Saint Nicholas Cafe
Looking for beer and Becher, Brewsta and friends visit this atmospheric Malá Strana cellar bar
"Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited."
I was planning a meeting with the English Patient and a couple of Irish friends.
We needed a place for a drinking session. Food was an afterthought.
Location was an issue -- Malá Strana was requested.
Saint Nicholas Cafe was chosen.
The exterior wasn't much to look at, with beat-up, patchy, painted walls.
After stepping through the first set of doors, the entrance to the cafe inside a passage is slightly more attractive.
Inside, slightly below street level, is a dark, atmospheric, and even historic space. The owners say the building dates back to 1554.
There are often expats seated at the bar. Saint Nicholas Cafe is not far from a number of embassies.
They also say the decorative painting replicates the style of a much earlier time. There is certainly a patina on the walls. Whether it is from age, cigarette smoke, or both, I cannot say.
As I said, the main order of business for us was alcohol.
Becherovka and beer to be specific.
The four of us consumed 18 Becherovka shots (50 CZK each), 6 half-liters of Pilsner Urquell (40 CZK each), and 4 half-liters of Gambrinus (33 CZK each).
A typical English-Irish meeting. Damage inflicted on all sides.
For the uninitiated, Becherovka is a liquor flavored with cinnamon, anise, and 32 other herbs that supposedly have medicinal qualities.
It is 38 percent alcohol, which was the only medicine I needed.
As the session stretched into the evening, we decided to order food. The menu options were limited. We settled on three pizzas.
We sampled a Margherita pizza with tomatoes and onions (105 CZK).
There was a diavola pizza with pepperoni, onions, and some red and green cherry peppers (145 CZK).
And a Hawaiian pizza with the standard ham and pineapple (125 CZK).
My memories of these pizzas somewhat hazy. For example, I don't recall what that white cheese in the middle of the diavola was. But I do remember some basic details.
On the positive side, the crust was good and crunchy. Also, the price was nice. I have the receipt to prove that.
Otherwise, all the pizzas were fairly unremarkable. I'd certainly get one again if I needed food support during a prolonged beverage-oriented mediation.
I have to confess, I was feeling pretty dead when we were done. I'd had my share of drinks, washed down with pizza dough.
But I knew what to expect -- it wasn't exactly a meeting of saints.
Perhaps if I do a little more editing...
Saint Nicholas Cafe
Prague 1 - Malá Strana
Tel.: (+420) 257 530 204
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April 22nd, 2008
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