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Saturday, June 5, 2010


Having collectively cringed our way through two hours of the clichéd, condescending travesty of a movie that was Sex and the City 2 (as one critic put it: “like watching your best friend being killed repeatedly in front of you”) yesterday afternoon, my own personal fabulous four (later joined by a fabulous fifth) decamped in need of compensatory quality food and drink to one of our favourite girlie haunts, the vegetarian restaurant Maitrea, just off Old Town Square.

Maitrea and its original sister restaurant Lehka Hlava have long been two of our most favoured places in town for a girlie get-together, due to their atmospheric interiors, laidback ambience, and varied range of vegetarian dishes and drinks available there. I personally ended my own decade-long period of vegetarianism when a few years ago my mum’s amazing chicken soup finally broke me down, but I still enjoy veggie food just as much as I do meat (if not possibly more).

Unfortunately no Cosmopolitans for the ladies on this occasion, but instead a pear and apple juice (60kč) for Candy Girl, an aloe vera juice (50kč) for Girl in Czechland, and a large glass of Chardonnay delle Venezie (50kč) each for the decidedly more decadent Prague Ginge and myself. So far, so good.

For starters we shared a portion of hummus (45kč) and red pesto and nachos (75kč), with a side order of multigrain and rye (20kč).

The ladies agreed that the pesto was very tasty, but that the hummus was slightly blander than on previous occasions, being in need of some salt / lemon / garlic (depending on which of us girls you happened to ask).

We had barely made a dent on our starters, however, when our main courses suddenly all turned up as well – points off on this occasion for the usually far more attentive service.

Candy Girl went for one of my old favourites, the grilled goat’s cheese, spinach, eggplant, tomatoes and chive spread, served burger style in a freshly baked foccacia (145kč). Not the easiest thing to eat elegantly, nor with that great chunk of goat’s cheese in the middle one that any of the true diet-conscious SATC girls would ever contemplate consuming (without subsequent off-screen purging that is), but Candy Girl at least declared herself happy with it.

Rather more healthy, but considerably less aesthetically / culinarily pleasing in this case was Girl in Czechland’s Greek salad with feta and kalamata olives (115kč). This consisted of just a plain, undressed salad (no dressing or oil was brought separately to the table) and a chunk of creamed feta dolloped inelegantly on top. Girl in Czechland wasn’t particularly impressed, and didn’t bother finishing.

Prague Ginge also declared her dish of oven-roasted vegetables with basil pesto and chive dip (135kč) somewhat on the bland side, with quantity over quality here leaving her struggling to finish.

Our later arrival to the table went for the lasagne with cheese and tomato sauce and served with sour cream and basil pesto (145kč). She disliked the dish for all the same reasons that I have loved it on previous occasions, namely that it consisted of more pasta than sauce, and she didn’t feel that sour cream should have been served with lasagne (I personally actually quite liked the combination). I was pleased to see for next time that they had at least increased the portion size here though, as the last time the lasagne had been decidedly on the diminutive side.

It seems like Candy Girl and I were the only ones truly happy with our food on this occasion, as I for one was pretty much content with my usual order of burrito with black beans and cheese, tomato salsa, guacamole, rice, sour cream and fresh coriander (150kč). Ok, it’s not the most authentic of Mexican food, but it is tasty and filling, and I love the Thai-style sticky rice they serve with it.

In all the bill (with additional drinks, starters etc included) came to 1,245kč for the five of us, which we all felt was pretty good value for what we had. According to the blurb at the beginning of the menu, monks, members of the ordained clergy and other enlightened persons eat free, but as yet I have not been able to successfully argue the case that, as a militant atheist á la Richard Dawkins, I fall firmly into the latter category. Perhaps next time I will go dressed as a Buddhist monk / nun instead, though that said I think shaving my head would possibly be going just a little bit far in my quest for a freebie dinner...

Despite some of the party not being completely happy with their dishes this time round, as veterans of Maitrea, the general consensus among the ladies on this occasion was that we had all eaten much better meals and experienced better service here in the past (especially with the restaurant’s daily lunchtime specials), and so wouldn’t let this something of a “blip” in dining experience put us off for long. In short, we’ll all definitely be coming back soon – only next time round possibly reverting back to our standard old favourites instead.

Anyway, will round off for now by saying thanks ladies for all the ready review help and patience in letting me photograph your food – needless to say, you’re all truly fabulous, and certainly far more entertaining (not to mention infinitely less whiney and self-absorbed) than a now clearly past-it Carrie and company at any rate... ;-)))


  1. Is Candy girl aware that for making goat cheese, the mother goat needs little goats. And half of these little goats are males and they are almost immediately killed for their meat.

    It is so naive to be vegetarian and eating goat cheese.

  2. Who said any of us were actually vegetarian...?? ;-))