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Restaurants - Slovak cuisine

Alfa- This 200-seat Petržalka hot spot has a bar and casino. Sample the Alfa Plate from the grill and get enough meat, chips and vegetables for two people. A meal runs around 50 Sk per person. $. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Jiráskova 1. tel: 820-066. hrs: 10:00-3:00 M-Su.

Arkádia- Upscale place to take out-of-town guests for a view of St. Martin and SNP Bridge. $$$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Zámocké schody. tel: 335-650. hrs: 10:00-22:00 M-Su. @

Biela Pani- One of those restaurants that has you convinced all Slovak chefs read from the same cookbook. The menu's lack of variety is uninspiring. If only the wait staff were as eager to give full plates and glasses as it is to take away empties. The house specialty (pork and mushrooms wrapped in a potato pancake) is all that is above average here. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: yes. Jozefská 11. tel: 335-034. hrs: 10:00-2:00 M-Sa, 11-2 Su. @

Bistro Natalka- In the heart of Ružinov lies the closest thing to a Slovak diner. The waitresses are helpful in translating the menu. Watch STV or play video poker as you wait. The quality of the dishes vary from night to night. They have also been known to run out of food late. Easy to get to by trams 8,9, and 12. $. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. hrs: 10:00-22:00 M-Su. @

Botel Fairway- Actually fairly romantic. $$. CC: yes. Eng. menu: yes. Res: no. Nábr. arm. gen. L. Svobodu. tel: 312-090. hrs: 10:00-22:00 M-Su.

Modrá Hviezda- A delightful haven just below the castle for creatively cooked Slovak cuisine, served up in hearty portions. Try "Mummie's Specialty" of beef with cream and cranberry sauce and potato croquettes, or the sauerkraut goulash, or the veal in plum sauce. Head for the brick-walled wine cellar with heavy wooden tables; the other room, while attractive enough, lacks the cellar's character. The small sunken room on the way in is available for large parties. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: yes. Res: yes. Beblavého 14. tel:332-747 hrs: 11:00-23:00 M-Sa.

Divný Janko- If you don't mind lavender, the specialty here is the mixed meat dish, complete with major garnishings (we're talking slaw and carrots here) and fries to boot - all for under 100 Sk. The only choice when it comes to beer is bottled Pilsner Urquell. $$. CC: no. Eng. menu: no. Res: no. Jozefská ul. 16. tel:330-418. hrs: 11-23:00, M-Su.

Gastro Express- The name may conjure up images of fat people gobbling up greasy food, but the opposite - repeat: the opposite - is the case here. Stuff yourself on one of the five daily offerings of meat dishes and a malý tanier at the salad bar for under 100 Sk. And there's more fare for vegetarians such as fried tofu and yes - fried cheese. Help yourself to the food and then help yourself to a table in the small room; chances are you'll be sharing your personal space with someone else. $. CC: No. Eng. menu: No. Res: No. Grösslingova hrs: 08:00-20:00, M-Sat.

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