19 October 2007

Only in it for the dumplings

For lunch today I paid a return visit to the Czech Inn, scene of my recent upsetting Staropramen experience. I used to go to this pub quite a bit last century, back when it was Isolde's Tower: it was the sort of place one never planned to go to, but ended up there, on the edge of Temple Bar, when everywhere else was heaving. Good times.

Now it's a headquarters for Dublin's Czech workers, and is the only place serving a range of the food and drink from home, saving the handful of upmarket establishments with Budvar and Staro on tap. I had a plateful of roast pork with sauerkraut and knedlíky for just €8: even if possessed of the inclination and a big stick, I don't think I could beat that.

It was washed down with a pint of Gambrinus 10°, a smooth and malty pilsner I've met favourably in Prague once or twice. Unfortunately, this was tainted slightly with a touch of that acidic quality I experienced with my last Czech Inn pint. I conclude that the early afternoon is the wrong time to visit this pub. I'm sure once a few dozen pints have been run through the lines of an evening the quality goes up. However, with the sound system already blaring across the empty room, I dread to think what it's like with several hundred thirsty Czechs letting off steam.

Anyway, I will have go back sooner or later because I still haven't had my dark beer fix. Fortunately I'll be able to sink a pint of Budvar Dark tomorrow at the first ever Great Irish Beer Festival (Brits & Yanks: only click the link if you promise not to laugh) in Galway. The thought of that will be sustaining me on my 140-mile trip to the other side of Ireland in the morning.

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