Monday, July 14, 2008

Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà (Rome, Italy)


For those reading other sites, this is also known as the Football Pub, which is soccer on the TVs.  My wife and I were in Rome for Christmas, and our very memorable visits to Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fa were all positive except the last time.  The owner of the pub is also the owner of Bir & Fud next door.  Both are open later in the evening, so don't show up until the locals head out to dinner.  We were never able to match the rhythm of the country, meal time or otherwise.  However, they were open on Christmas, which was our best day there.

Our first two visits were great and our bartender worked very hard to find us beers we liked, so he chatted up the various options.  My favorite beers were Olfabrikken Porter, Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze, and Kulmbacher Eisbock--all on tap.  I had a couple Italian beers as well, but those weren't as memorable but interesting.  Noel from Birrificio Bacad'o was our favorite. There were about a dozen taps and all were well poured and fresh. Our bartender was a photographer and helped us find a new battery by walking us down the street to a store because the directions too difficult in the ancient Roman streets.  Just amazingly friendly help.

Unfortunately, our last visit didn't go as well. We met the owner Manuele the first night, but we weren't able to come late enough at night during the rest of the trip to see him again because our hotel was inconvenient.  I mispronounced Manuele without the ending vowel syllable, so a local couple and a different bartender made a rude joke at our expense.  Rather than stay, we headed to Bir & Fud for dinner instead, bu the mood was blown.  In retrospect, I was more upset than I needed to be since Manuele and the other bartender were absolutely fantastic earlier in the week.  Manuele not only answered my email before the trip, but emailed after we got home to check on our stay.

Another odd thing about Italy. Here, the bartenders put the glass under the tap, open it up and let a large head pile up, settle and re-pour  which means betting a beer is slow process--but eventually well poured.  At other pubs, a few poured straight down the side with little head.  Don't expect the equivalent of a top rated American beer bar because the choice doesn't quite match.  However, for Rome, it's a real beer place in a wine wasteland.

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