Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Olympia Delikastesy a Vína

Prague is not exactly culinary crossroads for international food shops and delis. If you are looking around for foreign foods to take away, quality choices are few and far between.

Sure, there are a few small Italian and Asian shops around, but if you want something a little more exotic, the options are practically nonexistent.

Take Greek food, for example. There is only one really good Greek shop that I know of in Prague: Olympia Delikatesy a Vína.* It is a small store, just off Vinohradská, not far from Flora Mall.

I'll tell you right now what brought me to this place and keeps me coming back again and again: Real Greek yogurt.

First, it tastes great -- very clean and light, with a slightly sour tang. No strong aftertaste. The Olympia deli usually has a big bowl of it behind the counter. It scoops out like ice cream and is so thick, it holds its shape. It is takes me straight back to the simple Greek breakfasts of vacations past. I pour a generous amount of honey over the top. It's breakfast. Or dessert. Or a late night snack.

Petty limitations like the time of day or night cannot be imposed on such a yogurt.

I don't even like yogurt. This, I love.

They also sell a different, pre-packaged Greek yogurt in container. It's not the same. I'd avoid this. They once sold this thinner stuff when they ran out of the real yogurt, and I was very disappointed.

I'm not sure if they use the same yogurt or not for their tzatziki, but it is excellent. A little on the salty side, with plenty of cucumber and garlic. It's great to eat it with a piece of good, crusty bread. There is sometimes freshly baked bread on sale, but not always.

V has a thing for marinated octopus. It is only lightly sour, with very little oil, and usually pretty fresh. She loves Olympia's version.

There are plenty of other things to choose from in the refrigerated deli case: Hummus, tamarasalata, stuffed peppers, dolmades (vine leaves in oil and lemon juice, stuffed with rice), grilled vegetables, a variety of cheeses, olives and much more.

I love dolmades and often get some when I'm there. I saw that the dolmades in the refrigerated case come from a very large can, so as far as I know, they are not made on premises. I don't have the prices in front of me, but I recall it is more economical to buy the dolmades in the small glass jars they have in the back. There are also a number of other Greek specialties in similar jars, like a lentil salad.

They often have a variety of Greek honey and phyllo desserts like baklava.

I didn't get a picture of everything, but it's a pretty small space and didn't feel like explaining myself.

However, I was just searching for Olympia deli's website (which I couldn't find), and I stumbled upon this great food blog, Cuketka.cz, written in Czech. Pan Cuketka is a very good food photographer and has many pictures from the shop, including a great picture of the case and a much better picture of the yogurt. The site looks pretty slick and has a lot of links to Tyden.cz reviews, but I'm not sure who's behind it.

A fair amount of Olympia's small space is devoted to wine, which is fitting, considering the name of the place. Zeus had a temple in Olympia and was the father of Dionysus, the god of wine. But I have to confess, I haven't really looked at what they have.

And as far as can tell, there was no Greek god of yogurt. But if you worship the stuff like I do, Olympia is still the place to go.

Olympia Delikatesy a Vína
Radhoštská 1
Prague 2 Vinohrady
Tel. (+420) 224 910 341

*Despite the name, this deli is not connected to the Olympia restaurant in Malá Strana. And it should not be confused with Taverna Olympos, a good Greek restaurant in Žižkov.

12 comments:

moanfunky said...

I love Olympia. They also have a stunning aubergine dip, a nice feta-paprika one, and really good real feta cheese made with sheeps' milk and not overly salty.

A fan said...

Reading your blog everyday, I find myself wondering, does all of this eating take a toll on your gut? If not, please share your secret.

Anonymous said...

hi there!

thanks for linking my site. olympia is no1 deli in town for me! i find your blog very interesting, do you mind if i do a little promotion for your site on my web? i appreciate your view on czech gastronomy (it's reallz refreshing) and i also admire the rate of your reviews! i think that a lot of my readers will do the same :)

pan Cuketka (www.cuketka.cz / info@cuketka.cz)

angel said...

I love this place! Been going since it first opened.I go for the fabulous and well priced wines (believe it or not Greek wines can be very good), olive oils, phyllo pastry (yes!), Greek cheeses (they have more than just feta), Total yogurt and I've got a thing for the giant white beans in tomato sauce. Another good deli is the Italian on Americka - the cheese selection is breathtaking and they do to-die-for marinaded anchovies, small roasted onions, duck breast prosciutto. I live on this stuff during the warmer months. Owners are very enthusiastic about their products. Does anyone know of a good Spanish deli? Really desparately seeking Arbequina olives, good chorizo, manchego, Albarino wine...Sorry for carrying on...this deli subject has obviously got me going!

Anonymous said...

Brewsta,

I do not want to be mean at all but how is it possible that you are incapable of even COPYING correctly the very name of the establishment you review?

Look at your picture of the shop and and see that its name is different.

Your knowledge of Czech is probably meagre (after how many years of living in Prague?) but you should be at least able to type the two-word sign correctly if you have a picture of it at your disposal.

Brewsta said...

1. Anonymous -- Thanks for pointing out the typo. I'll fix it. I looked straight at the photo of the sign and typed it incorrectly. I'm human, I'm doing a million things at the same time. I make mistakes. Why sound like a nagging wife and be such a troll about it?

2. Pan Cuketka, feel free to here -- I love your blog and wish I could make photos like that here. I do like to get visits. Even I have a hard time believing I've posted so much -- but I just keep eating and the writing just flies out.

3. Dear fan - believe it or not, I am not overweight (I could be a bit thinner these days, but who couldn't?) -- 185 cms -- 87 Kgs. I do minimal exercise. My secret? Thin parents.

It does take a toll on my wallet, though.

Kava said...

In all fairness to Brewsta and his spelling issues, "delikatesa" or "delikatesy" is not really a Czech word -- dictionary.com attributes the origin to the German "delikatesse" ("dainty"), which was later reformulated as an Americanism, "delicatessen," in 1885-90. It's not clear from this how the word wandered into Czech (I guess it could have come via German, French, or English). Anyway, misspelling this word has nothing to do with knowing or not knowing Czech.

Just thought I'd leap to Brewsta's defense here, since it appears some visitors to this site are more interested in policing the author's Czech grammar and spelling than they are in reading what he has to say. in fact, I wonder how many of these trolls actually have spotless Czech themselves? I'd reckon very few, if any ...

Anonymous said...

Kava, what you wrote is completely irrelevant.

"Delikatesy" is, of course, a Czech word, albeit of foreign origin. In all languages there are many words orgininally coming from other languages. Following your logic, misspelling "circumstance" or "beauty" would have nothing to do with knowing or not knowing English.

Kava said...

Misspelling "circumstance" or "beauty" would also have nothing to do with whether a guy has a good food blog either ... It's your posts, actually, I find totally irrelevant.

Brewsta said...

Thanks, Kava. Just got back from Brno.

Anonymous was partially right in a narrow, pedantic sense. I should have been able to type the name correctly. Can't argue with that. I literally stared at the photo and typed the wrong letter. It was just a space out. Happens sometimes. That's what editors are for.

Still, my sinless antagonist likes to throw rocks and twist it into a personal dig at my Czech skills.

Anon should think about this -- I have the power to delete any comment at any time. And there have been a fair number of unpleasant ones. But I never have. Why?

Because I'm more than comfortable letting people decide on their own if this person has a valid point about what type of person I am.

Or that this person is a petty, small-minded troll.

Anyway, the lesson here is that I should fire my copy editor.

Oh, sorry, I can't. That's me.

Max Bahnson said...

What a pathetic figure this Anonymus person seems to be. Is his or her only pleasure in life nagging bloggers with those comments?
Brewsta, your atittude towards this person speaks very well of you.
PS: misspelling words indeed has absolutely nothing to do with knowing or not knowing a language. Of course, the better you know it, the less likely you are of making such mistakes, but you will still make them.

Max Bahnson said...

By the way.
Olympia is really great. I always buy my olive oil there, and everyone should try their dried tomatoes in oil (one piece of advice, though, bring your own glass jar for them, the plastic container they put them in might leak oil if you carry in your bag, and it is not a nice thing to clean later)