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I had been in Prague for about 48 hours, and managed to fit in a nice assortment of pub visits along with some quality time exploring a few of the city's major attractions. Of all the major pubs I had on my list to try, U Zlateho Tygra ("At the Golden Tiger") was actually the closest to where I was staying. I put it off towards the end of my visit, however, for several reasons. I was somewhat intimidated by the press clippings - not friendly to outsiders, pretty much reserved for long-term "locals", weird opening hours. Saturday afternoon had arrived, and I still hadn't made the pilgrimage - however, a violent thundershower and being on my own for a couple of hours made the short journey of just a block and a half from my pension seem like a good idea. So off I went!
Once inside, I put my Czech Pub Etiquette to good use. Dobry Den! Je tu volno, procim? Yes! I was in! At the Golden Tiger is larger than U Hrocha and U Cerneho Vola, but smaller than U Medvidku. It's a Pilsner Urquell tankova, where the unfiltered, unpasturised PU arrives not in kegs, but by truck and is hosed right into the premises...right under that massive tap!
This is a pub with a history. It is famous as the "local" for many decades of Czech writer Brohumil Hrabal. Mr. Hrabal has been gone over ten years now, but a shrine is in place above his table, as filmed above. Also hanging for posterity is a photo of President Clinton meeting him during his visit to U Zlateho Tygra as a guest of Czech President Haval.
So what did I think? Well, for starters, Bill had by far the reddest nose of the three of them. Oh, the beer? Well! This is the hands-down BEST Pilsner Urquell I have ever tasted. Better than at U Hrocha or any other pub in Prague. Better than any bottled version I've tasted elsewhere. It was super-fresh, delicious, and with more time and a companion or two I could have spent many happy hours at U Zlateho Tygra enjoying more and more of this fantastic tasting lager. Yes, it's an easy 9 out of 10 on my Yuk/Yummy Scale of Hoppy Happiness. I want to come back to Prague, and this is one of the special spots I want to spend more time at when I do return.
It's a big "Na Zdravi!" from me, from U Zlateho Tygra, at the end of a wonderful first visit to Prague - the first of many, I hope. I hope that you enjoy reading these little unscientific reviews of my favourite beer places in this wonderful city, and that if you haven't already had the chance to come here, YOU will one day make the trip and compile your own list of favourites.
NEXT: Goat at the Ox!