Pivo a párek, basically, beer and sausage, the ultimate pairing. Both are an important part of the local gastronomy, (Prague is famous world-wide as a beer destination and, according to what a friend told me the other day, the city was also famous for its sausages during the years of the First Republic) and they complement each other wonderfully not only flavour-wise, but also culturally, the sausage has always been the everyman’s snack and beer has always been the everyman’s tipple.
How come nobody has thought of building a concept around those two? Yes, you can find sausages at almost every pub in the country, and they will sell you beer in way or another at most sausage stands. But more often than not, either one or the other (if not both) is an afterthought, something they must sell just in case someone orders it. But think of it, a fast food kind of place that sells good beer and good sausages, it’d be a great idea! Fuck me! Right this moment I’m running to the bank to take a small bit of my fortune to set up this shop, Vinohrady would be a good place.
Oh, wait… Someone has done it already…
Behold! “Pivo a Párek”. Can’t get any simpler than that. It delivers just what the name says, no more, no less.
Pivo a Párek is in Korunní, just by the tram stop Perunova. You go down a couple of steps into a room with a bar, shelves that offer bottled beer, a fridge with sausages and a couple of tables. That’s it. You’ll have four different kinds of sausages to choose from and six different beers from small regional breweries on tap. Place your order at the bar, eat the sausage standing up at the table, wash it down with a good světlý ležák or desítka and off you go, just in time to catch the tram. There is some sitting room in the back, but this isn’t a pub, so there’s not much of an atmosphere.
I’ve been twice, the sausages, very good sausages, range from 28 CZK for a “párek” (a pair) of frankfurters to 49CZK for a big and spicy klobása, beers are below the 30CZK mark and come rotatingly from breweries like Herold, Polička, Žatec, Bakalář and Holba, among others, and are also available in bottles for take away. Nothing that might knock your socks off, but they are kept in good condition are pretty well tapped, but above all, are very efficient at what they have to do. What’s there not to love? It’s great in its straightforwardness. It almost makes you want to bang your head against a wall for not having such a simple idea before. Yeah, you could open a beer and sausage shop if you wanted, you won’t be able to call it “Pivo a Párek”.
But this wouldn’t be a proper review if I didn’t have a quibble or two.
Now that Farmers Markets have become so popular, I think the owners of Pivo a Párek should mention where they source their sausages. It’s certainly not the nearest Tesco, Albert or Billa, they are far too good for that, but It’d still be nice to know where they come from (I also hope that, with time, more varieties will be added). I also think they have at least two taps too many. It’s nice that all of them are rotating, but fewer would be more in this case, just a desítka, a svěltý ležák of 11º or 12º a tmavý and a polotmavý would be more than enough. If anyone would like something else, chilled bottles could be made available.
And that’s it, those are the only things I would do differently. As for the rest, I hope it stays just like that because it’s brilliantly simple and simply brilliant. Go and see for yourselves if you don’t believe me.
You can read more beer ranting in my own blog Pivní Filosof – Beer Philosopher.