Anna Blume, Brunch and Cakes, Prenzlauer Berg

When I lived in Prenzlauer Berg for one month last March, I used to pass Anna Blume on a daily basis.  It had gotten so much coverage in the guide books and blogs that I had Anna Blume fatigue, before even visiting it.  That coupled with a lot of  bad reviews from people who had been hyped up by the profusion of write ups and then let down when they finally visited.  

On Tuesday I took a break from the 3 days of non stop hostessing and took the M1 tram up to Prenzlauer Berg, intending to go to Meierei.  A funny notice on a doily informed me that they would only be reopening on the 6th of January.  I decided to finally give Anna Blume a try.  

Anna Blume is an Art Nouveau inspired cafe, flower shop and pattiserie.  The fresco on the wall of the main cafe, could have been painted by someone in Alphonse Mucha‘s family.  It’s a large place, with burgundy banquette in the corners.  It feels like it has been transported from a different century until you notice the quirky clientage.  (The sous chef from Dos Palillos was there that day)

Blume serves late breakfasts and elaborate many tiered cakes.  I noticed a lot of couples were opting for breakfast served on a three-level cake stand. My own order of ham and cheese crepe was gimmicky, with the crepe fashioned as an edible bowl for the cheese and ham.  There was a tasty 3 bite salad of sprouts and cress served in the hollows of some endive leaves.

I was expecting to be annoyed, and to agree with those who claimed it was over hyped but actually I thought my crepe was rather good and I love that the food is so colourful and fresh.  And what I saw on the adjacent tables looked equally delicious.

Being Berlin, there is the inevitable bugaboo of service.  I was almost put off when after standing patiently on the threshold for 5 minutes, I said “Hello.” to one of the waitresses.  “Hello” in this case being customer shorthand for “I would like a table please.”  She practically walked through me.  I turned on my heel ready to go somewhere that wanted my custom before mentally talking myself down off the indignation ledge and reminding myself that this is Berlin.  I walked over to a different waitress and asked if I could sit anywhere?  She nodded annoyed that I had interrupted her barista duties.

It’s the oddest thing because once I had sat down, the waitress who had ignored me was extremely hospitable.  Nevertheless, I saw the same scene being played out for the 1 hour that I sat there: customers coming in, waiting for someone to notice them and then either giving up after 10 minutes or just taking initiative and sitting down.

Even though I was utterly stuffed by my large portion of crepe (has anyone else noticed that the portion sizes here  could give the American ones a run for their money?), I ordered a slice of chocolate cake.  The cakes look very professional in the refrigerated vitrine, but they didn’t look like the kind of cakes I would like.  Too much cream, to many swirls, capable of making you feel bloated just by looking at them.  The slice I received was gorgeous, huge and as I had thought, not the kind of thing I like to eat at all.  After two dutiful bites, I pushed it to one side.

I have read that Anna Blume is impossible to get  a seat in on the weekend, even more so in the summer when you can sit outside.  If you are in the fortunate position of not working, I think Anna Blume is worth a visit during the week.  I recommend their breakfasts but I find their cakes too rich.  

Anna Blume
Kollwitzstraße 83
Prenzlauer Berg
8:00–2:00
Tel: 030 440 487 49

Other reviews of Anna Blume in English
Slow Travel Berlin (http://www.slowtravelberlin.com/2010/05/10/anna-blume/)
Cafe Kultur Berlin (http://cafekulturberlin.blogspot.com/2008/11/anna-blume-prenzlauer-berg.html)
Good Food in Berlin (http://goodfoodinberlin.de/german-food/cafe-anna-blume-prenzlauer-berg/)

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11 Responses to Anna Blume, Brunch and Cakes, Prenzlauer Berg

  1. Next time you leave almost an entire AB cake, please call me, I love them!

    *looks solemnly at paunch*

  2. Well clearly you haven’t tried my cakes yet. : ) Plus, flying to Miami tomorrow and all my cake eating has not left me with the bikini bod I would like.

  3. No one has the ideal bikini body Suzy, even me (though I look great in armbands and flippers it has been said). I’m sure you’ll find a private roof pool to lounge in if you’re really shy ;) Have a great time!

  4. The cake does look enticing, but some desserts can be more appearance than substance. You may find this recent post on desserts interesting.

    http://www.ediblegeography.com/the-dessert-crisis/

    Enjoy the sun and seafood in Miami.
    Happy New Year!

    Kathleen

  5. Natalie says:

    Just found your blog – how have I missed it for so long? I feel like you about AB: I’m always reluctant to go but always impressed when I do. Although I have to say the cake is absolutely my cup of tea. It’s made by the same people as the ones over the road Sowohl Als Auch which is probably my favourite cake place in Berlin (maybe, but I mean there’s so many to choose from…).

    Glad I discovered you for the new year!

    • Hey, thanks! I see big cakes and I just feel full, if I could have about 1/4 of that cake, I would be happy. (I know I am probably in a minority in wanting smaller cake portions!)

  6. dara p says:

    the german way is just to sit down at a free tabel (unless there’s a wait to be seated sign) – it’s one of those cultural differences –

    probably explains the reason the waitress ignored you, and then was very hospitable.

  7. fromhere says:

    Honestly, I think you know more places than I do! I like good food and recognize and enjoy it when it’s put in front of me but I don’t go hunting for it. The few RL foodie friends I have are incidentally all from out of town, and when they visit, I tend to follow their suggestions, not the other way round. I never used to think of Berlin as a place where people valued good food, so it’s mainly through blogs like yours that I get tips for places to check out which I never used to do.
    My general experience of the development over the past 10 years or so has been that you get decent value for little money all around but that posh places tend to be underwhelming. Dinners at the Westin Grand Hotel in Friedrichstraße or a lobster place on Kurfürstendamm (I forget the name) stick out as embarrassingly bad on *all* levels (well the lobster itself was ok, or so said the New England friends I went with).
    My pet hate overrated place is Due forni on Schönhauser. What in the world.
    What I don’t like either is the flood of anglofied places all over. I recently had a delicious baked potato in Bixels (might even have been your blog that led me there) but their arrogance of having a menu in English only doesn’t sit well with me at all. (And this is even coming from an anglophile!)

    Having said that, here’s some of my locals (and I’m sure you know all these):
    For Italian, the food at Vai mo in Danziger Straße has never disappointed me.
    I love dumplings of any kind. Wok Show in Greifenhagener Straße is around the corner from mine, so that’s where I home in on. There used to be a Mongolian restaurant in Bornholmer Straße which I loved but they’ve gone out of business.
    I’m a fan of Sunday Kaffee-und-Kuchen at 4pm. Anna Blume and before that the Kaffeehaus opposite were favourite spots but they’ve long since become too crowded on weekends. Blumencafé on Schönhauser Allee has taken their place but not for the cakes, they are absolutely nothing to write home about, but for the interior. If I want to indulge in layered cakes, Operncafé (Opernpalais) Unter den Linden is the ticket. Proper old school Café, huge selection of cakes, very good quality.
    My favourite sweet place is Werkstatt der Süße though (nevermind the awful name) in Husemannstr. 25. I think it’s one of a kind, I end up pretty much starry-eyed just thinking of the place.

    Happy birthday to your little one!

    • I know Werkstatt der susse. I wrote about it a while back. I like it too (although sometimes, some of the cakes in the vitrine are not at their best but you can see that and not order those). It’s odd, no one seems to have coffee there, except for tourists from France or Spain.
      Thanks for the tips. Back in Berli this evening and will endevour to visit some of them soon.

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