Fresh Freaks Bistro – Brno, Czech Republic

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Fresh Freaks Bistro

Fresh Freaks Bistro is a relatively new restaurant in Brno. They specialize in gluten free food, and most of their food appears to be vegan/vegetarian driven, although they do have some meat dishes on the menu.

The restaurant is rather deceiving by looking at it from the outside. There appears to be one big open room that is minimally furnished, however there is a second room which is also fairly large.

It seems like a lot of college students come here to study, as it is a relaxed and inviting space.

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Chestnut Soup

The Chestnut Soup is not the most appealing thing out there. It has a slightly reddish, muddy hue. The soup brings out the natural sweetness of the chestnuts with slightly nutty hints. There is no cream in the soup, but it did taste like it was made with chicken stock. This was a surprisingly good dish.

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Quiche

The Quiche had a lot of things going on with it. There was sun dried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, basil, cheese and ground beef. The quiche was nice and eggy, and held together well. The addition of nuts and seeds put a healthy spin on a usually unhealthy dish. The quiche also came with a side salad composed of fresh lettuce and tomatoes.

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Mushroom Burger

The Mushroom Burger was nice and juicy. It came on a homemade bun, that was both thick and somewhat dense. The bun was like a cross between a muffin and biscuit. It tended to crumble fairly easily though. The burger reminded me of a meatloaf sandwich, more than a hamburger, but it was pretty good.

The specialties at Fresh Freaks appear to be coffee and tea drinks, fresh juices and smoothies. The restaurant is a great respite from the heavier Czech food found within the city. It is also a great option for vegetarian and vegans.

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Tripoli Restaurant – Brno, Czech Republic

Tripoli Restaurant is an Italian restaurant located near the city center. The restaurant has outdoor patio seating, in addition to inside seating. They do have menus in English as well.

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Grilled Eggplant

The Grilled Eggplant starter came two to an order. The eggplant was topped with tomatoes and mozzarella which came melted and bubbly. It was served with a side “salad” of sorts including a single leaf of romaine lettuce and a cherry tomato. Grilled bread was also accompanied the dish. A balsamic glaze was paired with the dish. The eggplant was tender, yet retained some texture. This was a good starter.

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Grilled Salmon

The Grilled Salmon came with a grilled lemon, and some toasted bread. The portion of salmon was decent, but it was slightly overcooked and a tad on the dry side. The dish would have been helped with some veggies rather than two pieces of bread.

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Caesar Salad

The Caesar Salad was a deviation from the norm, as it came with grilled chicken, capers, and bacon. The lettuce was crisp, and there is a lot of chicken. It is a little on the salty side due to the bacon and large amount of cheese. I could do without the capers since I don’t like them. The salad was a little heavy on the dressing, and the croutons could be crispy as they basically use toasted bread instead of making proper croutons.

The food is pretty good here, and a good change of pace from having Czech cuisine on a daily basis.

Hotel Europa – Brno, Czech Republic

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Hotel Europa

The Hotel Europa is situated about 15 minutes from the city center by foot. It is located in a quiet neighborhood, close to the university and Park Luzanky. The nearest tram station is about a 5-minute walk, which is fairly easy even with luggage.

There are a few steps leading up to the hotel. The front desk is straight ahead. Check-in was quick and efficient.

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Lobby

The lobby sports some quirky chairs, small dining tables and a bar.

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Closet
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Closet

Upon entering the room, the closet is located immediately upon entering the room to the left.

The bathroom is also located to the left. The bathroom is somewhat small with a single sink and little counter space. There is “counter space” located above the toilet, however.

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Shower/Tub Combo

There is a shower/tub combination with the dreaded half door. The most interesting and frustrating thing about the shower, is that the shower head is located right above the faucet. Unless you are a child or choose to shower in a sitting or kneeling position this is quite annoying. The shower head is hand held, but still inconvenient. Water pressure was great, however the temperature fluctuated at times.

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Luggage Rack

There is a luggage rack across from the bathroom.

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Bed

The bedroom itself is not all that large, but bigger than some that I have experienced in Europe. The bed consisted of two twin mattresses pushed together. There was separate bedding on each bed, so that quelled any fighting over the comforter.

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Desk

There was a desk in the corner, which was simple but adequate. There is a very small TV mounted on the wall, but I didn’t watch it too often.

There aren’t too many outlets in the room, and only one was near the bed.

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Breakfast Room

The hotel provides complimentary breakfast for all guests. The breakfast room is located in the basement, so sound can be a little disturbing due to the echoes. The décor is minimalist, as there are tables with red table cloths and plastic chairs.

I was quite surprised at the selection provided. There cold cuts, salad fixings, cheese, bread, pastries, yogurt, fruit, cereal, water, juice, tea, and coffee. Hot items included scrambled eggs, which were a bit runny for my taste, bacon, sausage, and mini-frittatas on one occasion.

The hotel does have air conditioning, and the room actually got pretty cold, which was a relief from the hot summer weather. The Wi-Fi in the hotel is also complimentary, and was lightning fast, which I really appreciated.

The rates were about ~$40/night during the stay, which I think is a total bargain. This is not a fancy hotel by any stretch of the imagination, but Brno isn’t a big hotel market to begin with.  There is a Holiday Inn and a Best Western, which I think are the only chain hotels in the city.  Although a little distance from the city center, I would highly recommend staying at Hotel Europa. All of the employees are friendly, especially the ladies working in the breakfast room, who clear dishes quickly and replenish food whenever it seemed to get low.

Zlata Lod – Brno, Czech Republic

Zlata Lod is a restaurant/brewery that is rather large. The restaurant is two stories, and the downstairs is also a night club, but I am not sure if that is nightly, or only on the weekends. I believe the restaurant is a subsidiary of Heineken.

I previously came here for dinner on a past trip, so tried some different items and went at lunch.

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Wild Board

The Wild Boar consisted of several thick slices that were cooked to medium. It was served with roasted garlic, and a small salad. The board was a little dry, but the depth of flavor was present, as wild boar is a little gamey.

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Burger

The Burger was cooked to almost medium well. The burger was juicy and flavorful. IT came with lettuce, tomato, a chili and bacon. The fries were thick cut, but could have been crisper. The garlic mayo had a nice kick to it.

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Garlic Bread

The Garlic Bread wasn’t the prettiest thing to behold, but the bread was crunchy on the outside, and buttery and garlicky on top.

Service was pretty lackluster on this visit. It almost seemed like the restaurant was closed during the lunch-dinner break, as we came fairly late in the day. It appeared that the bar area near the front of restaurant was kind of open for anybody looking for something to eat, but not hospitality and good service was not on the menu. The server who brought the check was also pretty pushy, as she basically said, “I’m going to add 15% to your bill”. If service would have been better, I would agree that a little something would have been warranted. I generally tip no matter what unless service is atrocious.

Moravian Fields – Czech Republic

The Moravian part of the Czech Republic, which follows the Morava river from the northern part and spreads out as it heads south. The region is largely agricultural, and depending on the time of year and specific region, along with a little bit of luck you will encounter breath taking landscape reminiscent of a Monet painting.

During a recent trip, I wanted to explore this region a little more, however being short on time was counterproductive to that.

I did get some nice shots, but nothing that compares to other shots you can see when poking around the internet.

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Moravian Fields
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Moravian Fields

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Moravian Fields
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Moravian Fields
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Moravian Fields
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Moravian Fields

Adria Snackbar – Brno, Czech Republic

Adria Snackbar is a casual restaurant close to the train station. It appears popular to both locals and tourists. The menu is primarily Italian influenced, but is eclectic otherwise. Service is rather, and wait staff must be flagged down for almost everything from ordering to getting your check. We ate here on several occasions so this is a composite of all of the dishes we tried.

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Grilled Salmon

The Grilled Salmon was a rather large portion that was nicely seared on all sides. It was a tad overdone, but remained mostly moist and flavorful. It was served with a lemon wedge and balsamic vinegar drizzle to add some acidity. The small side salad kept the healthy theme going.

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Gilled Vegetables

The Grilled Vegetable platter was a mix of eggplant, zucchini and peppers, which were nicely charred. The vegetables were softened in the cooking process, but remained some of its texture as well. The veggies were nicely seasoned, and had a bright olive oil finish.

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Adria Salad

The Adria Salad contained a decent amount of lettuce, and a few tomato slices. Green olives were piled high on the plate, along with a hefty amount of cheese. The entire salad was topped with enough ham to host an Easter dinner. There was an herb dressing that thankfully did not drown the salad.

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Sirloin Steak

The Sirloin Steak appeared somewhat naked on the plate, as the only garnishes were a lemon wedge, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and two cherry tomatoes cut in half. The steak had a nice sear on the outside, and was cooked to a nice medium rare. The steak could have used more seasoning however.

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Chicken Breast

The Chicken Breast in cream sauce was sitting a large pool of thick, heavy cream with a generous amount of mushrooms. The chicken was cooked nicely, and remained tender. There was an odd garnished of peeled carrots.

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Fiorentina Pizza

The Fiorentina pizza was topped with ham and mushrooms. The toppings were fairly generous amount of mushrooms, and about half of the amount of ham that was in the salad. The amount of cheese was surprisingly sparse. The pizza was a little undercooked, as it was a little pale with only spots of charred areas.

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Quatro Stagiano Pizza

The Quatro Stagioni pizza was topped with ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives. Unfortunately, canned mushrooms were used on this pizza, and was sparsely used. The amount of artichokes was generous and the acid added a nice punch of flavor. The ham was evenly distributed throughout, as were the olives. I am not a big fan of green olives, so those remained uneaten.

Adria Snackbar serves consistent food at a reasonable price, but service was spotty. The employees there are friendly however.

Stopkova Plzenska Pivince – Brno, Czech Republic

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Stopkoza Plzenska Pivnice

Stopkova Plzenska Pivnice is located in the historic center of Brno. It is a restaurant/bar that seems to be patroned by locals and visitors alike.

I had read bad things about the service here, but did not experience any of that. We came in the later afternoon when the restaurant was not that busy, so maybe that had something to do with it. The staff did not speak English that well, but they did have menus in English and tried to communicate the best they could.

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Bread

The meal started out with a massive bread basket that would have been enough for 4-6 people.

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Chicken Wings

The Chicken Wings was served on a big wooden platter. The portion size was very generous and was served with a small side salad.

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Garlic Soup

The Garlic Soup was rich and dark in color. It was a fairly clear broth with streaks of oil floating on top. The garlic was soft and sweet, toned down by the soft croutons.  The soup is very hearty, and great on a cold day. The soup did not have much spice to it, but was still good.

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Schnitzel

The Schnitzel was a variation of the norm, as it was made with turkey. It was well cooked, as it remained moist inside, and had a nice crunchy outside. It was served with a side salad to help cut through the richness of the schnitzel.

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Beef Cheeks

The Beef Cheeks were braised in a white wine sauce and were very tender and flavorful. It was served with a root vegetable and potato puree, which added an earthy punch to the dish. The side salad added a fresh component, and also helped to lighten the dish up.

Overall, I thought the food was pretty decent and did not run into the service issues that some have had in the past. Trying to stay away from the classical, heavy Eastern European dishes in Brno is somewhat of a challenge as most restaurants doing other types of cuisine fall a little short. But for mostly classical dishes this is a good choice.