Pizza West is far from the best

Pizzerias in Prague are nearly as abundant as Chinese fast food joints. From the heart of the city centre to the outer rim of Prague’s periphery, every neighbourhood has at least one ??? if not two. Here in Blackbridge, we’ve got three within walking distance of our place, not including That Gyros Place at the Mall.

And, just like Chinese fast food joints, Prague’s pizzerias run the gamut in terms of quality, style, service, etc. At Namesti Bratri Synku, two extremes of pizza-pie makers sit side by side.

At the upper end of the scale is the mighty Baretta (Belehradska 4 Prague 4), arguably Prague’s most original pizzeria owing to its Native American Indian theme, friendly service and eclectic selection of tasty pizzas. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, but they still seem to attract quite a crowd, based on what I saw yesterday.

A door or two over from Baretta, on the corner of Namesti Bratri Synku and Belehradska, Pizza West represents the low end of the scale of pizzerias. ‘Pizza West is the best’ (that’s what it says on their website)? Bullshit! Gah! Phooey! Ach! How this place, which is something like ten times the size of the magnificent Baretta, gets business is beyond me. It’s so crap that I’m not putting its address here – just take my advice and skip it and go to Baretta. The only reason to go to Pizza West is to kill time while waiting for a table to open up at Baretta.

I’ll admit that I haven’t had Pizza West’s pizza, but based on what Jitka and I experienced yesterday I don’t think I ever will. To start with, the bottled Pilsner (they don’t serve draft beer ??? strike one) was only a few degrees below room temperature (strike two). Ok, the minestrone was proper, chunky tomato-based vegetable soup (as opposed to the bland vegetable soup that most other ‘Italian’ restaurants in Prague have the nerve to call minestrone) and very tasty, but it was served at a few degrees above room temperature (foul ball).

I made the mistake of ordering a beef burrito (at a Czech pizzeria’ man, I can’t believe I was that dumb), which was a crepe filled with Bolognese sauce, with a side of dirt-flavoured beans, rice with some kind of wimpy seasoning and some tomato paste with raw onions that was trying to pass itself off as salsa (note to Pizza West ??? there’s this really amazing herb called cilantro that you should check out). On the whole, the meal had all the appeal of what my cat leaves behind in the litter box after eating too much cheese ? strike three, you’re OUT Pizza West!

Oh, and Jitka’s vegetarian lasagna was not much better. An uninspired stack of lasagna noodles with a frozen vegetable and tomato sauce, covered in eidam, surrounded by a moat of? what??? bechamel sauce? More like flour-and-water sauce.

The lackluster service was about the best thing about Pizza West. For the first time in a long time I was signaling for the bill before finishing my meal ??? such was my haste to get the hell out of there.

Fortunately, our deserts at Radost FX saved our tastebuds somewhat. The double-layer chocolate cake was not all that decadent (if you really want chocolate decadence get Radost’s cheesecake brownie) and the cheesecake was rather stale. Ah well, at least the coffee, the music and, of course, the company were fine.

Jan 26, 15:58 (Filed under: Prague pubs, restaurants and cafes, Out and About in Prague )

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  1. Is Baretta actually good? I’ve been recommended that place multiple times and each time I tried it was terrible. The pasta was about 15 minutes past al dente, the pizza was undercooked and bland. The service was okay.

    Pizza West has okay pizza, but I do agree that the (overpriced!) bottled Pilsner is a big strike against them. I’d rather travel for 15 minutes more to the lovely Cafe Verona on (I believe) Ruska in Vrsovice or Aria in Karlin, across from the bus station.

    — neil.    Jan 29, 22:42    #
  2. Hi Neil, thanks for yr comments. I admit that I haven’t been to Baretta in years, but I have fond memories of it. Always had pizza there and it was never disappointing.

    Vaclavka (on Vaclavske namesti, up near The Horse) is one of my personal fave pizzerias, along with that slice joint by Chateau, Pizza Roma at IP Pavlova and, I must confess, Little Caesar’s at Tesco on Narodni (hey, sometimes you just gotta have a slice with a thick crust).

    And I don’t care what they say in Septej (a cool film in ‘96, but it hasn’t aged well, IMO – very immature), Kmotra does not have the best Pizza in Prague. To be honest, I can’t really award that to anybody – none of Prague’s pizzerias come immediately to mind as being spectacular.

    Patrick    Jan 30, 08:45    #
  3. Try Fresco Vento at Palackeho Namesti – excellent vegetarian lasagne, very good pizzas, good service, attractive interior – and inexpensive! (e.g. focaccia as starter, pizza, pasta, carafe of wine and a small & large draught Budvar 12 for 360 Kc).

    — darren    Jan 30, 11:47    #
  4. Thanks Darren! We’re up for trying any place that has good veggie lasagne. Have yet to find anywhere that has a half decent one.



    Patrick    Jan 30, 15:22    #