My brothers and I, after a good meal, tilt our heads just like our dad does. It means we are full and we are happy. With some variation we all say, the first part almost a grunt, “Mmm. That was good.” And then look to the rest of the table for agreement to dispel any disbelief that the meal was just a dream.
Last night I had one of those meals.
Tábor Czech Food is one of my favorite food carts, home of the Schnitzelwich. I had read about a restaurant swap on both Food Carts Portland and Eater PDX. The owner/chef of Enzo’s Caffe Italiano is traveling in Italy, his home country, for a few weeks. Rather than close the restaurant during his trip, he worked out a swap with his friend, the chef at Tábor Czech Food. For three weeks (Thursdays through Sundays until June 24) the Italian restaurant becomes a Czech restaurant.
Enzo said that he chose Chef Karel because of their similarities: they both left their home countries to come to the U.S. and both prepare traditional dishes of their home countries. I can’t imagine how much work it must take to step into a restaurant for a few weeks, but what a great idea. Plus, it means I’ll have to head back to check out Enzo’s Italian restaurant.
As I’ve been watching the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, I’ve been reminiscing with a friend about the foods we ate during our junior year abroad inVienna. We traveled a lot, but you never had to leave Vienna to sample the foods of Central Europe. I miss those foods. The restaurant swap came at a perfect time to satisfy my craving for foods of Central Europe.
I had the chicken paprikash with spätzle.
Mmm. That was good.
Mmm. That was good.
Although I love visiting the food carts, it was pleasure to enjoy this meal at a comfortable table. And it means they could serve Pilsner Urquell.
I wasn’t planning to write a post today, but last night as I tilted my head after dinner completely full and happy, I thought of my dad. A tradition has started in my family, that if we can’t be with each other for one of our birthdays, we go enjoy a good meal in their honor. Starting the celebration a day early, I raised my Pilsner in honor of Father’s Day.