It's currently the right time of year for Burčák (Boorchak) - a cloudy, sediment-filled drink made from newly pressed grapes which is sold by vendors in plastic bottles on the streets of the City Centre. It's still actively fermenting when you buy it, which means that you have to let the pressure out every so often (or you accidentally leave it closed all day in your hotel room and the maid does this for you - THANKS, GRANDHOTEL BRNO!) and it's not clear how alcoholic it is. Probably around 5 - 10%
It's sweet, quite refreshing and I really want to have it in a tall glass with gin but that could be the start of a very bad evening. I've heard it could function as a fairly servicable laxative if drank in substantial quantities, though I have not explored this.
Once I had woken up after the long journey to Brno I met up with a few of the FNZ Czechia guys in a wee restaurant hidden up a couple flights of stairs called "Atrium". On Sundays their Speciality dish is Tatarský Biftek - Steak Tartare. I should point out that I had agreed with a friend to only answer "Yes" to questions once I had left Edinburgh, so when Pavel said "Are you going to try the Tatarský Biftek?" I was left with little choice:
You pulverise the raw egg into the raw steak with a fork and mash mustard, onions, herbs, salt, pepper and whatever else you feel like into it - once this preparation is done you're presented with a basket of thick slices of fried bread on which to spread it (before which you usually rub raw cloves of garlic onto the bread). It might sound weird, but it is one of the finest things I have ever eaten, we're heading back on Sunday for more after the rugby.
After work on Monday three of us (another Scot and an Argentine) sauntered over to a place called Blahovka, where they serve unpasteurised, unfiltered Pilsener Urquell. Within a few minutes I had finished my first pint which was so nice I cannot begin to describe it. I had been assured that this beer was virtually hangover-proof, though we'd have no opportunity to prove this scientifically as after a few (5 or 7?) pints, a beer ball (Blue cheese dipped in Paprika and spices with bread) and a Pork Knee later we headed over to a favourite FNZ haunt "Desert" for Absinthe and Rum+Kofola (think: Commie Coke). The guy on the table next to us was out for the count the entire time we were there. In Brno if you fall asleep in a bar, they just leave you alone to sleep off your troubles in front of your half-finished beer
And on a different note, this is what Brno looks like from where I sit in our office. This doesn't do it justice though, the city centre is typically rather grand like Prague, though I understand it gets a little grim on the outskirts thanks to some concrete Communist-era blocks.