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.
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/)