I went to Klara's Restaurant in Cary, NC, tonight. It is a Czech-themed restaurant, and as such the menu is a hit -- very traditional Czech fare, with a small selection of rare (in this country) Czech beers.
We started with a couple of appetizers -- one big hit, one big miss (you will notice a theme here). The Fried Brie was a big hit -- perfectly fried, nice flavor, served on a bed of greens that didn't get in the way of the FRIED CHEESE. Seriously -- this was a hit, but an easy one! =) Also, it was served with cranberries, but that's a new world item -- it should have been lingonberries to be traditional. J. Betsky's in downtown Raleigh serves such dishes with real lingonberries (just sayin').
The other app we ordered was the Cutting Board -- basically cold cuts, cheese, and the star of the plate, a kielbasa. It was awesome. The brie on this particular plate was too plain, the hard cheese was stale, and the mild blue cheese was actually quite good. The cold cuts were disappointing -- I could have sworn that was store-bought bologna.
For main dishes, I got to try four different items. In order of deliciousness, high to low, they were:
1. Pork Schniztel -- perfectly cooked, served with a lemon wedge as it should be, GIANT helping that we could not stop eating. Yum. Come here JUST FOR THIS. I am a believe in Betsky's, but this schnitzel might be better.
2. Beef Goulash -- beef was over-cooked, but not too badly, and the sauce was good (although it needed a little salt).
3. Sunrise Chicken -- Mascarpone cheese and sundried tomato sauce, which was good, on a plain, unseasoned chicken breast. Seriously -- I can make that at home for $4. It's not that it was bad, just that it was boring. And $16.50.
4. Szegedin (Pork) Goulash -- This may have been the worst pork I've ever eaten. Terribly overcooked, very tough. The meat in goulash is supposed to be fork-tender; I needed a knive to gnaw through this stuff. The sauce was a congealed, flavorless, light brown tragedy.
So, get the pork schnitzel. The chicken schnitzel looked good, too -- although the guy who ordered it ate it so fast that I didn't get to try it. I guess that's a good sign.
For beers, I had a Primator Maibock, which was pretty good, and a Bakalar Double Bock (not "dopplebock" apparently -- the bottle itself said "Double Bock"). The Bakalar was good enough to get another. Good match with the heavy Czech food.
I didn't get to try the potato dumplings, which is a Czech specialty. They also have strawberry-stuffed dumplings on the dessert menu, which I failed to try (that pork schnitzel really filled me up).
I might go back if I'm in the area, but only if I REALLY want schnitzel. This review would have been two stars if not for the schnitzel. There were enough misses on the menu to keep me away from exploring any further.
200 S Academy St, Cary, NC 27511