Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finally U Fleku

There is one place in Prague that all tourist books mention. Some praise its menu, while others warn that the restaurant is nothing but a tourist trap. U Fleku is well known, and many Prague visitors have been there. I had not until earlier this month, when I entered the restaurant established in 1499.

I was not at U Fleku to try the food. Instead I wanted to try the dark beer brewed on the premises. Flekovske pivo is in many ways unique. If some of the guide books are to be believed, the current beer has been brewed at U Fleku since early in the 19th century. This makes the beer very special and like a relic from old times.

The beer hall at U Fleku was full of people the evening I visited. I heard English, German and Spanish spoken, and people were sitting enjoying their food and dark beer. They were also entertained. A duo with tuba and accordion played music, possibly Czech tunes. It felt like visiting a German bierstube.

I ordered a beer, and it arrived very suddenly from a waiter carrying a lot of beer glasses. The beer was black with a large head. There was little aroma, but I felt a hint of cold coffee. In the mouth coffee notes danced with delicious sweetness, some burnt notes and dark chocolate. A lovely beer!

As I was sitting in the restaurant, another waiter came around carrying shot glasses of Becherovka. I am fond of the Czech liquor, but I did not want any at U Fleku. The excellent dark lager was enough for me. It was both aperitif, main course and dessert.

U Fleku is by all means a tourist trap. Prices are high, and some visitors tell that they believe that the Becherovka handed out is for free. Until the bill comes, that is. Myself, I enjoyed the beer and for a time also the atmosphere. If U Fleku was in my neighbourhood I would not be a frequent guest, but as a tourist it is well worth taking the trip to enjoy a very good and special beer.

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