Pass the salt!
There are two "Country Life" restaurants in Prague, but I will review the main one on Melantrichova, because the other one is more of a snack stand, and doesn't have the same earthy ambience.
First, let me start by saying I genuinely enjoy health food. Seitan, bulgur, goat cheese, carrot juice: bring it on! But to make healthy foods and vegetarian foods tasty and interesting, you need to play with spices. I love Country Life, but the food really is a bit too bland. It would seem they start each day with a bushel of fresh vegetables and then pour everything into a big ď¿½health-foodenatorď¿½ and out comes two things: a lumpy, pale green type of mush and runny, orange goop with chunky bits. I say this with all respect. Iď¿½ve eaten there many times and I adore the friendly, casual vibe, the fresh squeezed juices, and the unique, hand carved furniture. But the various things that are laid out day after day just really start tasting like theyď¿½ve been cooked in the same pot and somebody forget to add zest.
A place like that should have a condiments bar, in my opinion, where you can help yourself to mustard, soy sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, garlic salt, wasabi, sea salt, dried onions, salsa, etc. All of these items are fairly healthy, and all of them are VERY necessary for adding some much-needed dimension to the food. There is a small container of salt at each table, and just watch the locals go nuts with it. They know! Pepper would be a welcome addition ď¿½ but nowhere to be found. I think the prices they charge (by weight) are just high enough for what youď¿½re actually getting (local vegetables in season) that the management could swing this.
The way it works at Country Life is that you take a tray and plate as you begin scooting down the service line. Salad comes first, but you canď¿½t browse around to see what things might make interesting combinations. My advice: take a small portion of the soy sauce (very good) and some sprouts ď¿½ you can sprinkle these items on the mushy items you pick up down the line. Pick up a bowl of soup ď¿½ you can then put the potatoes you get a few feet further down into the soup, as well as any bits of vegetable that are dry or boring, for a chunky stew. Grab a dollop of salad dressing from the salad bar and use that as a dressing on a tofu burger from the fridge ď¿½ voila! Juice and tasty. You just have to be a little creative. And don't forget to stop in at the little store next to the restaurant - one of the few places you can get egg-free mayonnaise and rice milk.