WestBerlin, Coffee & Cakes, Kreuzberg

IMG_1314I got a big kick out of the post I wrote on The Barn because so many of you left comments.  I like when this blog generates a dialogue and I get a chance to exchange thoughts directly with some of you.

When I first came to Berlin in 2009.  The only place you could get a flat white was Bonanza Coffee.  Like The Barn today, they did away with any modesty and strutted around like they had invented coffee.  I remember being shamed when I asked for a decaf and I haven’t been back in 3 years.Coffee and CakeIt’s a very different landscape in Berlin these days.  There are plenty of great coffee places around.  They get coffee.  They have a slick machine.  Square Mile or Monmouth beans.  The baristas with the trendy hair cuts that waffle on to each other about the beans and the tiny nuances they are detecting.  And they are nice to you.  You don’t have to fiddle nervously at the bar, wondering if you are going to get the lingo right?  If they can smell the instant coffee you had 3 days ago when you were absolutely dying for some caffeine and your grinder was on the fritz (Really? You have a grinder? You’re such a coffee nerd.)

IMG_1313I mean – sometimes you just want a coffee?  Am I right?  A good cup of coffee, somewhere nice.  You don’t want to feel like you are being screened to join your local Scientology branch. Read more of this post

Zeit für Brot, Bakery & Cafe, Mitte.

Zeit fur brotThey have cinnamon buns in Zeit für Brot.  Cinnamon buns make me think of Louie CK.  Louie CK always makes me laugh (and who doesn’t need a laugh with so much winter ahead of them?).  He is like a mild-mannered, unkempt accountant type except when he opens his mouth the most incredible amount of expletives and shocking ideas emerge.  To which he shrugs his shoulders and grins sheepishly, like he just unexpectedly passed a bit of wind and it’s never happened before…IMG_1204Cinnamon buns are the antithesis to all those dinkelbrots and bauernbrots I consume.  Like the hussy men take up with immediately after leaving their reliable, supportive but oh so boring mother of their children.  Heston Blumenthal illustrated this phenomenon perfectly when he left his wife Zanna for Suzanne (Please, please watch the video promotion to her book The Pleasure Is All Mine, you will keel over laughing if you are a woman or think the recipes look really good if you are my husband.).

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I see the cinnamon buns and I think: “This is what I need, yeast, sugar, pillowiness – badness.”  Then half way through I feel a bit bloated, a bit blah.  I’ve peaked quickly and now it’s still a grey winter afternoon except I’ve got half a cinnamon roll lodged in my gut. Read more of this post

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