Jáma’s 20th Thanksgiving

Jáma is the place with the longest running Thanksgiving dinner

Over twenty years ago Thanksgiving was barely heard of in the Czech Republic, let alone celebrated. Since the revolution though, various American bars and restaurants have set up all over Prague and there are now numerous places putting on traditional Thanksgiving meals. This year it falls on Thursday November 28th and while it may not be a Czech holiday, any excuse to have a big tasty meal is a good one. The place with the longest running Thanksgiving dinner is Jáma, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary of serving the meal in the capital in a couple of weeks time.

“We have been doing Thanksgiving meals longer than anyone in Prague,” says owner Max Munson. “At  our Steakhouse we are going to have 70 meals and at the Restaurant there will be room for 140, which is big but we can handle it. We have quite a few reservations at the steakhouse already.

“Also, it will be around 30% Czech clientele as there are a lot of mixed Czech and American couples,” he adds. That is presumably a lot different from those early years serving turkey and pumpkin pie to mainly expats, tourists and possibly a few curious Czechs.

“This will be our first Thanksgiving under new chef Martin Tomek and will be bigger and better than ever (which is not to say they were bad in the past). This is also the first time we’ve changed the menu, fine-tuning the staples and adding some new sides.”

Don’t worry though, the menu is still a classic Thanksgiving affair that has merely been improved (by adding more food). The starter will be a portion of Corn Chowder with the main course white and dark cuts of tender turkey, homemade stuffing, buttered mashed potatoes, Jáma’s own cranberry sauce, green beans with shredded bacon and glazed baby carrots. If there’s still room after that the dessert, on offer is ginger-cinnamon pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

Of course their usual range of drinks will be available at the bar (including their own contract-brewed Zemské Pivo which is “a 10° beer that tastes like a 12°”). As well as food and drink, the other traditional activity of watching American football will also be available for those who wish.

“In America the traditional NFL games always start in the afternoon but here it will be from 7pm which is perfect,” Max continues. “The whole place will be non-smoking for once. The back area near the TV is for watching the Thanksgiving NFL games, so instead of the question ‘smoking or non-smoking?’ it will be ‘near the TV or not near the TV?’”

Guests will be seated from 6pm on the Thursday and prices are 390 CZK per person for the three course meal and 190 CZK for children. With food, drink, entertainment and price sorted, the last thing to think about is dress. Anyone worried about what to wear can rest assured that it’s not going to be a formal evening.

“It will be a sit-down meal with white table cloths and plates set out when guests arrive but the dress code is just the traditional American fashion of casual dress, so for men wearing a casual shirt is fine.”

To book your place at the Jáma Restaurant visit: http://www.jamapub.cz

Or for the Jáma Steakhouse visit: http://www.jamasteak.cz

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