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Beer … and other Czech Priorities

"My sister lives in Oklahoma." He says this with a slight crinkle of his nose ... We are talking to Ludvik, the chef and owner of the best (maybe only?) restaurant in Tynec Nad Savazou, a small town on the banks of a river 50 km south of Prague where we spent our first night. I say, "Oklahoma! They stole our basketball team from Seattle." His face lights up. "Ah ... you know (insert some basketball player I have never heard of). At my blank look he mimics shooting a hoop. I'm busted. That's the end of my basketball talk, but obviously Ludvik is a fan. We met Ludvik when he came out of the kitchen in his chef's apron at the bequest of his staff, who immediately called him when they saw two non-Czech speaking hungry people walk into the restaurant. Ludvik had welcomed us and took us to a table and then personally translated the entire 5 page menu. All of it. I tried to ask him just to recommend a dish, figuring he's the chef and probably had other things to do running a kitchen at dinnertime, but nope. We needed to know all of it. Ludvik was magnificent. There is a lot to like about the Czech Republic. The most immediate "like" coming to mind is the 15 Kronar (75 cent) glass of very drinkable local vino I'm enjoying as a write this post at a Vinotecha at our next stop, Tabor, CZ. Here, the beer and wine cost less than juice, water or soda. The local wine ... still learning about the wines here but I've been very surprised at the quality. And the beer is great and a national pride. The sanctity of that beer is taken very seriously. In fact, our third day of cycling took us to the Bohemian town

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