Czech Republic is landlocked right at the heart of continental Europe. It is surrounded by Austria, Germany, and Poland which is why the traditional food consists of a lot of meat and thick sauces.
The most common meat is vepřové, or pork, and it is always served with knedlíky, or what they call dumplings, to soak up the gravy. All dishes almost always come with zelí or sauerkraut.
Meats are often roasted or baked. We were lucky enough to enjoy a plate of rožněné selátko, or grilled piglet. Thankfully, it came with a serving of vegetable salad. When we were hungry—which was more often than you can ever imagine—we ordered the combo plate of pork, špekové or duck, and sausages.
For a more homey meal, meat is stewed for hours to make goulash. We tasted a delicious one in thick sauce that used dark ale.
Game is usually served on special ocassions. We had rabbit in sauce flavored with thyme and ostrich meat served with pasta. The rabbit was nice but the ostrich just tasted like tough beef.
We usually split one appetizer to prepare ourselves to eating copious amounts of meat for the main course. Poléka, or soup, is the traditional start to a meal but we also had brewery cheese sprinkled with paprika and klobásy, or grilled sausages.
We even had baby octopus carpaccio served with arugula greens and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.
We rarely had dessert but we spoiled ourselves with strudels and other pastries for breakfast or as snacks during the day.