The Chalice is already over, just like U Fleků and U Dvou Koček. In the suburb pub where the picture of the emperor used to be shitted on by the flies, now a liveried doorman welcomes the organized tourist groups from the West, the old varnished long tables have been substituted by a kitschy furnishing resembling the scenery of a variety theater, and if any member of a company does not want to consume for the triple prices, he (or even she!!!) will be made get up and asked to leave the room. If the war will be once really over, and the brave soldier Švejk and the old sapper Vodička will arrive, as they had agreed, to their meeting fixed “in the Chalice, at six o’clock after the war,” they will not be let in here.
Fortunately, the decline of the old Prague pubs coincided with the establishment of a whole restaurant chain all over the Czech Republic to cherish the memory of Švejk, Hašek and the innkeeper Palivec. And, actually, in quite a worthy way.
The furnishing of the restaurants Švejk recalls the puritan tradition of the old Czech beer-houses, with a touch of the feeling of the Monarchy, without any exaggeration. The faithfully conserved atmosphere of the old Czech pubs also invites the local public. In the Švejk of Brno, around six o’clock in the evening there were only local guests, that well remembered and very pleasant public. The draught beer is good, and the kitchen… mmm…
Certainly, each Švejk keeps a different kitchen, and its quality must depend on the chef. But this one in Brno is definitely majestic. The crisp-fried duck leg with hand of pork and two colors of cabbage steamed exactly as required, is crowned with a rare superb piece of smoked sausage, accompanied with Pilsner Urquell 12º and black Kozel. The two of us had quite enough of one plate of it, for only six euros, beer included. It is obvious that the chef observes the Švejkian traditions proclaimed by the quotation from Hašek above the counter:
Právě na kuchyni by měli dávat inteligentní lidi, kvůli kombinacím, neboť nezáleží na tom, jak se vaří, ale s jakou láskou se to dává dohromady.
Intelligent people should be sent to the kitchen indeed, for the combination’s sake, because the point is not how the dish is cooked, but with what love it is composed and served.
The emperor’s picture was shitted on by the flies already in the factory
Strangely enough, the information maps placed at various points of the city fail to indicate this restaurant among the other ones. We have made up for this negligence in the detail of the map below, at the upper edge of the old town, right at the first corner of the Česká street that broadens out like a square. Click on the detail for a view of the complete map of the old town. We hope that the little pictures indicating good restaurants will by the time multiply on it.