On Tucholskystrasse, there is a little brown fox with what looks like a button mushroom (but is more likely a chef’s hat on one ear) surreptitiously climbing up the shop front of Wiener Brot. Inside the shop there is a shelf into which loaves of bread are filed vertically. Large red swirly lamps that look like thick brushstrokes hang from the ceiling. A colour picked up in the lipstick and cat’s eye glasses of the buxom woman behind the counter.
“Is this a Sarah Wiener shop?” I ask the shop assistant
“Yes.” She beams back.
“Oh.” I think flatly.
I had high expectations for another Sarah Wiener place Das Speisezimmer and although the design of the place was nice, the food was less than lacklustre. Still that was over a year ago and I had only eaten there once. I could be wrong about Sarah Wiener.
Except I’m not.Sarah Wiener has good ideas and knows how to brand herself and her shops so that they tick off all the right buzz words. For example the bakery uses ‘spring water’ and ‘stoneground organic flour’ to make bread in the ‘traditional’ manner. It’s enough to get a foodie all hot under the collar until I taste it and think “I don’t care if it took three cherubs and a garden gnome to make this biscuit, it’s over baked.” The main problem is her packaging oversells her content, which for the most part is fine but not noteworthy.
Except for the coffee which is awful and expensive. Over €3. I wasn’t even given fresh milk for that price. No, instead the shop assistant lifted the plate on a pot of milk – the milk left over from some previous coffee at an unknowable point in time (the place doesn’t get much coffee custom) and proceeded to froth that up. Badly. The big bubble froth that dissolve quickly until you are left with something that looks like soap scum.
It left me no choice but to walk another 5 minutes to The Barn and have my coffee there. (There are other coffee places in Berlin besides The Barn but they do the best coffee within my immediate walkable radius)