), a long, narrow restaurant that’s done an excellent job of reviving homemade Czech cuisine with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

When: Mon-Fri, 11am-1am; Sat, noon-1am; Sun, noon-10pm

Order: Španělský ptáček (119 CZK), or “rolled beef” on the English menu, which tasted here like a nice piece of brisket stuffed with goodies including egg, fatty bacon, and pickle, swimming in rich brown gravy. Mop it up with the two types of dumpling provided, potato and bread, and pair it with a fresh-from-the-tank pilsner. Also great here is the tatarák and pečená vepřová krkovička (i.e., vepřo-knedlo-zelo), or roast pork neck served with cabbage and dumplings.

Alternatively: Try Olympia (Vítězná 7, Praha 1, map), one of the Kolkovna’s chain of good Czech pubs near the center of town.


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