club serves Sunday supper with suds
article by Linda Bladholm,
of the Miami Herald. Published, Janurary 5 , 2006.
Miroslav Dusek holds his breaded pork schnitzel. Linda
Bladholm/For The Miami Herald
Czech-Slovak Cultural Club is hidden in a three-acre compound
along the Arch Creek River in North Miami. Every Sunday the
members-only club is open to the public for supper serving
up sumptuous Old World feasts with many types of Czech beer,
shipped in giant kegs.
Now that the weather is cooler, this is the perfect time to
go for Chef Miroslav Dusek's roasted duck, schnitzel the size
of a plate, and roast pork encrusted in horseradish, served
up with sides of sweet-sour red cabbage, sauerkraut and dill-flecked
The clubhouse resembles an enlarged two-story cabin, with
a quaintness that comes from a structure that was built in
the 1920s and added on to over the years. It was originally
known as the Sorenson farm, owned by a Norwegian. In 1949
the area had many Czech immigrants, and several started meeting
in a restaurant with the idea of forming an entertainment
and social club.
Within three months, 77 members had joined. They pooled their
bonds to buy the property, and the club soon became the hub
of the growing community. Today there are about 160 members
from all over the United States and Europe. The core members
reside in South Florida and keep the traditions alive, even
if it's just a quick parky-pause (sausage and beer break)
in the bar.
people quaff more beer than anyone in the world -- possibly
because they make Pilsner, considered by beer connoisseurs
to be the best lager in the world. The light-bodied, blond
brew has a unique bitter bite to the finish with a slight
buttery flavor and strong hops aroma. It was first made in
Plzen in what is now the western half of the Czech Republic
(formerly Czechoslovakia). Back in 1295, when the country
was known as the Kingdom of Bohemia, King Wenceslas II granted
the citizens of Plzen the right to brew and sell beer, and
the boom began.
Until the 1800s, most beer was dark and murky. That changed
when a monk smuggled some bottom-fermenting lager yeast out
of Bavaria and it ended up in the hands of a Bohemian brewer.
The combined yeast, soft water, native Saaz hops and home-malted
barley gave birth to Pilsner Urquell (meaning ``original source''),
also called the golden brew. You can try this on tap in the
club as well as Radegast, named after a Moravian king, and
Staropramen, an old Prague lager.
All go well washed down with the huge servings the kitchen
dishes out. The menu is limited, scrawled on a board by the
entrance. The prices are very fair considering you can bring
half home to make another meal. The food reflects the diversity
of the Czech-Slovak region with influences from Germany, Poland,
Austria, Hungry and Ukraine. Half chickens and ducks are roasted
until bronzed, then served with boats of gravy and beds of
huskove -- large, cloud-light dumplings, made from yeasted
dough, boiled and cut with a string into bread-like slices.
Rizek, as schnitzel is called in Czech, is breaded pounded
pork tenderloin fried up greaseless and crisp, served as an
entree or in a smaller portion as part of the sampler platter.
This also includes the daily special -- hope for chicken paprikash
in a sour-cream sauce; roast pork; hulusky, a type of spaetzle;
plus a helping of communally served tossed salad, soup of
the day (possibly cream of carrot or mushroom potato), dessert
and coffee. Don't forget the beer. Dobrou Chut! (Bon Appetit!)