** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED **
“Vitáme Vás” is the Bohemian Cafe’s motto, meaning “we welcome you.” It is a place where all are made to feel welcome, including old timers who first came as kids and visiting firemen who want a fun-time meal with polka music setting the beat in the dining room. It is an immensely cheerful place, a vast, multi-room eating hall decorated with colorful old-country woodwork and pictures of men and women in traditional peasant attire; tables are patrolled by veteran professional waitresses in bright red dirndl skirts.
The traditional way to begin a meal is with a cup of liver dumpling soup, which is homely and homey; we also love the plain-dumpling, chicken-stock soup that is often available as an alternate. Every meal begins with a basket of chewy sour rye bread. The big menu includes American-style steaks and seafood, a quartet of specials every day, and traditional Czech specialties. Foremost among the kitchen’s accomplishments is roast duck – half a bird with crisp skin and flavorful meat that pulls off the bone with ease. We are fond of the sauerbraten, which is a stack of pot-roast-tender hunks of beef that are a joy to pull apart with the tines of a fork. We also like the Czech goulash, a vivid red, smoky pork stew. There is a large choice of side dishes, but the two for which the Bohemian Café is best known are dumplings and kraut. The former is a pair of saucer-size slices of doughy matter covered with whatever gravy your main course demands; the latter is a fetching sweet and sour mix, thick as pudding, dotted with caraway seeds. Whatever entrée you choose, it will come flanked by dumplings and kraut – an awesome presentation that is a challenge to all but the mightiest appetite.
Paper place mats remind diners that this restaurant is home of the Bohemian Girl Jim Beam commemorative bourbon bottle (there is a huge collection of Jim Beam commemoratives in the entryway); and the mats also list the lyrics to the house song, which has been used in radio advertisements:
Dumplings and kraut today
At Bohemian Café
Draft beer that’s sparkling, plenty of parking
See you at lunch, Okay?