In the stations of the northern German cities, on track 5 of the
Hamburger or in the basement of the Berlin main station, is sometimes a train, with the
has nothing in common with others. Amid the white ICE capsules with their aerodynamic
shaped locomotives lurking on the start signal like a sprinter in the block, his
chunky figure like fallen out of time. One of the light blue and white painted wagons has
larger, panorama-like windows, and if you look through them from the platform,
You can see a row of round table lamps, with silver pedestals that look a bit like the famous ones
Bauhaus lamp Wilhelm Wagenfeld remember. Their light falls on burgundy tables and
wide folding armchair almost in the same color.
It is this sight that heralds the unique atmosphere of the Czech Eurocity. The train travels between Hamburg and Prague four times a day. The entry into the dining car is always accompanied by a feeling of departure, however brief and profane the journey may be; the wine-red interior, the glass cabinet between the guest room and the kitchen with the rows of wine, sparkling wine and Pepsi-Cola bottles (strangely enough with the old logo) radiate a generosity that gives the passenger the feeling that everything is suddenly possible. Berlin, Dresden, Prague; why not continue to Vienna, across the Balkans to Belgrade, towards Istanbul or Odessa? The magical power of this place blends your own journey with the railway images of literature; in the dining car of the Czech Eurocity lives a sense of the old
as described in the novels Graham Greenes and Agatha Christies, of Jonathan Harker's adventures, the beginning of Bram Stoker's
from Munich to Transylvania. When the sealed interior of the ICE compresses time and space, the pure now, its fastest possible conquest of the passenger, the exact opposite happens here: in this dining car, the heart expands instantly, and in the light of the silver lights, images of images from distant places arise ,
The equipment of the train but only a romantic backdrop, if the food was not so good. In the great railroad novels of the early 20th century, it was always the descriptions of the food that aroused special longing, the "veal dish au Talleyrand" for Burgundy wine in Greenes
the "delicate cream cheese", which Hercule Poirot gets served at the end of a lavish menu between Sofia and Belgrade, before the news of the dead passenger spreads on the train, the "hors d'oeuvres" and the various "bowls" of the main course, the Felix Krull – disguised as "Marquis de Venosta", on the way to Lisbon – barely touched, because he is so fascinated by the natural history lectures of his table companion. Just these fantasies of former dining car menus increase the desolation of each visit to an ICE on-board restaurant, looking at the vacuum bag with lentil stew or chicken fricassee, which are warmed up in the microwave and bugsiert on the plates.
How different the situation in the Czech Eurocity: Here is actually cooked properly. When you enter the train restaurant through the small, bar-like vestibule, you can see in the open kitchen, the stovetops and the pans, in which the chef just pans the fried potatoes or prepared the Wiener schnitzel. (Next to him is a checkered dishcloth on which the fresh ingredients are spread.) According to the information provided by the Czech dining car company, electrically operated stoves are not, as one might think, bound to an older type of train or speed limit. The Eurocity between Prague and Hamburg runs with a speed of up to 200 km / h, is therefore only slightly slower than the ICEs, and the kitchens could just as well be installed in the German dining car according to fire regulations.
On the map are the classics of the Bohemian and the k. u. k. Kitchen, next to the Schnitzel also the famous "Svickova", a sirloin with cream sauce, napkin dumplings and cranberries, a homemade goulash soup, which deserves this attribute, and first class pancakes. Special mention must also be made of cucumber salad in the small glass bowl, which is prepared in the Czech style, with lots of sugar in the dressing. In the afternoons mostly Pilsner Urquell from the barrel is drunk, in big bulbous glasses; The espresso could also come from an Italian Osteria. All in all, the Czech train restaurant is one of the last places where this is served, what one calls the longing-loaded term of "home cooking", and it is logical, even necessary, that no fuss be made about it.