Saturday, March 28, 2009

Prague Pub Crawl

On our last night in Prague, we decided it was time to create our own pub crawl/beer tour. There are several of these geared at tourists which range from 3 hours (including dinner) to a full night of clubs. However, it was Sunday night, we already had a favorite restaurant where we intended to eat our last dinner (except it was closed so we didn't) and we knew which local beers we wanted to try so we went rogue on this one with incredible success. There were some ground rules, we could not drink the same beer twice, we each had a must have, we would drink no more than 6 half liters each and a photo must be taken of each beer. The night was about to start off with dinner at our favorite restaurant, Geronimo. This was our favorite restaurant because it was right next door to our hotel, already served us 2 delicious dinners and was super cheap. Besides, they had Patrick's choice beer on tap so we could knock that one out early. I should mention that the Czech Republic, like Germany, is a beer country. That being said, we were surprised to find that each bar/restaurant only had one or two beers on tap. Sometimes one restaurant would have the same beer offered at 2 or 3 different levels of potency (10, 11 or 12 with the price reflecting the increase in alcohol %). Moving forward, we found the Music Cafe where we decided to have dinner and our first beer of the night. The appetizers and atmosphere were up to par (funky but not touristy) but neither of us were satisfied with out main dish. Gambrinus was on tap and we had out half liter but it was not our favorite, it was by no means a bad beer but it didn't leave a lasting impression but I would go back to this restaurant and have the schafkase appetizer with a non-local main dish, I can't handle those dumplings! We were off and looking for Budweiser since it managed to elude us all trip. I observed a sign earlier so we headed to what we thought was a pub. Upon entering, we were told they would close at 9p,. Unaware of the time due to a dead battery in my cell phone, I mentioned that we just wanted a beer and asked if we would have time for a Budvar (the local word for the brand). This is where everything unraveled. The woman who greeted us told me they only had one type of beer, Pilsner Urquell in bottles. Disappointed, we walked out and reread the menu posted outside. It appeared that what used to be a restaurant was now more of a cafe serving cake, ice cream and coffee but instead of removing the light up Budweiser sign, old menu and name of the former restaurant they simply added another (smaller and unlit) sign proclaiming Lamborghini Cafe - only Italians would find this acceptable! After taking the strassenbahn back and forth between the same two stops for 10 minutes, we found another bar very close to our hotel advertising AND serving Budweiser. From the outside this place looked impressive, large light up signs with multiple logos, a fresh coat of paint and a side street location reassuring us it is not a tourist destination. Don't judge a book by its cover. When we walked inside, this is what we saw. It looked like it may have been decorated by the owner of a Greek restaurant complete with pastel walls, random decoration, and blue carpet on the floors. There was also a sectional sofa in one corner and a DJ set up in the middle of it all complete with a keyboard and light setup. But the entire place was empty except for a handful of locals hanging out in a small side room who said something to us in Czech when we entered. I quickly ordered our 2 Budvars and took in the atmosphere...
I'll leave you in a bit of suspense as you will never guess what was about to happen. We were so surprised, we broke one of our own rules and had 2 of the same beers in the same location.

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