Gastro in Brno: Two Signature Dishes That Will Transport You To Mexico
They say that smell and taste are the most nostalgic senses. In fact, the concept of a “Proust’s madeleine” refers to stimuli that evoke a specific memory, as in one of the most famous scenes in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, when the main character eats a madeleine that transports him somewhere else by means of remembrance.
Brno being as multicultural a city as it is, the restaurant scene is rich and diverse, which is all you want when choosing where to sit (or take away)! The problem comes later on, when the menu is full of options you are unfamiliar with. Maybe you don’t know the language, or maybe you simply don’t want to see your company’s choice look tastier than yours, again!
To you I say, worry no more. I’ve been to two of the most iconic Mexican bistros in Brno, and I asked their staff to tell me more about their headliners, their top-of-the-chart billboard plates, their gallo, as we say in Mexico. Here it is what they have to say:
“Va, the answer is quite simple… our flagship is no other than our juicy Barbacoa recipe,” said Tomaš Kundera, owner of Bistro Bastardo. “By scrolling down the menu, you can have it either in tacos or burrito, or simply in all other options upon your request.”
However, in terms of nostalgia, there is one problem, he admits: “Unfortunately, we don’t do justice to the godfathers of this original recipe… the Aztecs. They dug a hole in the ground and cooked the meat on agáve leaves lined over hot coal. Sadly, our cocina is just not suitable enough for these old ways. On the other hand, we are staying on top of things as far as using the right and authentic ingredients… Barbacoa is our banger! Provechito!”
For Santiago Mioland, chef at the Blue Demon Bistro, their signature dish is the tasty pozole. “Pozole consists of a thick broth, usually based on hominy corn (nixtamalized corn), meat (traditionally pork or chicken), and a variety of condiments and toppings such as chili peppers, onions, radishes, lettuce, oregano, and lime,” he explains. “It’s a dish that reminds me a lot of my Aunt Paty’s house, who liked to prepare it so much that she even started a small business in her garage where she sold pozole. So, while her business lasted, every Saturday, my dad’s family would gather there to eat.”
Having finished both, licking my fingers and washing my hands, I can confirm that these are both delicious stimuli that certainly triggered joyful memories in me. But that’s me. Maybe these two dishes here in Brno could be someone else’s first taste of Mexican food, and that is only good news because in the future, they might have a more-than-positive “Proust’s madeleine” to remind them of this city’s amazing international food scene.
So, next time you are walking around the city centre wondering where to eat, remember these two winning options and don’t hesitate to order!