09 Nov 2014

Berlin by abbieredmon

3/10

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I'll admit upfront: I have mixed feelings about this place, but not because of the food.

No, the food was truly an impressive undertaking.

I ordered "pancakes" with fruit, jam, and syrup. This is what the menu told me.

What I got?

"Pancakes" of EPIC proportions, thick, dense, and somehow rounded on BOTH sides (do they have a special pan for this? I think I need one), with the perfect consistency. If you dropped these pancakes into the ocean, they would immediately sink to the bottom and stay there for approximately seven weeks before the water finally dissolved them. Unf. The syrup, as usual, was too sweet for me, but the jam was divine.

And the fruit. Well, the fruit.

I have learned that in Berlin, if your meal comes with "fruit," what they really mean is that on your plate will be one piece OR PERHAPS TWO IF YOU'RE LUCKY of pineapple that includes that hard middle part that nobody likes to eat. Or four grapes. Or a very thin slice of a nondescript melon whose taste you can't quite place. But you will receive only ONE of these. Think of it as a little dessert. You will eat around this piece of fruit, saving it for last, because fruit is delicious and sweet, and when you finally get to it, it will have butter smeared on it, or also possibly jam, and it will be a little soggy, but you will enjoy it, dammit, because it's the ONLY FRUIT YOU'RE GONNA GET!

A-hem.

But those pancakes. Damn, guys.

Okay so wait, let's back up. The service at this restaurant is another matter.

When I walked in, a small group had just vacated a table in a corner that would comfortably seat two, but could also sit four, or five in a pinch.

I asked the first waiter I saw if there was room for one for brunch, he looked around, and I could tell he was about to say no. But, I think he saw the look on my face, and he told me I could squeeze in next to these two guys in the middle of their meal at a table by the window. A table which, I might add, was already covered with the accoutrements of their own meal: plates, coffee cups, bread baskets, etc. The waiter assured me, "They're friendly guys."

Okay... I got around the corner and saw the recently-vacated table mentioned above. I decided to sit at that one instead of interrupting the other guys' meal. I hadn't taken my coat off yet, and when I made eye contact with the waiter again, I motioned to ask if it was okay if I sat there.

He said no.

He actually said no!

After some further gestures and uncomfortable shifting in my seat, he said it was fine for me to stay there, but he might need to seat other people at my table later.

I told him that was completely fine -- I love to share.

So, here's my problem with the way he handled this. I agree, seating one person at a table that could fit more is potential wasted space, HOWEVER, awkwardly squeezing another person onto a table with people already half-way through their meal is a bit unnecessary if there is an open table nearby. Sharing is fine! I'm happy to share a table! But I don't think the sharing should begin until it's necessary. And if there's an open table, it's not necessary yet. Know what I mean?

Maybe I'm in the wrong, but I felt a bit slighted -- like, because I'm a "party of one," I don't get the option of having a fresh table. That's just mean. And maybe discriminatory? Ha. I'm probably being over-sensitive about it, but whatever.

Anyway.

Go here; the food is really good. Everything else on the menu looked fantastic. But go with a friend or two, dammit, so you have a shot at a decent table!

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A girl I'd met at my hostel told me she'd been sampling hot chocolates all around Germany, and the best she'd had yet was from this place, a few block away from Checkpoint Charlie, and pretty touristy as it turns out.

In their shop windows, they have HUGE chocolate recreations of the Brandenburg Gate, the TV Tower, the parliament building, all kinds of crazy things. And the EXTENT of their chocolate offerings is truly impressive.

I bought a solid, 2-pound chocolate Brandenburg Gate for my grandmother for Christmas, and a hot chocolate to go for myself. It was pretty good, but I wasn't bowled over.

They do have a cafe upstairs if you want to wait for a seat. There were some pretty decadent desserts in the case up there. I was definitely eyeing them.

My assessment: Overrated, but if you like chocolate, why the hell not.