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Hello again, it has been a while since I last put fingertip to notebook but here I am. Since my last interesting and revealing article on Liben I have been on holiday and admittedly gotten out of the sync of all things creative so I appologise for your long wait for this post on Smichov and hopefully we are back on track again, and next week you will be enthralled with our adventures in Holesovice.
Smichov Smichov Smichov, it is a frequently talked about place mostly in a negative way I must say, compared to the rest of the city centre but there are some very nice places to visit and it is surprisingly big. My previous knowledge relating to Smichov was the area surrounding the railway station, which is pretty run down to be honest but it is under going a transformation gradually, and as we see with Holesovice it will be very interesting to see the final outcome. Actually Smichov is a very big area. Unbeknownst to me it incorporates all of Andel all the way to Svandovo Divadlo, which is a very nice modern contemporary theatre putting on modern plays unfortunately in Czech, well unless you speak Czech of course then hip hip hip to you and if you head away from the river it goes as far as the Malostransky hrbitov.
The surprising thing about Smichov are the large green areas all of which are between Andel and Petrin but very nice and the views that you get of the whole centre are worth the trek up the hilly environs. There is also a city farm and a large playground for the kids and some very beautiful gardens but my favourite place is the Malostransky hrbitov, yes it is a graveyard but it just looks so beautiful. It is completely overgrown with moss and vines and it is closed most of the time but from what my SVG told me, you can make an appointment to go inside and walk around, so that sounds really interesting or as one American friend would say "Awesome".
Review no. 1
I have been to this restaurant before. It was a work's Christmas party so I only got to see the interior and it was one of those typical Czech cellar restaurants. You must have been to one of them, bare bricks and animal's head trophies hung on the walls and lots of wood etc, so it was not my first choice but seeing as I was with my SVG and friends, I let them decide on where they would like to eat.
I would describe the restaurant a bit like a Czech Berni inn. For all of you Nonanglophiles it is a chain of family restaurants that specialise in good value steaks and grilled meats with an emphasis on good value for money but not necessarily good quality produce but very generous portions and for families it is a great place to go but for someone looking for a sparkle of creativity or passion for their trade it it not so.
My SVG had the tuna steak with a pepper sauce and it came with broccoli and mashed potatoes. The picture tells the story and as for the tuna it had been frozen and was overcooked but apart from that my SVG licked the plate clean so she was satisfied, no complaints there. I had the shoulder of lamb with haricot vert or green beans and chips. The lamb was well done and the onion rings a bit too much on the dark side for my liking and the chips were the frozen variety, but the portion was very generous and like my SVG I polished the plate clean. I would describe it as a good home cooked meal. The way my mum used to cook it but for the gourmet probably not the most gastronomic experience.
Our good friends, well my SVG has first dibs on them so when we are going through a messy divorce in the future I am sure that they will not be offering me reassuring advice about looking forward and not looking back, Vanda (Slovak), I know this because she had a Slovak flag stitched on her back pack and Daniel (Polish) I also know this because he has a moustache and when he speaks it sounds like a Czech person with a hot potato in their mouth. Vanda had the fried cheese, again it was the frozen type but no complaints and Daniel had the pork neck with croquette potatoes. It was a nice portion and again he was happy with it. This place is great for a family dinner or with work colleagues and it is a cut above most restaurants. They have found their niche and are very organised, but for me there is not enough flair, and I wouldn't say that I am a snob but I love to cook and I like to see something with a bit of love creativity put into it that's all.
Steak restaurant Vesely Bizon
This week's photo was taken not too far from our review and it is also in Smichov. They have a very interesting light breakfast menu and a small range of light lunch options, so where is it? Get it right and I will buy you a light lunch with a beer.
Other places of interest
Columbian-Argentinian restaurant Cafe bar Hugo z hor
Specialties from Provence Japanese teahouse Koke Iwa Chashitsu
www.provencenature.cz Zubateho 3
Plzenska 38 www.thelittlegym.cz
Shared space / cafe & bar Shop with maps