Cheoff

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Filtering by Tag: Czech Republic

Kavárna Obecní dům, Prague

Here is the rather clunky website for this place showing some of the very attractive surroundings in which you will find yourself. This is lighter and more airy than the downstairs restaurant, function room and cocktail bar. A 'French' restaurant on the other side of the entrance hall to the historic building offers more lavish food at higher prices.

Enjoy what the room has to show in architecture and decor but don't expect to be served anything approaching that quality if you order food. Mrs. Cheoff ploughed through a lamb stew whose meat was at least half fat and uncooked connective tissue. Her potato croquettes were the stuff readily available from supermarkets My 'well-cooked' beef was tender, at least, but had lost most of its flavour in cooking. Bread dumplings, like those croquettes, were very untraditional, 'made away from home' products. The final insults were a squirt of aerosol cream and a few cranberries with enough sugar to induce tooth decay at ten paces. 

We watched a heaving but tired cake and dessert trolley being wheeled around and made the sensible decision to discard any thought of further disappointment, pay the bill and leave.

Servers were reasonably attentive but more than one of them struggled to give any impression that they had confidence in the food they were being paid to present. 

The wisest 'customers' entered, produced a camera to record some artistic details and left without ordering. Their decision was perhaps more informed than ours. It was one of those 'Let's put this down to experience' episodes for us.

Café Jedna, Prague

Café Jedna

If you visit Prague and have taken the time and effort to cross north over the Vltava to view the modern art on show at the Trade Fair Palace you might consider staying for refreshment at this cafe in the same building. 

After almost three hours of delightful submersion in painting, sculpture and design from the nineteenth century to the present, we were grateful for the chance to rest awhile.  

We were in the company of young and old; students, workers and committed, tired tourists like us. The generous space of the building makes it possible to be close to people but never feel crowded by them. 

Soup of the Day was Spiced Chickpea. Lovely sourdough bread came from the counter... taken as you pleased from an enamel bin which, depending on our server, was either green or blue.

How wonderful to enjoy a simple, warming bowl of honestly prepared and truly tasty soup. With that one offering we had avoided the earnest but ubiquitous 'traditional' Czech menu of duck, beef, pork and potatoes and dumplings... and potatoes and dumplings in another form. Look at the rest of the menu here and you can see the escape route which is on offer. Vegetarians and the odd sausage lover are obviously welcome.

The discovery of a John Lemon drinks range was also pleasing. The peace-mongering Beatle has been honoured in ever-changing graffiti on a wall here since the 1980s

Service was keen, informative but relaxed. Our four day whistle-stop tour meant that we had no plans to return to this part of the city but I urge you to include the Jedna 'watering hole' in your itinerary, should you visit.

The cafe is behind those blue-barred windows on the ground floor. How glorious that a building from the 1920s, devastated by fire in 1976 was deemed worthy of reconstruction. It now houses a cafe which, in quality, variety and interest, matches up to the wonderful art on display.

All images and content are the property of Geoff Griffiths. Copyright Geoff Griffiths 2014 ©