Monday, June 20, 2011

LIBEN part 3

Looking at the photo that my SVG chose for the second part of Liben, which we thought would only take 20 mins tops and ended up taking more than 2 and a half hours, reminds me of my earlier years in Prague when all these cows started appearing on the streets around the city in the least expected places such as the one outside the main office building of HP in Budejovicka for example. The cows all had an original design, usually designed by a well known local artists or individual and the theme was connected with the cultural identity of the country and the idea was to raise money for charity. I think that is was called the CowParade.

Armed with a map and 2 digital cameras we set off for our cleaning up of the streets of Liben and the streets of Liben do need a bit of attention as do the buildings generally. What we found quite surprised us and by far the diamond in the rough was a brewery pub in the entrance to the hospital at Bulovka, also what we must add on a more topical note due to the recent release of the movie Lidice which is centered around the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich during the 2nd World War though the actual street doesn't exist, happened close to the hospital.

Review no. 1

This was, as I said before, our big find in Liben. It is situated in the entrance to Bulovka hospital and the unique thing about it is that it brews its own beer on the premises and on the menu we noted that they have around 10 beers but not all of them are available at the same time. On this particular day there was a list of 5 beers on offer chalked up on a small blackboard. They also have a very nice food menu. The focus is on traditional Czech food which means only one thing to me and that is cheese. For the people who need to be on line they have WiFi though when we visited there was a problem with the password and we weren't able to solve it before leaving but I am sure that it was just a glitch. I went for the pickled cheese again and it was very good I have to say, probably one of the best that I have tasted and my SVG had the grilled hermelin with green peppercorn and a compliment of cranberry sauce on the side. The food was very well presented and also very good. We would definitely go there again and would recommend it for its service, food and unique selection of beers and the price was also very reasonable. The restaurant seats about 80 I would say and the majority of the tables are those typical long wooden benches so ideal for groups up to 50 possibly or more if you had the whole space to yourself.

                                             Richter brewery

Review no. 2

I must admit that I haven't been to many Pakistani restaurants, well to be exact and the other one is in Zizkov but I have been to many Indian restaurants and a hobby of mine is preparing traditional Indian food from scratch, so I am a bit of a snob when it comes to Indian food and I much prefer my home cooking to what you can find in Prague's Indian and Pakistani restaurants. Rana interestingly though has a neat little twist. They are a Pakistani pizzeria and as you walk in on your left is one of those typical wood burning pizza ovens.
When I arrived, which was about half an hour late, my SVG had already got stuck into some veggy samosas so I ordered a beer. I wanted an 11 degree Staropramen because that is my favourite but they only had the 10 degree, so I was a little disappointed but after one of my SVG's samosas I soon forgot about it. To be honest I don't really know the difference between Indian and Pakistani food and I assume that most of the dishes are very similar. It is also to do with the fact that in the past they were the same country, so I was familiar with most of the dishes. I went for the lamb biriyani which came mixed with the rice and I am used to it coming separate but it looked nice and the lamb was tender. My SVG had the aloo tinder which is a potato and baby pumpkin dish which comes with a mild creamy sauce. She enjoyed it even though she did admit to being a little stuffed, that doesn't mean that the portions were large though they were very generous, it just means that she doesn't have a big appetite. Personally I had no problems wolfing down the biriyani and if I had a complaint it would be that biriyani is a dish that should look very colourful and the sauce and rice should be served separately but the this one came as one. Overall it got the thumbs up. Good food, service and decor plus WIFI I must also add and if you are really greedy then you can order a pizza to take away. They do have a delivery service as well on their website and you can also have the Pakistani food delivered as well.



Other places of interest

Cooking school                                       Pension and camp                   

Manana music bar                         Home made pies

Restaurant & bar Fantomas
Na vartÄ› 3

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nusle & Vinohrady loose ends

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Hello to all my enthusiastic followers. I would like to apologize for the long wait, to be honest I hadn't fully considered how much work would be involved when I started the blog at the beginning of this year, but also I am amazed at how much ground me and my SVG have covered. The information that we gathered for this week's blog for example took a whole weekend and frankly we were surprised at how much it took in but not as much surprised as we were when we saw the Orient Express passing over a rickety old bridge in the underbelly of Nusle and this is what makes us come out week after week, taking photos and discovering new and interesting things about our city even though my SVG is getting slower and slower (she won't like me telling you this bit of info) and bigger and bigger, she still insists on coming out and walking the walk. It is like a bug and very hard to explain, it has become a big part of our lives now and we will not stop until we finally completely colour in the whole map of the Prague district though I think that it will be solo mio in July and August unless someone in Prague would like to come out and get involved, if you do then just post a comment on the Facebook page and we can take it from there.
This week we covered the parts of Nusle and Vinohrady, which is already in 4 parts, that we had missed out, not due to our clumsiness but due to the unclear nature of the map and walking around those streets it was quite funny to be walking down a road which on one side was Vinohrady and on the other was Nove Mesto, but in those situations we just made a judgement call and this is what we found.

Review no. 1

I had been to this restaurant back in 2002 so I still had fond memories of it, because it was a good experience in a Czech restaurant and in 2002 the only Czech restaurants that I had visited were mainly in the centre and my opinion was not very high, so here we were again and because it was Czech I wanted to have the pickled hermelin but I went for another czech stalwart, the fried cheese and I even had a choice of hermelin, eidam and niva which is a typical czech blue cheese and was recommended to me by my SVG, but I wasn't feeling so adventurous, just the thought of deep fried blue cheese sends alarm bells ringing in my head and I went for the hermelin which is not the normal cheese of choice for a smazeny syr. I was not disappointed, the cheese was hot and gooey and the oil that it was cooked in was clean, which is a good indicator. The tartare sauce did come in a packet but that is the Czech way, not that Czech tartare sauce is anything like the tartare sauce that we used to serve with goujons of sole in the places that I worked but it compliments the fried cheese well. My SVG had green beans with dill and cream with mashed potatoes, all tasty, fresh and home made and would make any vegetarian happy. All in all the price was reasonable, the place felt very cosy and inviting and the waitress was very professional and we would go there again when looking to go Czech.

                                        Restaurant U Kaspara


This week we thought that we would make it a little more interesting by asking the people of Prague to recognize new and interesting places, so here is a newly opened restaurant in the Nusle area and it serves my favourite Czech beer Svijany so if you can tell me the name and address of this place, which has a bit of a nautical feel to it, and get a photo of yourself in the exact same pose, we, my SVG and myself will invite you out to dinner during one of our weekends discovering Prague. You can post your answer on the Facebook page and we will get back to the lucky and well informed winner.

Other places of interest

Books and wine                                      Tearoom

Baretta cafe                                 Greek specialties            

Violins' atelier                             American Retro Store         

Airsoft shop                                Balance bikes