2:02 pm

Dining Faux Pas

So, I went out to dinner this evening, to one of my preferred restaurants, U Básníka Pánve. I ordered one of my favorites, the boar goulash. In the mood for a green veggie to go with it, I also ordered a side of … wait for it … steamed broccoli!

What? You aren’t shocked? The waiter was. "But, the goulash comes with dumplings!" "Yes, I know." "So, you want the broccoli instead of dumplings?" "No, I just want a green vegetable." "But no soup or salad?" "No, that will be all." So away he went, shaking his head at the strange American.

Maybe if I had ordered a side of red cabbage, it would have gone over better. As it is, I’m left to wonder if goulash with broccoli on the side is really that disturbing to Czech sensibilities. I have ordered broccoli at this restaurant before, though I don’t remember whether or not I’ve ever done so with the goulash.

Both the goulash and the broccoli were fine, so at least the kitchen wasn’t too offended.

The menu, incidentally, contains some of really enchanting examples of quirky translation:

  • It took me a while to figure out that the "Lukul shrimps" are meant to be "Local shrimp" (although I’m still not certain where local shrimp could possibly be coming from).
  • The Moravian goose liver is "nifty".
  • Duck breast on torn lettuce with golden pear, walnuts and fig jam is "amazingly marinated".
  • The Maravian sour soup with home-made sausages and smoked knee (sic) is "smoothed with ripened cream", not topped with sour cream.
  • "Crunchy chick" is undoubtedly better than it sounds (it is described as a chicken breast marinated in Argentinean spices and stuffed with dry ham, cream cheese, coated with sweet corn flakes and almonds).
  • The home-made chocolate cake with forest fruits and whipped cream is "bombastic", while the strawberry and banana fondue with chocolate and Baileys is "amorous".

2 responses to “Dining Faux Pas”

  1. Jiri says:


    lukul shrimp is a quirky translation but definitely does not mean local shrimp, but rather “lucullan”, used after Lucullus ( Lukulské hody is a term quite often used in Czech (, quite often by people who have no idea where did it come from.

  2. dasmith says:

    Ah, thank you for that clarification. It certainly makes more sense than “local shrimp”.

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