“If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.”
Jules in “Pulp Fiction”
I’m not a big Quentin Tarantino fan, but I do love “Pulp Fiction.” The iconic film is filled with style, humor, and some unforgettable scenes. Certainly, John Travolta’s Vincent Vega, and Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace twisting away at Jack Rabbit Slim’s is one of them.
So, when my friend Flash told me that a restaurant by the same name had opened in Prague, we headed right over, along with Mr. Big.
The place also goes by the name Mazaný Králíček, which could be translated as “Shrewd Bunny Rabbit.” That name appeared on their receipt and on the sign out front, along with the hook line, “The next best thing to a time machine!”
I wandered up Hybernská, by Masaryk train station, and entered the lower level. There were pictures of Vincent and Mia, along with a real motorcycle hanging over the bar.
It didn’t look much like the movie version of the restaurant, though they did have a Cadillac that had been converted into a couch.
Above the stairs, there were more “Pulp Fiction” photos on the ceiling.
On the second level, another Cadillac, sitting under the harsh, purple-pink lighting, dominated the room.
I was disappointed there was no seating inside the car. It was just for show.
After sitting down, it took quite a while to get the attention of our waitress. Unlike the film, there were no servers dressed as Buddy Holly, Marilyn Monroe, or any other dead celebrity.
The first thing I noticed on the menu was that there were only two beers available on tap: a .25 liter glass of Heineken or a .3 liter glass of Lobkowicz (35 CZK). We had those, and it’s good beer.
But since the beers were so small and the service was so slow (the waitress blamed the bartender), we ordered two at a time. No vanilla cokes or $5 Martin and Lewis milkshakes for us.
We decided to share a few appetizers. One was the grilled goat cheese with fresh spinach (106 CZK). This was rather good.
The cheese was warm, tangy, and relatively standard. Grilled vegetables underneath were very tasty. The red, green, and yellow peppers, along with olives, were mixed with a generous amount of smoked pork. Vegetarians beware.
Another starter was the fried jalapenos filled with cheddar (101 CZK).
These five poppers tasted better, but not by much, than the bland ones at Crazy Cow Steakhouse. There, I only got four and they charged 20 CZK more.
Jack Rabbit Slim’s menu said the dish came with a tomato salsa, but it was really more like a tomato paste or puree. Kinda strange. There was also sour cream. It all sat on top of tired, boring iceberg lettuce.
For the next round, Mr. Big ordered a Big Kahuna Burger (199 CZK). In the movie, this was deemed by Jules to be “the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.”
Unfortunately, the ground beef was overcooked and dry. It came with jalapenos and bacon, along with lettuce, tomato and a non-descript white cheese. But those additions didn’t help the poorly prepared patty, which should be the cornerstone of any good burger.
There was no “Douglas Sirk” steak on the menu as there is in the movie. I ordered the closest thing, which was the rib eye with peppercorn sauce and green beans (229 CZK).
I wish I had thought to order it “bloody as hell” like Vincent did. It didn’t come out “burnt to a crisp,” the other option Buddy Holly offers in the movie. But sadly, the meat was well-done and cooked into a leathery state.
The toughness made me think it was Czech beef. The steak was quite large, but that just meant there a lot of chewing to do. The flavor wasn’t so special, but the sauce was nice. And the beans were fresh and crunchy.
I decided to get a side of fries (39 CZK).
These were just terrible. They were barely warm when they got to the table. They proceeded quickly to cold and nasty.
Flash got the salmon steak (159 CZK).
While I love salmon sushi, I am not a big fan of the fish when it is cooked. I was pleasantly surprised when I took a bite.
It was fresh, not fishy at all. All too often, salmon dries out when cooked, but this one was moist and tender. I actually enjoyed it. Flash did, too.
He also got a side of grilled vegetables (59 CZK).
He said they were very good.
I got tired of drinking beers, so I decided to try a mojito (125 CZK).
It was a respectable size for a decent price. The cocktail was well-mixed, though on the sweet side.
What to make of this place? On the plus side, the prices were relatively low, and there were a couple of decent dishes.
But I think eating is not or, perhaps, should not be the main point of a visit to Jack Rabbit Slim’s.
The tables around us filled up with groups of very young women and muscular men who looked familiar with the club scene.
Flash, who is a Prague nightlife veteran, said the place “looks like Infinity with Cadillacs.”
I suppose it could be an OK place to drink and, if you are lucky, meet a member of the opposite sex.
But if you ask me, point blank, whether you should try it yourself, I will only say this.
That’s a scary question.
Jack Rabbit Slim’s
Tel. (+420) 728 200 961
Coming next week: Finally, a restaurant I actually liked. A lot.