Before coming to Czech Republic I was warned by a couple travel guides, some blogs, and others who had traveled here that Czech Republic has notoriously shitty service in pubs and restaurants in major Czech cities. I took this advice with a grain of salt, having been a supplier of what some would call shitty service in the United States at my part-time jobs in food service during high school. It hasn’t escaped me that people from the U.S. who can afford to travel to destinations like the Czech Republic tend to have a very high standard of what excellent service done by someone making less than minimum wage, probably over-worked and too young to be so over-worked should be. (Some of you Americans can be so cruel to your servers, do you realize that?)
My roommate and I did not feel like cooking or even cleaning up the kitchen so that we could clean on Friday evening. Since we also had the day off, we spent it watching reruns of the Rugrats on youtube and looking at LOLcats on Tumblr as usual. We are also very lazy when we do not have to be in class or do homework. That meant we weren’t ready to leave the apartment until around 7:30 pm. . .which is a terrible mistake on a Friday night in Brno, Czech Republic. If you want to get a seat anywhere, leave earlier than 6 pm. We knew internally this would probably result in our having difficulties finding a place with a free seat, but we decided to take our chances. After all, we were at this point starving. We would have been better off taking a trip to the grocery store, doing our dishes, and making our own dinner.
We decided on our usual place, české pivnice, as the place is simply called (or literally Czech Pub). They have good beer at good prices and good, traditional Czech food at a decent price as well. The problem was when we arrived there, there were no seats and the line of people waiting for a seat was abysmal. We hit up a few other places: Pegas Brewery, Bar Verna, and a place across the street from Bar Verna. But everywhere was full.
Finally, we decided to go back to this place which I thought was a bit overly priced for the kind of food and beer it served, but we were desperate. Literally, all restaurants we passed except for McDonald’s and KFC were packed and it was now nearly 9 pm. We thought we were lucky to find an empty seat. But it took about 15 minutes for a server to notice us and when she finally did come she tried to take our orders. I asked in Czech for an English menu and she rolled her eyes and stomped across the dining room to retrieve for us menus, muttering to herself angrily in Czech about stupid Americans, which I assumed she thought I wouldn’t understand since I asked for an English menu. . .but hey I am here in Czech Republic to learn fucking Czech. . .so of course I do understand some things. . .just not half of the items on the typical Czech menu. She slapped two menus in front of us and quickly disappeared.
My roommate and I did not take very long to decide on what we wanted. She wanted the same grilled chicken and vegetables dish she had ordered the last time we were there, but this time with fries, and the usual. .5 liter of Pilsner Urquell which we had come originally to this restaurant the first time for. (Most other places in Brno only have Lobokowics or Starobrno.) I had made my mind up whilst passing through the door that I would order a giant wiener schnitzel with a side of onion mashed potatoes and a .5 liter of beer. We sat for 20 minutes longer with our menus closed, watching this waitress as she skillfully avoided taking our orders and even took the orders of two tables who had come in after us. Ten minutes in, a table who had seated themselves right after us and also had to ask for menus, had beers and she hadn’t even come back to take our drink orders. But she had time enough to fit those people into her agenda. After waiting about 40 minutes all-together for service, we stormed out in a rage.
We checked české pivnice once more, but there were still no empty tables. We contemplated even walking across town to the train station where a Croatian girl had told us there was a really good Chinese restaurant. In the end though, we were starving and thirsty and it was 10 pm, so we–gag–ate at KFC. But this was probably the best KFC I have ever had.
I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant whose service was so abysmal so that I could advise you not to go there, but alas I cannot. It’s in downtown česka though on a side street next to the city’s only Subway sandwiches chain. . .if that happens to ring a bell.
So hopefully this is my one-and-only scathing review of a Czech restaurant. The other places I have been were really great and the service was wonderful.