My Twitter friend misterrios told me about this place and then when I read about it on Berlinrefied I knew I had to go pronto! Little L and I hopped in our right hand drive Smart and drove down to Kreuzberg.
Gneisenaustrasse is a pretty tree lined street with cafes and quirky little shops. I went into a design shop (it seemed like a young designer co-op) adjacent to Soluna and gave the girl behind the till a big toothy smile, she just looked at me – totally dead pan, not even an eye lid flutter.
Then I went into Soluna and did my whole “Do you speak English?” spiel. Different girl, same dead pan expression!
Sometimes I get the feeling that if your face is piercing-less, your clothing matched, or if you don’t have a haircut that features big chunks missing from conspicuous places – you are just not welcomed in some shops in Berlin? Maybe I come across as Bourgeois (my actual Bourgeois friends must be keeling over at the moment, kicking their feet in the air and hooting with laughter at the thought of that)? Whatever, there is no denying that little L, myself and my beige rain coat were not met with open arms in Kreuzberg. It’s extremely irksome, my exterior appearance in no way hinders my ability to appreciate good bread. If anything I am in a better position than most people who wear Birkenstock Clogs outside their home, because I have had access to some of the best places that dot our green little globe.
Hold on, hold on! Before you delete the bookmark of my blog with a disgusted sneer on your face! I have done my time! I waitressed at a Deli in Primrose Hill, which hands down has the highest concentration of bored rich women willing to make you squirm just so they can show off to their gaggle of girl friends. And I have suffered, I have had to make the same woman her coffee 4 times because it wasn’t hot enough or be lectured by the boyfriend of another when after insisting that her Cappuccino be “bone dry” complained that I hadn’t given her enough milk. Dry means just foam not milk you silly cow!
So yes, I have been the girl on the other side of the counter – as a result I go to great lengths never to make the person on the other side feel uncomfortable. It’s a conundrum. I am considering getting a clip on piercing and maybe some hair pieces but then I might look like a female version of Inspector Clouseau…
So the bread. The New York Times wrote about it (something Soluna proudly proclaims with a laminate of the article in its front window). According to the Times, Michael Hoffmann (Margaux) proclaimed it to be the Ferrari of the bread world (really? surely he meant Bugatti? Ok, delete my bookmark!).
Peter Klann has a huge following. But I’ve eaten a lot of bread – even here in Berlin. I’ve tried the famed Hofpfisterei stuff that is trucked down from Munich. And the bread from Manufactum’s Brot & Butter. And Poilane of course (snore!). I am even lucky enough to try Misterrios own home made bread using his starter that smells of peach (when I had a starter, it smelled like feet)! I have eaten my way through a fair number of bread baskets at 3 starred Michelin joints. Looking at the little bread CV I have put together, I would say, I am in the position to pass judgment on Peter Klann’s bread.
So how was it? Pretty damn good! If I were Rob Fleming (Nick Hornby’s protagonist in High Fidelity), this bread would definitely make it into my “Top Five”. I bought the 70% sourdough and if I hadn’t been so greedy, I would have a photo here to show you – alas we gobbled it all up, my camera never stood a chance. I was slightly alarmed by the extremely dark exterior (I have a lot of fillings and didn’t want to lose any of them). Worries in vain, the crust was soft and chewy – almost sticky and full of flavor!
I read later in the New York times article, that Peter Klann thinks his bread improves over time. He went as far as to say that it’s best eaten 3 days after baking. I only had a little wedge left by day 3 but I have to agree with the man. That is one good loaf! Worth taking a detour to Kreuzberg and clipping on that nose piercing!
Note: June 2011. I’ve been to this place about 12 times now and I feel like the service has gotten a lot better. Or maybe it’s me, maybe I ‘get’ the Berlin vibe more now than before. Still think it’s the best sourdough in the city.
Soluna Brot undÖl
T. 030 505 98 405