I went to Brooklyn Beef Club tonight. Three of my friends have raved about it (all men). One has visited so often he has earned a plaque with his name on it. When I heard, I marveled at the financial feat in that, mains go for around €50. I imagine a big gold plaque as big as my shoe, it turns out it’s more of a plaquette – only slightly bigger than my large toenail. Clever though, the sense of entitlement it gives the client, the impetus to keep returning and rack up enough miles for a gold plaque with their name on it. (I have a better idea, after a named number of steaks, Brooklyn Beef Club should give you a pair of leather boots or a jacket).
I haven’t checked them all but I am willing to bet good money that all the names on the plaques belong to men. The whole Brooklyn Beef Club is like a bachelor pad. First of all – it’s in the basement, put in a bunk bed and stash some porn under the bed and you’re done. In actual fact, you walk down the stairs and first thing you are confronted with is a humidifier with…cigars. I hate cigars. No one will ever convince me that people earnestly enjoy cigars, rather it’s some sort of manly test, to put something gag inducing and foul in your mouth and patiently chomp and suck on the damn thing for hours on end while making big talk. Big talk as opposed to small talk or even worthy talk – can you imagine smoking a cigar while talking about saving the children in ‘fill in the blank’? No.The menu, like the interior, is made for bachelors. All pretenses for a balanced meal are discarded. We are talking meat. Meat on a big oval white plate with a paper flag impaled in it. You can order sides, potatoes 4 ways: mashed, French fries, rostii, new potatoes. The whole endeavor makes me think of a comedy sketch by Florence Forestri called J’aime pas les garcons (watch the skit on Youtube starting from 3 minutes).When I use the bathroom I notice that there is a Molton Brown liquid hand wash but no hand cream. Because a bachelor, one that eats copious quantities of steak and smokes cigars has probably clocked the fact that fancy restaurants abroad often supply Molton Brown soap but by the time it came to the hand cream, his attention may have wandered. He must have also missed that the dispensers are usually fixed to the wall in some way rather than skidding precariously over the sink grooves designed to house a bar of soap. This is no metro sexual, were he, you might find a ceviche in the starters or a green salad… These are all a woman’s observations you understand. The dining room is half full, impressive considering it is a Tuesday evening and Brooklyn Beef Club is on a street utterly devoid of traffic let along foot traffic. There is a table of 6 Swedish men, who speak loudly, order beer to go with their porterhouse steaks (which they order and get well done – even though there is this whole spiel on the front cover of the menu about how they will not serve meat any more cooked than medium-well). The rest of the dining room is made up of couples, the male part of which are positively reverberating with anticipation at the slab of meat they are about to devour.I have the fillet with ‘al dente’ Beelitzer asparagus. First time I’ve had white asparagus cooked that way, not sure I like it. The fillet is good, tender. Under seasoned unfortunately. Nothing like the 55 day aged beef I had at Hedone, in London – which wasn’t much to look at and didn’t come with a flag but really for meat that good I would consider killing the cow myself. (This from a person who had to get someone else to kill her lobster at Leiths – I know, hypocrite. Maybe I could just run the cow over, or you know give it a good scare and bring on a pain free heart attack?).There are a lot of men in Berlin having a love affair with Brooklyn Beef Club. If you are into that kind of austere hit of meat, you might well join their ranks. For me, a woman with a genetic pre-disposition to ordering fish who has to encounter truly outstanding meat for me to swoon over it – I find the place to be ok. I do prefer the views at the Grill Royal and we are talking about similar prices.
Brooklyn Beef Club
Part of “The Dude Hotel”
Köpenicker Straße 92