Last semester, my school took everyone in my major to Brussels. This semester, we had the opportunity to czech out Prague to learn about transitioning economies. During the 14th century, Prague stood as one of the three great cities in the Roman Empire, alongside Rome and Constantinople. The Gothic and Romanesque influence is still apparent in most of the buildings.
The highlight of our trip, in my opinion, was the visit to the Skoda museum and factory on our first day. Skoda is an automobile manufacturer founded in the Czech Republic. It isn’t exactly well-known in the United States, but Skoda is the most popular car brand in Central Europe. In fact, the company was so successful that Volkswagen bought the company.
Skoda actually started out producing bicycles, because one of its founders was disappointed with the offerings at the time, most of which were foreign made. The company then moved from bicycles to motorbikes, motorized tractors, and finally cars. The museum has a great display of all their models and utilizes a lot of touch screens.
One car in particular that caught my eye was this black model. Our guide informed us that this particular car was made for a horror movie. When the driver stepped on the car’s gas pedal, his or her blood would be drained. That’s right; you’re looking at a vampire car.
We also got a tour of some of Skoda’s factories. No pictures were allowed, but the efficiency and teamwork in these factories are seamless. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the final assembly building, where the cars are finally put together. Apparently, there were prototypes of a new car model being made there, hence the secrecy.
After the factory tour, our bus dropped us back in the Old Town where we were allowed free time to get lunch. We didn’t have much time before our lecture, so a few of us just walked into the first decent-looking restaurant we could find. In this manner, we chose an Italian restaurant called Ristorante Italiano Buschetto.
One of us ordered the Fettuccine aglio olio (250 CZK), a classic, simple pasta dish made only with garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, a simple dish is also usually the most difficult to execute. The girl who ordered this pasta found it bland.
Another person had the Spaghetti con pomodori secchi, cappary, e olive (250 CZK). It’s a pasta dish made with dried tomatoes, capers, olives, parsley, roasted bread crumbs, and garlic. The capers were used too generously in this dish, not a good thing since they were so large. The girl who ordered this pasta ended up picking them out, but said the dish was not that bad once she could taste something other than capers.
Two of us shared the Risotto Buschetto (270 CZK), which had chicken, dried tomatoes, garlic, spinach, and Parmesan cheese. The risotto was disappointing. The rice was undercooked, and the dish was watery as opposed to the creamy risotto one would typically find. We both had to put a lot of extra cheese on top to help absorb some of the extra liquid and prevent ourselves from eating soup.
The last person in our group ordered the Spaghetti Viva Italia (260 CZK). The pasta is mixed with chicken, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, and mozzarella cheese. This was the only pasta that received a positive review in regards to taste. However, the girl also noted that, while good, the dish might not have been worth the price.
Our meal also came with complementary bread rolls. The homemade garlic and herb butter was delicious, and it probably would have been all gone if the rolls had not been miniature. It is sad, though, when the complementary butter is the most raved-about food of the meal.
All the dishes looked like they had small portions, but I think that the big plates were just deceiving. We all left full, even me and the girl who shared one dish. This positive point, though, cannot overshadow the fact that the taste of the majority of the food fell short.
Ristorante Italiano Buschetto
Vaclavske namesti 39
Prague, Czech Republic (Praha 1)