Dining Out: Plevel

This neighborhood vegan favorite is mostly a win

Julie O'Shea

Written by Julie O'Shea Published on 16.07.2014 09:32:18 (updated on 16.07.2014) Reading time: 4 minutes

Restaurace Plevel


  Show all

Full disclosure: I like meat and milk and cheese – lots and lots of cheese. Up until a few weeks ago, I had never given much thought to tofu nor considered what lasagna might taste like raw. Or pizza for that matter. How was that even possible?! I wondered incredulously while browsing Plevel’s online menu a few days before slipping into the vegan-raw hotspot in Vršovice for lunch.

Despite my skepticism, I went with an open mind. The raw food movement, after all, has been quickly gaining traction with festivals and parades dedicated to healthy eating choices sprouting up around Prague over the past couple of months. More and more restaurants also seem to be offering vegan and raw options these days.

I was definitely a little late to the party. But Plevel, which opened a year ago, is regularly packed with neighborhood devotees – always a promising sign – and seemed like the perfect, unpretentious place to began a foray into a world without meat, cheese, milk and ovens.

Dining Out: Plevel

Spread over two carefully decorated floors at the top of Krymská, the space is warm and inviting (though on hot summer days perhaps a little too warm). I took particular delight in the floral wallpaper and the flea market-find furnishings. It almost feels like dining in someone’s private home. There is even a piano at the top of the spiral staircase and intricately painted murals on the restroom doors, as well as the wall behind the bar.

As much as Plevel’s raw menu intrigued me, I kept things simple on that first visit, sticking with risotto cooked in white wine (150 CZK) and a side of homemade focaccia bread (70 CZK) with bolognese sauce. My groupie, also new to the vegan scene, opted for the kebab (135 CZK), which came wrapped in warm pita bread filled with hummus, bell peppers, tomatoes and vegan meat that looked and smelled surprisingly like the real deal.

Dining Out: Plevel

The homemade lemonade was disappointingly already gone, though it was barely past noon. Our waitress, however, suggested we order pear juice (20 CZK), and she’d dilute it in a pitcher for us. It was a nice gesture and sounded like a good idea at the moment but was not really much of a substitute. A pint of Herold (39 CZK), the draft beer on offer here, would have been a better choice.

As for our entrées, I generally have an unconditional love for all things Italian, and Plevel’s description of a “creamy risotto” with wild mushrooms and garlic sounded divine.

Meh. Not really sure “creamy” is the best adjective, at least not on the day I visited. It seemed the kitchen had used half a bottle of white wine to make this dish, which overpowered just about all the other ingredients and gave the risotto a watered-down, soupy texture. The focaccia bread was a lovely supplement, though a bit on the salty side.

Dining Out: Plevel

The vegan kebab, on the other hand, a definite Plevel specialty, hit all the right marks – the pita bread was crisp, the veggies plentiful – though it too was extremely salty. (A ploy to get us to order more beverages? Hmm.)

By the time we finished our main courses, the upstairs dining area had emptied out. I watched our server meticulously clear the other tables, waiting to see if she’d wander over to ask about dessert.

No such luck. I had to go downstairs to place my order for panna cotta (55 CZK), made from coconut milk and topped with strawberry sauce. Only later did I notice a wall on the ground floor listed freshly baked desserts of the day. Had it been pointed out earlier, I would have no doubt gone for a slice of cake.

Dining Out: Plevel

Feeling a bit conflicted after that first round, I decided I needed to call in an expert. Returning for dinner the following day, I brought along the Veggie Queen, who was more than happy to go raw. She ordered the lasagna (170 CZK) made from zucchini and layered with tomato sauce, fresh basil and garlic pesto. An overall enjoyable dish, though points were taken off for excessive salt. The Queen paired her main meal with a bowl of cream of celery and potato soup (50 CZK) and an amazing grilled bell pepper stuffed with tofu and spices (80 CZK), which we happily split.  

I was tempted to try the vegan version of a traditional Czech classic – the menu listed svíčková and wholemeal dumplings (170 CZK) as well as a vegan roast with cabbage (165 CZK) – but in the end, went for the Thai curry (165 CZK), described as a “beautifully aromatic exotic delicacy.” That might be overstating things a bit. It was your typical curry mixed with zucchini, squash and fresh coriander. The meal was good but almost overwhelming spicy. I was only able to finish half, and doggie-bagged the rest.

Dining Out: Plevel

By the way, I finally got a chance to gorge on Plevel’s elusive homemade lemonade. This, folks, is a must. The offering that night included grapefruit, goji berry and bezinka. I sampled each and am pleased to report they were all sweetly satisfying.

I can’t say I’m a convert exactly, but after dipping my toe in the vegan-raw food sea, I’m ready and willing to wade a little deeper. Baby steps.

Restaurace Plevel
Krymská 2-Vršovice
Tel.: 273 160 041  
Web: www.restauraceplevel.cz
Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-10pm; Saturday-Sunday 11am-11pm

Photos by Michael Heitmann / http://mheitmann.ch/

Dining Out: Plevel

View Prague Restaurant Reviews in a larger map

Related articles

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more