I am spoiled rotten. I was born and raised in New York City; home court for aspiring foodies. Not every New Yorker can tell crawfish from shrimp, partridge from pheasant or a demi-glaze from a reduction, but many of the 10 million can.
It’s taken some adjustment living in Brno. There is no Whole Foods or Trader Joes. You can’t choose between hipster pop up restaurants on a subway or Gordon Ramsey’s latest endeavor for a night out. The farmers market is overflowing with the same produce stocked in Tesco and Interspar. Most people here prefer a filling 79 CZK lunch menu to a culinary experience.
While this isn’t New York, it is a vast improvement over some of the other places I’ve lived. Surprisingly, the restaurant scene here is far better than Rijeka, Croatia or Hobart, Australia (the last two cities I lived). Both cities were homes to serious food production (farming in Tasmania and fishing on the Croatian coast), but the food never seemed to make it to the table. There is a small, budding foodie scene in Brno. I’ve been here less than three years but, even in that small time, there has been marked growth.
Most of you readers are probably friends of mine (definitely at the start). I may not be the best cook, but I love to try. And try I do. Some weeks I’ll have chili night on Monday, Vietnemese night on Thursday and a barbecue on the weekend. I also love trying restaurants. Fine dining or pizza window, I love finding the one that delivers the best bang for your buck.
So this is a labor of love for me. Whether tipping off friends on which steakhouse is worth the money, where to find the cheapest quinoa, who has the best meats, or where you are most likely to get a ripe avacodo, I love passing along that info. I delight when native Brnovians (who knows what the proper term is, but I figure that’s better than Brnomons) ask me for advice on a restaurant or café choice.
The Brno Expat Centre has been a great source of help and information since I’ve been here, and Jan and Lucka have become great friends along the way. Last year we collaborated on a Brno Foodies informal event and it was wildly successful. I’ve always been tempted to blog about food. When Jan asked me if I was interested, it was just the kick in the pants I needed.
My ultimate goal is to give Brnovians a comprehensive guide of the Restaurant, Café and Food Shop scene here. Most important, this guide is for you; the expats. Moving to a new city is hard enough. Dealing with the local bureaucracy, getting lost every time they do construction on the trams, or feeling out of place as everyone jabbers away in Czech is enough to get you down. Finding the best places to eat and buy ingredients should be easy.
I hope I am up to the task and feel free to weigh in on the comment section. I’d be happy to answer questions (if I can) and am always on the lookout for good tips.