** NOTE: This place closed long ago under its long-time original management. I've read it is now a pizza restaurant under the same name. (August 12, 2012)
"Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited." Ambrose BierceI was planning a meeting with the English Patient and a couple of Irish friends.
We needed a place for a drinking session. Food was an afterthought.
Location was an issue -- Mala Strana was requested.
Saint Nicholas Cafe was chosen.
The exterior wasn't much to look at, with beat up, patchy painted walls.
After stepping through the first set of doors, the entrance to the cafe inside a passage is slightly more attractive.
Inside, slightly below street level, is a dark, atmospheric, and even historic space. The owners say the building dates back to 1554.
There are often expats seated at the bar. Saint Nicholas Cafe is not far from a number of embassies.They also say the decorative painting replicates the style of a much earlier time. There is certainly a patina on the walls. Whether it is from age, cigarette smoke, or both, I cannot say.As I said, the main order of business for us was alcohol.
Becherovka and beer to be specific.
The four of us consumed 18 Becherovka shots (50 CZK each), 6 half-liters of Pilsner Urquell (40 CZK each), and 4 half-liters of Gambrinus (33 CZK each).
A typical English-Irish meeting. Damage inflicted on all sides.
For the uninitiated, Becherovka is a liquor flavored with cinnamon, anise, and 32 other herbs that supposedly have medicinal qualities.
It is 38 percent alcohol, which was the only medicine I needed.
As the session stretched into the evening, we decided to order food. The menu options were limited. We settled on three pizzas.
We sampled a Margherita pizza with tomatoes and onions (105 CZK).There was a diavola pizza with pepperoni, onions, and a some red and green cherry peppers (145 CZK).And a Hawaiian pizza with the standard ham and pineapple (125 CZK).My memory of these pizzas are somewhat hazy. For example, I don't recall what that white cheese in the middle of the diavola was.
In fact, after the initial post, I was angrily informed by a commenter that the "cheese" was, in fact, an egg. Such are the dangers of drink.
But I do remember that the crust was good and crunchy. Also, the price was nice. I have the receipt to prove that.
Otherwise, all the pizzas were fairly unremarkable. No one was too impressed. But I'd certainly get one again if I needed food support during a prolonged a prolonged beverage-oriented mediation.
I have to confess, I was feeling pretty dead when we were done. I'd had my share of drinks, washed down with pizza dough.
But I knew what to expect -- it wasn't exactly a meeting of saints.
Perhaps if I do a little more editing...
Saint Nicholas Cafe
Prague 1 - Mala Strana
Tel. (+420) 257 530 204
View Larger Map