Review: U Ferdinanda

Read this week's LivinCity review of Malá Strana's restaurant U Ferdinanda

This week the in-laws came visiting from Bydgoszcz, so that could mean only one thing and that was smazak with hranolky and beer. Fortunately I had decided to visit Mala Strana for the blog and although I knew that there would not be a shortage of places selling fried cheese with chips. I also knew that my decision would not be an easy one to make.

Mala Strana used to be my local haunt back in 2000 and very often at the weekends I would visit my favourite local Irish bar Scarlet O'Hara's and much later on when I was finally kicked out I would head over the bridge to my favourite night club Lavka. Scarlet O'Hara's was hidden down the side passage of where McDonald's is on Mostecka, though it has sadly long since gone.

During those days all the streets had been dug up and no trams went through for a good 6 months so it was difficult for me to get there without a bit of a stroll but I was younger back then and I was not put off by a wee hike if it meant getting a smooth, cold pint of Guinness and having a few drinks with a mainly expat crowd in Scarlets or JJ's.

As you can imagine this area is full of bars and restaurants, so choosing 10 places to visit is by no means an easy task but there are still a lot of places which have survived the early construction around 2000 and the floods of 2002 so out of respect to their resilience, I have included a lot of them in the article.

Review - U Ferdinanda www.ferdinanda.cz (Czech Web only)

So, where did we finally decide to visit with the in-laws? The answer is U Ferdinanda which is a small cellar hospoda close to Malostranske namesti. The cellar is very cosy and the staffs are very friendly and helpful. I had a sedm kuli which translated means 7 bullets and it is a 13 degree dark beer and very nice and smooth. The future in-laws had a small dark beer and Anna had a small light Ferdinand. The food looked home-made and the portions were generous and good quality Czech pub grub. Anna's parents had the fried cheese, Anna had the Nakladany Hermelin (pickled cheese) and I was a bit more adventurous and went for the Tlacenka (pork brawn). Unfortunately
a few days after our visit I had a small technical problem with my camera and I lost all the photos so at a later date I went back and explained to them my dilemma and they willingly let me take photos of at least the Tlacenka and the Nakladany Hermelin, which I thought was really nice of them to do and it reaffirmed my first impression of the service that we received when the in-laws were over.



I would definitely go here again especially as they also have a non-smoking section, a big plus when you have small children, though if you have a pram or a stroller you have to bear in mind that it won't be easy getting up and down, unless one of the friendly staff helps you up the stairs on your way out and don't forget to keep your bill with your email written on the back of it because there is a chance of winning a food voucher if you stick it in the small cracks in the wall on the way out, and they pick yours out in the monthly draw that they have.

Mala Strana dates back to the mid-13th century when the king at the time Premysl Otakar invited German craftsmen to vie their trade in what is now Malostranske namesti. The town although not fully under the control of the king was granted Royal Status and it was during the reign of Charles IV that it was divided from the rest of Prague by the construction of the hunger wall, remnants of which can still be seen today up on Petrin hill though by 1541 most of the original buildings in Mala Strana had been destroyed by fire and wars.

Nowadays The lesser side has a lot of beautiful buildings to visit such as Prague Castle, the Wallenstein palace and St Nicholas church, and is connected to the rest of Prague by the Charles Bridge which apart from the castle is one of the most recognisable structures in the city and I am sure that if you have seen a lot of movies in the past 15 years you will recognise a lot of the streets and landmarks usually mistaken for other cities like Vienna and Paris.

You can find a lot more interesting places to visit in this area and other areas on my blog of Prague.

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