DOS HERMANOS DO BERLIN: BITTE,BABY ELEVEN BERLINER KINDL'S IS MY LIMIT
It is a few weeks into the year and, naturally time for DH to take a
little break from the hard grind of the daily wheel of death that is
being in London.
When it is cold and gloomy, where to go? Spain, naturally. Well, no.
For some reason, I allowed HP to persuade me to come to Berlin.
That's Berlin, where it is currently a balmy -10. Bastard.
Still, being such a brave little soldier as discussed many times
before, I am making the best of it.
Actually, it ain't that bad. Actually, it's rather good.
An early start was tough. Up at 4.30am and at Heathrow for 6.30am saw
us navigate our way through security which, is in itself quite a
Herculean task for me. What can I tell you? I am a man who likes my
toiletries. So, when they ask me if I have any gels the problem is
where to start. " I have some day cream. I have some night cream. I
have some cream that I can use for both day and night" by this time
their eyes have glazed over and they wave me through with a look that,
in less politically correct times would say " you are far too gay to
be a terrorist. Fuck off."
The flight it self was uneventful apart from the unedifying sight of
HP scooping the filling from my free sarnie into his so it did not go
to waste. Then, on arrival to our functional and absurdly cheap,
Holiday Inn ( £30 a night thank you very much ) and dumping our bags
before heading out to hit the streets.
How cold was it? So cold that there is very little possibility that
either of us will be invited to star in a gay porn film any time soon.
That's how cold it was.
The afternoon saw us pootering around a bit complaining about the
temperature before we arrived at The Reichstag which, apart from
doing the boring central governmenty things also houses a café on the
Touristy, for certain and expensive but harmless enough for three
unfeasibly large portions of cake, some sekt and some rather good hot
chocolate with large amounts of whipped cream on top.
Enough to keep us fuelled as we followed HP's plan to walk for a
further hour or two. The sun sank and so did my enjoyment. By the
time we reached Savigny Plaza, I was ready to call it quits and head
back to the hotel.
Fortunately, this lovely little square was packed with bars many of
which proved to be very enticing. We tried two of the more old school
ones, Dicke Wirtin and Zwie Elfish which both offered local beers
which took at least ten minutes in the pouring. Enough time to
restore my enthusiasm along with my body temperature.
After a short break at the hotel, we headed out again for supper. A
couple of beers at the splendidly old school Grossen Bier Kellen were
enough to get us set up for supper before a quick cab ride to Lutter &
Apparently, in Berlin, there are quite a few places by this name, but
they have nothing to do with this, the original. Something to do with
a family fall out, I am guessing from the information I prised from
the waitress. This one is the original.
Original and, quite frankly, lovely. I am not a man for fancy dan
cooking. I don't like chefs showing me how clever they can be. I
don't want them showering me with fripperies of this and ponciness of
that. I just want stuff that tastes good. Well, this was as close
to it as you are going to get. So much so that I am trying to
persuade HP that we should eat here every evening for the rest of the
After a couple more glasses of Sekt, we chose our starters. For
HP a rosti surrounding large chunks of breathtakingly fresh pike perch
and for me a boiled beef with a salad of red onions with such
sweetness they could play Oliver at The Palladium.
The main course though was what was worth talking about. So good in
fact that I am going to place amongst the top ten things I have ever
placed in my mouth. On the plane over I was reading a proof of THE
OYSTER HOUSE SEIGE by Jay Rayner. A well written novel; that uses
food as the prism through which to view a thriller. In it, they
discuss a Wiener Holstein and, damn it made me want one. Well,
tonight, on the menu they had its cousin, a Wiener Schnitzel. No egg, no capers, no achovies and the better for it. We both ordered it. What came were two huge slabs of the most delicate veal,beaten out to a silky tenderness and covered in a crispy, buttery crumb which soaked up the zingy lemon juice I squeezed over it. I was almost speechless which, for those of you who know me,is a thing of rare beauty. So was this schnitzel. It was as good adish as I have eaten for a long time. I wanted to order another one immediatelyand I will dream about how good it was for as long as I draw breath.
I was still coming down from this high when HP pointed our desserts
and I ordered some decent if perfunctory ice cream, some tea and an
Apricot schnapps. What I really wanted was another plate of
perfection in veal form.
The bill was EU120 for two. About the same as Spain and about half
the price of the same in London.
It is cold here. Damn cold, but I would gladly walk buck naked
through the Tier Garten for another chance to eat that veal. We are
here for another few days. Who knows what else we will eat? I do know,
however I will eat another plate of that schnitzel so help me God.