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The worst meal of my life

Monday 17 June 2013

Really, I could just leave this post as this picture. Just a picture of that food and the title would be a good enough explanation.

I know that there are people in the world that go hungry every day. That I should be grateful for the fact that I get to eat at all.

But just take one more look at that picture, will you? And tell me it doesn't look like the rankest plate of food you've ever seen. I'm getting genuinely queasy just thinking about it.

It doesn't take much for me to fall in love with a place, but the ease with which I can get good food is at the top of my priorities. This is why I love Italy, France and Spain.

The food in Prague is God Awful.

I found this out on my first night, in a restaurant in SQUARE. Alarm bells start to ring as I walked in the door. Generally speaking, restaurants that are bang in the middle of a tourist hot spot are woeful. Just as restaurants with pictures of the food on the menu are.

We walked down into the basement, passing numerous corpses strewn across the walls. When I took my seat, I realised that I was sitting directly opposite a dead badger, which had been pinned, flat and spread-eagled, on to the wall.

I used to have a pet badger, of sorts. He would come to the back door of an evening, and scratch to be let in. He would eat soup. His name was Buster.

I didn't want to look at his flattened brother while I ate.

The waiter came around. 

"You! Lady!"

Oh, me? You're asking for my attention? Well why don't you just hit my shoulder with a plate full of gravy slops and spill it all over my arm? No, wait. You already did that with the guy sitting next to me. So, OK, a gruff "LADY!" it will be. 

I can handle bad service. Almost. Had the food been good, I may have also forgiven the "LADY!"

But let's just take one more look, shall we?

I think there were four different kinds of "meat" to play with. That large, flaccid, tongue like thing? I couldn't tell you what that was. Ham? Actual tongue? It tasted like armpit. 

The big knuckly looking thing? That would be an actual knuckle. The shiny little fella at the front? The devil's micky. Or a rancid sausage, one of the two. A greyish thing hid underneath them all. And I didn't attempt to go looking for him.

Underneath there were three different kinds of dumpling. Put away any warm thoughts you have of your mother's tiny fluffy herb dumplings in a stew (yum). Now image a cross section of a diseased cow's brain. Think about what that would look like. And then put it on a plate and put a KNUCKLE on top of it. In terms of taste? Let me think... soak a bath sponge in sawdust, somehow. It would be best described as Spongy Matter. 

I didn't think it could get much worse. Then this happened. 

It happened loudly. And constantly. And LOUDLY. 

In fairness, it did cover up the sound of my tears. So at least that. 

"The definition of a gentleman is one who can play the accordion, but chooses not to."

Those sage words came from a woman on my table, who is a vegetarian. At that moment, she was the wisest woman in the world.  

As I sat and wondered how long it would take for the various bits of flab, gristle and tendon to pass through my system, I thought about past bad meals. 

Even the ones which gave me food poisoning, I still think of fondly. I once ate a goat stew in Watamu, Kenya. It cost around 40p, and seconds after I ate it, I was running comically through the streets to get back to my lodgings before disaster struck. 

" Hey hey, girl! Why the rush? Why are you running?"

"Oh, you know... ha ha"

"Yeah we know! You run!"

You know what? That was a good stew. 

1 comment

  1. I couldn't have agreed more, the food and service sucks in Prague.


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