Gradska pivnica – trap for tourists in the center of Sofia
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Gradska pivnica was opened in December 2021. The name means City Pub. Don’t ask why the name is in Latin but in Bulgarian. It is located in a very good place, 2 steps from Slaveykov Square. From the outside it looks like a very nice place and the location definitely helps to attract customers. It had been recommended to me as a restaurant where there are several types of schnitzels and we, as great fans of this dish, went there with enormous enthusiasm.
…. The interior is pleasant, with a nicely arrangement of tables, interesting pictures on the walls, it looks cozy, the WC is clean;
…. Pretty good wine and beer list;
…. There are indeed several types of schnitzel on the menu, but the latter lacked concept and focus. It did not offer, as I expected, based on the schnitzel, Austro-Hungarian or German cuisine, but an eclectic collection of a little Greek, a little Italian, a little Austrian, a little Mediterranean representatives;
…. I wonder why the inscription of the restaurant is Gradska pivnica, i.e. with a transliteration of its Bulgarian name in Latin! If the idea was to be easier for foreign guests to read eat more easy, they could call it City Pub. I also consider an option, the name to be in Serbo-Croatian, but with this menu, it does not remind in any way of such an idea.
Two hearts fell for the lack of a concept in the menu, the Bulgarian name written in Latin and the hand scratches with a pen on the menu list.
…. The initial impression of coziness was not fulfilled, because at the table next to the windows and one of the outer doors, which is closed and not used, we felt quite cold, the wind crept in from outside and there was an unpleasant current;
…. The waiters were trying to serve well, but somehow not enough. They asked several times if everything was OK with the food, but read below what happened after I answered the question;
…. I was impressed by the wine list, but it turned out that not everything is available from it. With a tick made with a pen, it was scratched on the menu which wines were available. Quite lame, but it’s still better than telling your that the three choices you made are not available, as happened to me at Krachmarnitsa. Besides, there is no wine by glass. It’s good that they still had good wine in 375 ml bottles. But still, nowadays it is already considered that the lack of an option of wine by glass is a big omission. One heart dropped because of the careless attitude towards wine list options. The other omission in the serving was that the waitress poured too much into my glass, and thus a big portion of it was wasted, since I wanted very little to drink..
I leave 1 heart only, because of the efforts of the staff to still serve well and blur the blunder, described downwards, but these efforts were far from enough.
…. Vanilla radio – I expected more from this place. Anyone who wants to skip payment for music rights resorts to it. Its music is good, but too many places use it and it’s already cliche;
…. The whistling of the wind, which crept through a hole and created a feeling of discomfort.
Movie watching time: 1:25 min.
…. The schnitzels smelled appetizing because of the dill butter they offered with it on the side;
…. The baked potatoes on the grill smelled very tasty of spices.
…. The grilled chicken fillet is nice – tender, fragrant, but the potatoes to it looked creasy, although they smelled very nice;
…. The chicken schnitzel was delicious, the French fries sliced thin, tasty, but a little more crunch would do;
…. The beef schnitzel is a big disappointment – the meat hadn’t been hammered or at least not hammered enough beforehand, it was thick, there were veins inside, but the biggest problem was that there was a hair in the breading! You can see it in one of the photos in the movie.
Such blunders in the food happen, but then the reaction of the staff is critical in such a situation – it can get out of it deftly and leave even better impressions or deepen them dramatically. Unfortunately, the effect here was of the second type. The waiter apologized, but began to weasel he couldn’t do much about it. He offered me a second schnitzel, but by the time I found the hair I had eaten a lot, and it wasn’t worth bothering with another tough steak. He tried to offer us dessert, but he only offered a choice between pumpkin and something else, I don’t remember what – neither of them was interesting, compared to the other desserts, but anyway we didn’t want dessert anymore. The schnitzel was not discounted in the bill and fully paid everything.
I left only 2 hearts for Taste category – because of the good grill, the taste of the potatoes with the schnitzel and the originally served butter with dill to it.
Here is the overall balance of my visit to the Gradska pivnica:
- I paid for a whole bottle of 375 ml of wine, of which I drank no more than 75 ml, but the waitress had made sure to pour me about 200 ml in the glass,
- I ate schnitzel, which was far from good,
- I found a problem with food, but I was not compensated,
- I was cold and uncomfortable, the wind was whistling e against the backdrop of Vanilla radio commercials, which are already sounding from every booth, hairdressing salon, etc.,
- Despite the attempts of the staff to get out of the situation – they achieved nothing but bad impression.
The 5D Sensograph of placescases.com rarely gives such a low score , I do not feel any pleasure of it, but this restaurant was never closed because of the pandemic and did not suffer as others in the business, is also benefits from the reduced by the government VAT, it is located in the center and its perfect location attracts customers, but the quality is amazingly poor and I felt the need to warn future visitors what to expect.
I do not recommend the place unless a group of friends has decided to sit and drink a whole bottle of wine or lots of beer, if possible, without eating anything but barbecue. However, for lovers of wine and beer, there are much better options around, where the wine is offered not only by bottle but also by glass. So much for the matter, I personally will not come back to this place. I think that with this location and such a disappointing quality, Gradska pivnica is just a typical trap for tourists – a bad example cliché.
How to get to Gradska pivnica in Sofia?
Don’t worry about getting to Gradska pivnica in Sofia. Just use the Google map here by clicking on the red pin of its location and then select directions:
A: ul. “Stefan Karadzha” 10, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia
Opening Hours: Mon- Sun 12:00-10:30
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