The Green Bar
The Green Bar is a vegetarian’s best friend at lunchtime in Olomouc. An inexpensive meat free, smoke free canteen, it offers plenty of variety in the food (always including a couple of options for vegans) and is self –serve, so presents no language barrier, even if you’ve not yet learnt your first word of Czech.
Just off the main square along Ztracena street (the one that leading away from the Caesar fountain) it’s the place with the big south-facing glass windows trimmed in bright apple green. When you enter, you’ll see a stack of trays, plates and cutlery on your right. Help yourself to those and proceed on towards the salad bar.
The first section of the salad bar usually has five or six different mixed salads and some plain lettuce leaves. The second part is smaller and has nuts, olives, sprouts and other assorted goodies for sprinkling over your salad. The bain-marie usually holds three hot dishes of which one will be labelled as suitable for vegans. Soup and dessert are also available and behind you is the self-serve juice bar.
Pay by weight
When you’ve loaded your tray, slide it along to the cashier and pass her your plate to be weighed. All the food is 160Kč/Kilogram, which makes a typical large plate (500g) cost 80Kč. Soup and small glasses of juice are 20Kč and large juices are 30Kč. Ordinary or non-alcoholic beer is 20Kč, but you’ll need to order it from the cashier. Self-service beer seems to be too progressive a concept even for the Green Bar.
ipod dining room
The dining room has space for maybe 100 diners at tables ranging from 2 to 8 seats. It’s here that I have my only minor complaint about the green bar. While it’s spotlessly clean, light, airy and obviously low-maintenance, there’s about as much atmosphere as dining inside an ipod. And more noise. I understand why they’ve made it this way, it’s a budget canteen serving one meal each day after all. I just can’t help thinking that if some of the metallic, ceramic and laminate furnishings were replaced with wood, the effect would be much more inviting and the sound of stainless steel chair legs scraping across tile might not be so piercing. The potted plants along the window sills are a nice touch.
Despite my whining about the decor, if the food stays as good as it has been so far (Green Bar has only been open since September 2007), they’ll be stuck with me as a regular. Perhaps I’ll see you there?