This Vinohrady pub serves Pilsner from the tank, but the laughably bad service means you might not get any
Slezská 552/4, Prague 2
Phone: (+420) 224 256 429
Metro: Náměstí Míru (line A)
Tram: Vinohradská tržnice
Pilsner Urquell: 24 CZK
Beer Temperature: 6 out of 10
Oddly, it was the beer itself, not the temperature, that elicited anger, confusion, and slight shame from our table, since we were all ordering Plzeň and received ice-cold Gambrinus instead. See note below about our waiter.
Atmosphere: 7.5 out of 10
The inside was small, ventilated, and depressing, with yellow walls and doily curtains, and lots of unregulated obliterated people of all sorts: teenagers, pensioners, students, drug addicts, former wrestlers, and drag queens.
It seemed to make people crazy, because my friend called me from inside the same pub wondering where the hell we all were. (It turns out there's another, separate location next door, also called U Dandů, that's slightly larger but just as drunk.)
Food: 7 out of 10
There seemed to be a secret "screwing up orders" agenda at U Dandů.
Out of eight people, I was the only one to order food, from a waiter who didn't understand anything anyone said, regardless of tongue. I can't remember what I ordered but I was served a four-meat kebab (99 CZK), dense as a brick of lead and smothered in whipped cream (thanks!), with plain fries on the side (25 CZK). Aside from the frosting, the meat was good, and the fries were about as good as they could be.
Just assume that you won't get what you order, since the waiter seemed to be on any combination of substances. Maybe order something you know you hate -- that way you'll be sure you won't get it.
Culture & Friendlines: 5 out of 10
While I wouldn't say that the place was friendly -- or cultured for that matter -- if you have a good sense of humor you could do well with U Dandů.
The waiter -- and yes, his strange presence will be the highlight of this review -- provided great entertainment, and gave us ample opportunity to laugh at his expense. He did speak English, however, with a sarcastic vocabulary large enough to call us all idiots, while making kissing noises at the girls who unfortunately joined us for this misadventure.
About this time, a large, heavily-bearded lunatic started to take over the table service, and this is when the beers started to get confused. "It's all Plzeň in here!" he cried, obviously lying. I let my annoyance show by raising an eyebrow. (You can't raise both -- it's impossible.)
Service: 6.5 out of 10
Normally, the service in any establishment arrives separately from the entertainment, but U Dandů managed to combine both. The waiter was dramatic, outrageous, incredibly forgetful, and unforgivably rude. I love this guy!
We had two beer glasses that were cracked from top to bottom, and when I requested ketchup, he snarled, in Czech, "This isn't fucking America!," leading me to believe that he'd hit his drunken peak. Prior to that, he was merely strange rather than malevolent. Either they didn't have any ketchup or this was his final fart on the evening, since he went home soon after that.
But the service was fun if you don't mind getting the wrong food and beer all the time.
Bathrooms: 7 out of 10
The bathrooms weren't the worst in the country, but exceedingly typical. At least there was no blood or vomit visible.
Garden: Not Applicable
If there was a garden or outdoor seating, I didn't see it. Maybe they were hiding at the other U Dandů next door.
Cleanliness of Taps: 8.5 out of 10
Not so shabby for a place run by drunken bastards.
This place was hilarious -- but not funny enough to return to. Its location, directly behind Náměstí Míru, makes it very convenient but everything was all wrong about this place, like finding yourself stuck in the desert with no water and five flat tires. I guess the shrieking denial of my ketchup request really closed the deal.
Sorry, buddy, but where I'm from, we get all the ketchup we can shove down our throats, and then some. You're right: If this were America, you probably would've been beaten down by at least half your favorite customers by now.
Anyway, go at your own risk. Or with a video camera.
FINAL SCORE: 6.8 out of 10
This review was written in May 2006.
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