Das Lokal, German Bistro, Mitte
December 23, 2011 14 Comments
Day before yesterday, car full of all my Christmas food shopping, I returned to the garage to see that someone was parked in our spot. (Yes, we own a car. No, it doesn’t keep me up at night, wondering if I will go to emissions hell – it’s a hybrid, although we didn’t know that when we got it…) I huffed and I puffed, I got out and touched the offending car’s bonnet. Hot. He’d just arrived, parking spot stealing bastard! I took a picture of the car with my iPhone, emailed it to the garage landlord. I turned my car around, found a parking spot on the street, got out (in the rain) fed €3 into the meter went upstairs. Printed out VERMIETET (yes the capitals are absolutely necessary) on an A4 sheet of paper, put in it a plastic sheet and stomped back out of the house (in the rain but this time with an umbrella) to the garage where I fixed that to the wall. I also left a note, the gist of which was ‘call me on this number once you’ve moved your vehicle out of my parking space pinhead!’. Meanwhile the garage landlord writes to let me know I can park in the dentist’s bay. I go back down (in the rain, still with the umbrella), move the car and because I am feeling petty, affix the €3 ticket to the car’s windshield. Then I putter around my kitchen until 1 hour later, the phone rings.
Hello. I am the man who parked in your space.
Ok – so you’re leaving now?
Yes, I am so sorry.
Um, well, where should I leave the €3?
The wha..? Oh – yes, don’t worry, it’s fine.
I hang up.Once again, the disparity between most German people and every other European citizen is glaringly apparent. Most German people will always do the right thing, even when no one is looking. So if I left someone in a room with a jar of cookies and these instructions. ”Do not eat the cookies. If for some unfathomable reason you do eat a cookie, pinch yourself really hard on the arm as punishment.” I think, the majority would not eat the cookie and the minority would eat the cookie and pinch themselves. No one would say, scan the room for hidden cameras or strain their ears to make sure no one was approaching before saying…What? F**k it, I’m leaving and I’m taking the cookie jar with me.Anyway, how are you all doing with your Christmas preparations? Presents, cooking, cookies? I’ve kind of fallen behind this year. Instead of worrying about it, I met my friend Sylee for lunch at Das Lokal. Sylee told me that it used to be called Kantine (see her post on the original place here) because it served as such to David Chipperfield Architects from whom they rented a space (meanwhile, David Chipperfield used to be regular Melrose and Morgan client when I worked there, how small is the world?). They recently moved to the gallery (and of late jewellery shop) lined street that is linienstrasse. (Oh and does anyone besides me find it odd that the German word for jewellery is Schmuck? Which in English means fool?).Linienstrasse 160. I walked around the corner site twice, trying to find the name. Before assuming ‘this must be the place’ (that Talking Heads tune has such stickiness, now it’s going to be in my head for an age, join me? Here is the link.) Inside it’s all long-necked pale peach tulips bowing their heads sleepily interspersed with thorny twigs, identical glasses lined up like soldiers over the bar. White shaker style chairs, some of which wear sheepskin coats. Both waitresses are friendly and attentive. I order the homemade pasta with goose and chestnuts (€8), Sylee orders the pastrami sandwich (€8.50). The pasta comes unceremoniously plopped on a plate, chestnuts lolling around on the sides. The pasta is definitely homemade, it’s thick and stuck together in places. Not fancy to look at but delicious, the pieces of goose surprisingly flavourful. The pastrami sandwich is less of a success, the pastrami is very salty and the bread (possibly oven warmed) goes hard fast. It comes with a side of potato wedges and a pickle, sliced in half.The food is tasty, comes in generous portions and is cheap comparative to a lot of the neighborhood restaurants in Mitte. The handsome peaceful dining room is conducive to long lazy lunches and dinners. Mostly though, the service is friendly. I think the power of ‘nice’ is seriously underestimated in Berlin (remind me to regal you with a tale of absurdly bad service at Hot Spot a few weeks ago), they seem to have it to spare at Das Lokal.
I will try to get in a few shots of our Christmas spread to post before we are off to Miami. And looking forward to trying 3 Minutes sur Mer (the new venture from Bandol sur Mer on Torstr) and Hartzweizen (goofy 24 hours at Alinea in 3 minutes inspired video on youtube, except with less action, here.) in the New Year.
Have a good one! xx
Monday and Sunday from 17:00
Tuesday to Saturday from 12
Lunch 12 – 17, Aperitivo 17-19, Dinner from 18