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RESTAURANT TRAILS

Good taste can skip your tongue

THIS is contentment, I think, leaning back on the wooden bench smoothed, I imagine, by the many people who have sat here before me. Around me rises the hubbub of a Slovak crowd. Voices from all sides bounce like the dim light off the tables and chairs. It is warm here and I do not just mean the temperature.

Golem


Where:Dominikánske námestie 15, Košice
When: Monday-Thursday 11:00-23:00, Friday 11:00-01:00, Saturday 17:00-01:00, Sunday 18:00-22:00
Reservations:Yes
English menu:Yes
Tel:055/7289-101
Rating:8 out of 10


DON'T be scared, it's a friendly place.
photo: Eric Smillie

THIS is contentment, I think, leaning back on the wooden bench smoothed, I imagine, by the many people who have sat here before me. Around me rises the hubbub of a Slovak crowd. Voices from all sides bounce like the dim light off the tables and chairs. It is warm here and I do not just mean the temperature. The pleasant sounds of jokes being told, glasses clinked and lovers stealthily clasping hands wrap around me. And I, fortified by a glass of fine beer and tucked in behind a steaming plate of food in the far corner of Slovakia, feel as comfortable as a lazy Saturday morning.

The Golem brewery is everything a beer drinker wants of a bar; good beer brewed and served on the spot, a decent bite to eat and a tasteful atmosphere. Along for the ride are two local Košice residents who seem to be enjoying themselves just as much as I am. This does not, however, keep them from lending a critical eye to the dishes served us.

The Chicken stuffed with spinach (Sk115), one tells me, is well balanced but a little too damp from the spinach. We all agree that the Provensálske tajomstvo (Secret Provencal) smells delicious but a moment later the other tells me that there is too much oregano in the mix of Provencal spices, upsetting the harmony between bitter and sweet flavours. For my part, a plate of boiled vegetables comes off as unexceptional, although happily not shy on the butter.

If the food at Golem is ordinary, the rest of the bar, divided into pub and restaurant seating, provides excess good taste. Partitions split the dining room into several nooks that remain open to one another while providing a bit of privacy. Adding to the charm, the walls portray a fancifully painted Prague-like skyline below a pale blue evening sky.

For those who prefer the pub atmosphere, a long hall with dark tables offers ample seating with views of the copper brewing tanks where Golem prepares its own microbrew, the nail in the taste coffin for pubgoers. Light in taste but rich from escaping pasteurization, this beer is truly a treat compared to the harder, flatter flavour of mass-produced beer.

The house beer also pushes Golem up into the ranks of must-see spots on the list of things to do in Košice of any visitors with a penchant for satisfying their sense of taste and their sense of enjoyment.

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