**NOTE The Prague Spoon is no longer active
"Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom." Queen Elizabeth IIFor almost a year, Czech Please was Prague's only dedicated English-language food and drink blog.
But, as Teddy Roosevelt used to say, all good monopolies must come to an end.
And I think that's great.
I have an insatiable appetite for reading about gastronomic and alcoholic pleasures and where to find them.
I had always hoped that more bloggers would come to the table, so to speak.
And they have.
This week marked the debut of The Prague Spoon. It is written by Laura Baranik, who was the food critic at Expats.cz, among other places. I was a fan of her unpretentious, first-person reviewing style, and I expect I'll continue to be.
The Spoon has already saved me a trip to Monarch Wine Bar & Grill. I always get a bit worked up when I see a shiny, new restaurant, and I want to check it out.
Based on Laura's description, I'll save my money. After seeing what they charge there, I'll save a lot of money.
I also like her overview of Prague hot chocolate spots. I've written in the past about Cafe Louvre's and Cafe Savoy's offerings, but The Prague Spoon takes hot chocolate commentary and analysis to a whole new level.
As someone who is graphically challenged, I was extra impressed by the post's sliding thickness and sweetness scales.
If beer is your thing (and it certainly is one of mine), there are now a number of blogs covering this intoxicating subject.
First, I'll mention Pivní Filosof - Beer Philosopher. This venture started at the beginning of 2008, and is an English-language offshoot of Max Bahnson's longer-running Spanish language blog, Pivní Filosof - Filósofo Cervecero.
I've never met Max, but we've often communicated through blog comments and emails. He's a prolific writer who knows his stuff. He's got a passion for it, and it shows.
Max has already been highlighting some of the Czech Republic's lesser known brews, like Jubiler, and brew pubs like Pivovar u Bulovky.
For more expert views on brews, there is the Beer Culture blog by Evan Rail.
He is the author of "Good Beer Guide: Prague and the Czech Republic." I haven't read it myself, but have heard good things about from more than one person.
Rail also writes travel articles for The New York Times. He used to be the restaurant critic for The Prague Post. I was a harsh critic of his restaurant reviews, but I've gotten that out of my system. I like his beer coverage.
Finally, the author of Beer, oh beer doesn't post as often as I'd like. But he does review some pretty obscure beers. The posts are short, to the point, and easy to absorb.
For the most part, all these blogs, including this one, exist because of love, not money. And that's a good part of the reason people read them.
In these days of corporate hype and spin, people are hungry and thirsty for real experiences from real people. A quote from this Washington Post article articulated what I've been thinking:
"Authenticity is the new consumer sensibility," says Joe Pine, a business consultant and co-author of "Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want." It is the criterion "by which people decide what to buy and who to buy it from."