Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Food news: Slowdown at Savoy, new bakeries, Burger King, and more

Over the summer, Café Savoy closed its doors for a little while to do some renovating, the most notable change being a much-needed improvement to the toilet situation (the restrooms are now located in a new downstairs area and have multiple stalls). But it looks like they might have forgotten a few basics in the meantime.

I've had issues with Savoy's service before, but I've never had to deal with a server as surly, impatient, and incompetent as the woman in charge of our table during brunch last Sunday. She huffed and puffed and rolled her eyes as we were giving our orders, then forgot to bring half of what we'd asked for. And on a recent dinner visit, every step (ordering food, asking for another beer, getting the check) took several attempts, and our wine list didn't come until we'd ordered the first course.

A VIP sitting at the table next to ours seemed to be getting more than enough attention. Well, at least someone was happy...

Whopper fans rejoice: the Czech Republic's first Burger King will open next week in Metropole Zličín shopping mall. The franchise is owned by AmRest, the Polish company that also brought us KFC and Starbucks.

In pastry shop / bakery news, scrumptious French patisserie Passion Chocolat has left its spot in Vinohrady and will soon be reopening in Pasáž U Nováků (on Vodičkova, connected to Lucerna Pasáž). I'm a little skeptical that the new location will give them the kind of foot traffic they need, but let's hope for the best. French chain bakery Paul has opened in Palác Flora, of all places. And Bakeshop is promising great things for Thanksgiving, but more on that next week. For now, stop in and try a slice of their awesome pumpkin pie.

Finally, for those who understand Czech and might want to find out a little more about me and the Prague Spoon, Lidovky's Pátek magazine published an interview with me last week, written by the positively lovely chef and food writer Hanka Michopulu.

images ambi.cz, burgerking.com, Prague Spoon, paul.fr

8 comments:

AVB said...

To be fair, brunch is a haven for incompetent servers no matter the city. I hope this isn't representative of Savoy slipping in general, though.

Anonymous said...

but it is true that Cafe Savoy is not as good as before: the prices are high now after several rounds of increase but the service has worsened significantly (now inadequate & sloppy at this price level - bordering on arrogant at times) and the food is always the same - boring. Even the space downstairs gives a strange feeling of a construction site without spirit: unfinished painting work in the staircase and the bathroom overlooking the often empty kitchen...

Cafe Savoy still has a great location to milk customers with, but it now feels like a money machine vs. a special place. Time to re-invent itself and improve before customers vote with their feet.

Gabriela said...

I know that woman, she started as a server about three years ago and as better staff left she rose through the ranks and now she is the chief seater on the weekends, but she's simply awful. We live around the corner, used to go there all the time, but because she's really such a bitch, we stopped going there (and it's just way too expensive now for less food than before). Too bad, great ceiling.

Piers said...

Ditto about the Savoy and its sloppy, arrogant service. Living in Vinohrady, we welcomed the Choc Shop, Passion, and felt almost betrayed by its sudden departure for such a dubious destination. However, good to see two new openings in the neighbourhood - Sami replacing the old Tiger Tiger (haven't been yet, but it is in serious need of some publicity judging by the empty tables and bored waiters), and a lovely cheese shop on Jiriho z Podebrad. Both need reviews, and may I make a suggestion, that there be more reviews on "interesting" and "innovative" shops that dare to open. Its time to encourage bakeries and decent grocers in areas outside P1, where almost every second shop appears to be a vietnamese store.

Yours etc

Piers Landseer

Pavel said...

It is true, the prices went up, the service down and the portions are also smaller than before. Tourists' destination....

Mme Verdurin said...

Hanka Michopulu is lovely indeed but when did she become a chef?

Jose said...

I cannot agree with former comments that the stuff on my favorite cofee house Caffe Louvre is not friendly or even lazy. I had never problem with staff, service (quality of food or timing). Specially the stuff compared to other Pragues similar price-range restaurants are on right time on your desk, but not often than necessary. Naturally you have to have some reason why you want to visit some restaurant and why its became your favorite place. In caffe louvre its for me the big chocolate cake, which taste good and also girls love it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who I feel more sorry for- the dumb bi@!es that stuff their mouths with Twisters on Andel or the ones that will actually go all the way to Zlicin to eat a Whopper.
What's the world coming to.