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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Holešovice – the Phò and the Freaky

Following on from my previous entry, like I say after braving the crowds at the Hala 22 Farmers’ Market, it was definitely time for a breather and of course to think of my own much needed lunch. Bypassing the many and various greasy langose / burger / smažený sýr stalls scattered liberally around the market, I headed instead down one of the little lanes nearest to the Penny Market, where there is a little stand which (in contrast to the rest of the faux Chinese places in Pražská tržnice) has just a limited menu mainly based on authentic Vietnamese items.

On this day I went for my long-standing favourite of phò bò, a Vietnamese beef noodle soup which I developed a serious addiction to during my time travelling between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Of course, back in Vietnam each bowl of soup was served with a huge side tray overflowing with fresh mint, coriander, chillis, lemon, lime and beansprouts, which was more than I could hope for here – still, I’ve always found this stand’s version the best I’ve yet encountered in Prague, not to mention pretty cheap at just 70kč a bowl.

On a previous visit I also had the bún bò (or at least I think that’s what it was), a concoction of egg noodles and beef curry, which was also duly delicious, as well as infinitely better than the Vinohrady ‘Hanoi’ equivalent.

I’ve not yet been to the fabled Sapa, where apparently truly authentic Vietnamese food and ingredients abound, but there are still a couple of stands at Holesoviče offering a selection of soy sauce, fish oil, Asian juices (mango, tamerind, lychee etc), massive bags of rice or noodles, and a whole variety of other mysterious stuff tantalisingly labelled in Vietnamese.

And of course, phò and Farmers’ Markets aside, Holešovice is still the place to come if you are in need of a variety of deadly weapons...

outlandish headgear...

Karel Gott CD in a cardboard box...

freaky Moomin-like plastic toys...

gigantic underpants, holographic pictures of the Virgin Mary, and – most bafflingly of all – the seemingly ubiquitous over-sized, giant, furry dildo...

usually all from the same stall... :-))))))

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