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Cafe Katja, Erwin Schottner and Andrew Chase's Austrian Comfort Food on Orchard Street in Lower East Side

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On 6/29/2016 at 1:06 AM, manolands said:

I've been to Slovakia and haven't had the Czech/Slovakian food (they're v similar) in a long time. This isn't a widespread cuisine in NYC either so pickin are slim for this food. Nevertheless, I went out to try the Koliba restaurant. I wasn't exactly blown away by it not that I was blown away by the food when I visited Slovakia as well (the food in the Czech Republic is probz better for a variety of reasons that would cause me to digresssss). I got the cod fish liver as I like that kinda stuff (big smoked fish fan particularly herring when it's great!!). It was fine just tasted like it had come out of a can or something. Perhaps that tuna fishy flavor is just the flavor as I haven't really had cod fish liver before but various other fish livers (another big love of mine). Nevertheless, it was interesting to try but not something out of this world amazing. I then got the smoked pork and roast pork combo with cabbage and sauerkraut and dumplings. The dumplings aren't in this cuisine like Pelmini or anything like that there more like wads of grains or bready etc etc in my limited experience. Anyway the dish proved rather bland and the quality of the meat was kinda eh. My biggest disappointment with this meal though was......THEY HAD A MINIMAL BEER MENU!!!! HOW CAN A CZECH/SLOVAKIAN RESTO NOT HAVE A BIG BEER LIST??? It could be argued that the Czech Republic not Germany is the king of beer (YESSSSS I SAID IT!!!!!). Soooooo whats my verdict of this resto.....ok. My thing is there really aren't many places to get this cuisine but this is one of those instances I would only go if your like "in the mood for this cuisine" otherwise it's just a sorta disappointing meal in my time going there. I would go back cuz I like this sorta food but honestly your better of finding a nice Austrian restaurant which isn't a disimilar cuisine or even German!!! 

PS: I know there are probably more including this "beer hall" I've read about BUT maybe you know more of them or indeed better ones!! Would love to know!!

Just to add: if looking for a good Austrian place instead, Cafe Katja in Manhattan has always been good when we've gone.

As for the beer halls, the Bohemian Beer Hall has always been a great big outdoor place to drink & used to be pretty much the only place of its type in NYC.  Now, there are many outdoor beer halls, including a decent one attached to the New Prospect Hall in Bklyn (the catering place that does the tv commercial "we make your dreams come true") so its not so special anymore.  And the food is just not anything other than a good way to soak up the beer.

I'm not sure about the Istrian Sports Club in Astoria.  It may be worth a look as well.  I'll just sit here and live vicariously while you do the field work.

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