You know, Czech has a formal and an informal “you” (think “tú” and “usted” in Spanish). And just like Jaromir Jagr, the Czech ice-hockey legend and Jan’s future husband (if his dream/nightmare becomes a reality), Martin hasn’t used the formal “you” in years. Yup, you had Martin at “hello”. You’re friends now.
He also has a very interesting background (and we don’t meant that physically): How on earth does a psychotherapist with an Austrian passport born in the Czech Republic become a butcher in Prague? Is it because stabbing dead flesh with a knife gives you more job satisfaction than dealing with problems of people who are alive? Well, that’s Jan’s theory. The fact is we hit it off the instant he appeared behind the counter of the Nase maso butcher shop, and we’ve been hitting it off ever since. He’s a big guy with an even bigger heart who’s main problem is that he doesn’t call Zuzi after the tour to tell her how it went soon enough because he just wants to make sure you don’t get lost on your way to the hotel so he just takes you there. Or for a beer.
And he loves food. Having travelled through most of the world (under conditions we sometimes find hard to believe - do commercial aircrafts really have a spare seat in the back?) and eaten just about anything, Martin knows good food and spends most of his free time trying to recreate the food memories he has gathered over the years. Want to meet him on Sunday? Check out the Vietnamese Sapa market, or the new Mexican joint that has just opened. Do you want to meet him at night? Just visit a popular pub or club. Because he just loves company, and the company loves him back.
Five Prague Favourites
The Sapa Market is where they scratch my itch when I'm craving Vietnamese food. It doesn't get more authentic and delicious than inside this warehousing complex. You feel like you’re really in Hanoi. People are riding bikes with pho in hand, and you have to speak with your hands and feet.
My favourite place is Hai Ha. You get the best Bun Cha there. It's s pork belly grilled on a outside grill with rice noodles and lots of fresh herbs.
The unpleasant thing: the screaming lady. She's the owner of this place and she is the one that rules there. So don't say something inappropriate or try to argue with her. She will scream at you and be very unfriendly. And trust me, you don't want that. Especially when she is the one who prepares your food.
The other places I love: Dung Lien. The best grilled duck Vietnamese style. Or Pho Tung, where they have the best pho noodle soup.
Besides that you, can shop the freshest veggies and herbs in the Asia market. Beautiful!
My workplace! I’ve been a huge fan from the first day they opened. We at Nase Maso love what we do. Best meat in town and it's hilarious working with these guys. It's fun and we are very proud of what we are doing. I applied for the job just out of fun and I’ve been stuck there over a year now. Never meant to work in a butcher shop but I cought fire from the first minute on.
My daily routine. It's around the corner from Nase Maso and my daily go-to coffee shop. Either they really have the best coffee in town or they trained me and spoiled me so much that I don't know the answer any more. Although I try many different coffees across town, I think Zdenek's and Adam’s is the best. There. I said it. (Drops the mike.)
Yes, I am Czech, and I'm a beer lover. Sue me. Pilsner Urquell never tasted that good in any other place I've been. Although the staff can sometimes be unfriendly and rude and the thick clouds of cigarette smoke can sometimes obscure your view of the next table, this will always be THE pub with the best beer. The whole interior and ambience is part of the Czech soul. The photos of former presidents and international celebrities remind you of the importance of this place. If this pub ever closes, the Czechs will lose a great cultural institution.
My favourite place in the summer. I remember watching a big statue of Michael Jackson on Letna (replacing the statue of Stalin who used to stand there) as a teenager. Yup, used to be a huge Michael Jackson fan. Please don't judge me. From this moment, this place has been magical for me.
The thing I like the most about Prague is how beautiful it is and how different it looks from different viewpoints. And Letná/Stalin is my favourite point of view. You have a beautiful view of the entire Old and New Town and the river with its beautiful bridges.
I always get a beer "to go" at Lokál nad Stromovkou and sit on top of the concrete stand. During the day there is one of the best skateboarding spots in Europe and during the night you can enjoy electronic music (or classical music) and just hang out with your friends.
FIVE FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Still a classic! He inspired me to travel for good food. Because of him, I wanted to travel to places I never thought of visiting. He has the same taste buds as I do, and he’s open to every new taste experience as I am. I get very curious when it comes to tasting strange new things.
Masters of the "nose to tail" philosophy. A London restaurant that makes wonderful things out of parts that are normally thrown away. Entrails. I love entrails.
Every good local food blogger from the destination I'm planing to visit next. Because the pleasant anticipation of what’s coming is the best joy ever.
The best recipe blog when it comes to authentic Chinese recipes. I loooove Chinese food!
To keep up with Prague’s hipsters ;)
My secret tip in Prague
For me the best part of Prague to live in. Many good places to eat. Two tram stops from the centre, and the Letná and Stromovka parks are in front of my door. The walk trough the Letná park during this time of year is simply breathtaking. I love being a resident of the Letná district!