Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

One more Prague pub

Zlaty RozenI’m strolling along Ceskoslovenske armady, the Czechoslovakian army street,  in northern Prague when I notice a sign promising beer from the Cerna Hora brewery. Since 1530, it claims. I had a few of their beers in Dublin recently, and that was really good stuff, so it is tempting to try them on their own turf. And, for once, there is a beer place that is not on ratebeer or in Evan’s book.

I decide to look inside the Zlaty Rozen, and it turns out to be a cellar restaurant. Five beers from the Cerna Hora on tap plus eight in bottles. And one of the beers on tap is the unpasteurized yeast beer.

There are families having a meal here, a few bureaucrats or businessmen. There is a sinister building on the other side of the street that looks like it belongs to the Ministry of Defense, so perhaps they work there.

Rather loud music. The decor is partly old brewery photos, partly seventies COMECON style.

The sklepni, the unfiltered beer, has a head like whipped cream. It is soft and smooth, then the hops creep up on you. Subtle, rather than an explosion of taste. Long lingering bitterness in the finish.

One more? The Granatis a pitch dark beer with a beige head. Roasted malt, bread crust, like when you left the bread in the oven ten minutes too long. A sooty sourness that plays along with the sweet malt. Truly great.

I must be on my way. I google the place, and see it has won several pub awards and has an excellent English web site. Not so obscure after all, eh? And no awards for the photos today, I did not have any intentions about focusing on the Chivas bottle!

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As cruel as always, this is an extract from his new book, Table Talk: Sweet and Sour, Salt and Bitter:

What is it with dirty jokes and country hostelries? I’m talking about those “fine dining” pubs, where “Dennis and Fiona welcome discerning travellers to relax, revive, savour and marvel in an atmosphere of timeless rustic elegance. No children, no smoking, no proles’ overalls. Dogs by prior arrangement”. In short, the sort of place that makes you fervently wish it were possible to order up bulldozers like minicabs.

Why is it that these places invariably have smutty cartoons in the men’s lavatory, involving badly drawn big breasts, a shooting double entendre and talking foxes? The prudish, leering hypocrisy of these men-only gags is an endearing staple of country hospitality, and I don’t want to be implicated in it when I’ve got my flies undone.

It goes on, of course..

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