Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Boulevard Bageterie

“There's nothing better than good sex. But bad sex? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex.”
-Billy Joel
What's better than a good sandwich, then?

Wait. Don't answer that.

I'm sure the list is long. Besides, there's no great need to waste time thinking about it. Prague is still not a good sandwich town.

Unfortunately, I'm a good sandwich kinda guy. So, I do have my own short list of places I go, like Yessi Cafe at V Celnici or Culinaria.

When I'm in the middle of Wenceslas Square, which is often, and need a sandwich, I usually wander up Vodičkova street to Boulevard Bageterie.What's so great about the place?

Not so much.

There really is only one reason I keep going back.

It's all about the baguette.

The meats and toppings, usually nothing too special, rest inside nice, long, warm, crunchy baguettes.

It really makes everything else taste better.

On my most recent visit, I had the Bruselská baguette (89 CZK).

It came with chunks of chicken, blue cheese dressing, and grilled onion.The chicken was actually pretty good here. It had a peppery flavor, but you don't get a whole lot. Or perhaps it looks like you don't because it was quite a long piece of bread. Loading it up with meat would be quite costly.

The onion spread was tasty, but there wasn't so much. I'm not a big blue cheese fan, and this dressing was very salty.

For a drink, I had the ice tea. I liked it a lot. It is made with lightly pre-sweetened real-brewed tea with real lime in it. Lemon would be better, but it was still just fine.

They used a somewhat non-standard, aromatic tea. It is served with ice or without, but if you get it with, they don't give you too many cubes. I like lots of ice in my tea.

They only charged 15 CZK for the drink when ordered with a sandwich. By itself, it was 29 CZK.

For dessert, they offered cakes, cookies, and brownies. But I decided to get a hot chocolate (39 CZK) to go on this cold and blustery day.

It was served in a small cup, with corrugated sides so you can hold it. It was super hot. I burned my tongue with the first sip. The hot chocolate was topped with a little whipped cream.

Underneath the cream, was a very thick variety of hot chocolate. Pudding-like. A skin will form on the top if you let it sit for a while.

I really do like the thick stuff -- my favorite is at Cafe Louvre.

But Boulevard Bageterie's really doesn't compare. It was on the bland side -- the chocolate flavor doesn't stand out.

It was not bad, but it is not exactly cheap, and there was no love there.

The shop itself was not bad to look at, with bright colors and graphics, and fairly comfortable seating. You can sit on a stool by the window and watch the people go by while a heater blows warm air up from the floor.Above the counter where you order, there were great pictures of the different types of sandwiches and their ingredients, which help you with your choices -- especially for non-Czechs. The menus were not in English.There was a refrigerator where this is a good variety of meal-sized salads (79-99 CZK). They had chicken Caesar salads, Caprese salads, and a Salade niçoise.

V really liked the niçoise (89 CZK) -- it came with sliced potatoes, boiled egg, baby spinach, baby tomatoes, and tuna.

She said she had to get two dressing packages with it though, because one was not enough. But her colleagues were impressed with it when she brought it back to the office and put it in a bowl.

V said the yogurt with müsli and fresh fruit (32 CZK) was delicious. They also have some bottled fruit juices in the case.

On another visit, I had the Brooklyńska baguette (89 CZK). It had sliced turkey, bacon, tomato, grilled onion, and mustard dressing. I guess this was my favorite one -- and not because I grew up near Brooklyn.I have a weakness for bacon. But the turkey was the weak spot here. It usually tastes a bit off to me, and again, there's not a lot of it. Maybe that's good.

Of course, I had to try the Americká baguette (89 CZK). This came with meatballs, Emmental cheese, grilled onions, barbecue sauces and something like mayonnaise.Not even considering the odd combination of toppings, this was certainly the worst sandwich I tried.

Perhaps meatballs was not an appropriate name. "Bread balls" would be more accurate.

I wanted to try their onion rings -- a 29 CZK additional charge with the sandwich.

Same problem. Call them bread rings. Stale ones, at that. They came with a strong blue cheese dip. Bleh.

They sell a few other warm sandwiches: The Frankfurtska (70 CZK) had grilled hot dog, cheese, bacon, peppers, grilled onion and "devil" sauce.

I had it a long time ago and remember not liking it much.

The Pařížská (79 CZK) had regular ham, Prague ham, cheese, and tomato.

They had a fried fish baguette (79 CZK) and they offer a special baguette sandwich that changes from time to time.

There were also cold baguette sandwiches, but I've never tried them. There was the Lososová (79 CZK) which came with smoked salmon, lettuce and cheese.

I saw one with prosciutto that looked decent with mascarpone cheese, and a Caprese (69 CZK) with mozzarella and tomatoes.

I've listed a lot of the other sandwiches here because the menu was not available online. And having surveyed the menu in the shop, I can also tell you one thing they did not have:

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

They have a few things that are better than that.

Boulevard Bageterie
Vodičková 21
Prague 1
Tel. (+420) 222 514 559

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The Lone Beader® said...

I'll keep that in mind! The Brooklyn baguette looks good! The Americka one... not so good. LOL. And, it does help to have good turkey. Also, not many places even in America actually serve PB&J's. You usually have to go to one of those 50's-style diners or a real delicatessen in NYC to get one. I also like the peanut butter & banana sandwich (aka.The Elvis, but he liked his fried).

Anonymous said...

I love Americká baguette. Here at Vítězné náměstí they make it pretty good! I just think they make it smaller and smaller. You should have seen their baguettes when they started here...

Brewsta said...

I dunno. The Americka meatballs didn't taste very meaty to me.

Anonymous said...

I used to like Boulevard but then they got rid of their Roastbeef baguette. My new favorite sandwich place is Express in Andel next door to Village Cinemas, the baguettes are extremely fresh and so are the ingredients. On top of that they make it in front of you, which is a nice touch.

Anonymous said...

If you like meatball sandwiches, you should probably try the one they have at this little cafe on the corner of Premyslovska and Velehradska, near Namesti Jiriho z Podebrad. It's called Press, and they have great coffee and homemade food, although it gets a bit crowded and smoky at lunchtime. The meatballs are really nice, actual meaty meatballs rather than starchballs, flavoured with ginger and coriander.

(No, I'm not a shill for these guys, I just love a good sarnie.)

Brewsta said...

That sounds good and in my area. Will have to try.