Das Lokal, German Bistro, Mitte

True story.

Day before yesterday, car full of all my Christmas food shopping, I returned to the garage to see that someone was parked in our spot. (Yes, we own a car. No, it doesn’t keep me up at night, wondering if I will go to emissions hell - it’s a hybrid, although we didn’t know that when we got it…)  I huffed and I puffed, I got out and touched the offending car’s bonnet.  Hot.  He’d just arrived, parking spot stealing bastard!  I took a picture of the car with my iPhone, emailed it to the garage landlord.  I turned my car around, found a parking spot on the street, got out (in the rain) fed €3 into the meter went upstairs.  Printed out  VERMIETET (yes the capitals are absolutely necessary) on an A4 sheet of paper, put in it a plastic sheet and stomped back out of the house (in the rain but this time with an umbrella) to the garage where I fixed that to the wall.  I also left a note, the gist of which was ‘call me on this number once you’ve moved your vehicle out of my parking space pinhead!’.  Meanwhile the garage landlord writes to let me know I can park in the dentist’s bay.  I go back down (in the rain, still with the umbrella), move the car and because I am feeling petty, affix the €3 ticket to the car’s windshield.  Then I putter around my kitchen until 1 hour later, the phone rings.
Hello. I am the man who parked in your space.
Ok - so you’re leaving now?
Yes, I am so sorry.
That’s fine.
Um, well, where should I leave the €3?
The wha..?  Oh - yes, don’t worry, it’s fine.
More apologizing.
I hang up.Once again, the disparity between most German people and every other European citizen is glaringly apparent.  Most German people will always do the right thing, even when no one is looking.  So if I left someone in a room with a jar of cookies and these instructions.  ”Do not eat the cookies.  If for some unfathomable reason you do eat a cookie, pinch yourself really hard on the arm as punishment.”  I think, the majority would not eat the cookie and the minority would eat the cookie and pinch themselves.  No one would say, scan the room for hidden cameras or strain their ears to make sure no one was approaching before saying…What? F**k it, I’m leaving and I’m taking the cookie jar with me.Anyway, how are you all doing with your Christmas preparations? Presents, cooking, cookies? I’ve kind of fallen behind this year.  Instead of worrying about it, I met my friend Sylee for lunch at Das Lokal.  Sylee told me that it used to be called Kantine (see her post on the original place here) because it served as such to David Chipperfield Architects from whom they rented a space (meanwhile, David Chipperfield used to be regular Melrose and Morgan client when I worked there, how small is the world?).  They recently moved to the gallery (and of late jewellery shop) lined street that is linienstrasse.  (Oh and does anyone besides me find it odd that the German word for jewellery is Schmuck? Which in English means fool?).Linienstrasse 160.  I walked around the corner site twice, trying to find the name.  Before assuming ‘this must be the place’ (that Talking Heads tune has such stickiness, now it’s going to be in my head for an age, join me? Here is the link.)  Inside it’s all long-necked pale peach tulips bowing their heads sleepily interspersed with thorny twigs, identical glasses lined up like soldiers over the bar.  White shaker style chairs, some of which wear sheepskin coats.  Both waitresses are friendly and attentive.  I order the homemade pasta with goose and chestnuts (€8), Sylee orders the pastrami sandwich (€8.50).  The pasta comes unceremoniously plopped on a plate, chestnuts lolling around on the sides.  The pasta is definitely homemade, it’s thick and stuck together in places.  Not fancy to look at but delicious, the pieces of goose surprisingly flavourful.  The pastrami sandwich is less of a success, the pastrami is very salty and the bread (possibly oven warmed) goes hard fast.  It comes with a side of potato wedges and a pickle, sliced in half.The food is tasty, comes in generous portions and is cheap comparative to a lot of the neighborhood restaurants in Mitte.  The handsome peaceful dining room is conducive to long lazy lunches and dinners.  Mostly though, the service is friendly.  I think the power of ‘nice’ is seriously underestimated in Berlin (remind me to regal you with a tale of absurdly bad service at Hot Spot a few weeks ago), they seem to have it to spare at Das Lokal.

I will try to get in a few shots of our Christmas spread to post before we are off to Miami.  And looking forward to trying 3 Minutes sur Mer (the new venture from Bandol sur Mer on Torstr) and Hartzweizen (goofy 24 hours at Alinea in 3 minutes inspired video on youtube, except with less action, here.) in the New Year.

Have a good one!  xx

Das Lokal
Linienstraße 160
Monday and Sunday from 17:00
Tuesday to Saturday from 12
Lunch 12 - 17, Aperitivo 17-19, Dinner from 18

14 Responses to Das Lokal, German Bistro, Mitte

  1. joshuafagans says:

    I am desperately behind in my holiday preparations. Trying to quickly make up for lost time!

  2. Sasa says:

    Yes, Schmuck! Always giggle to myself passing jeweller’s shops in German speaking countries.

  3. Daniel says:

    This similarity is no coincidence, of course, as the two words actually share a common origin.


  4. sarah says:

    So excited I just found your blog!! I am heading to Berlin the end of Jan and can’t wait to try some of the resturants you have reviewed.

  5. Luisa says:

    Glad Daniel cleared up what “Schmuck” means in Yiddish! :)

    I had dinner here in early December and was sadly unimpressed. Fantastic service, actually, but the food was just no good. Sigh.

  6. Luisa says:

    I had mussels - almost all of them were sandy and they tasted…weird. My friend had a salad with pieces of meat in it, super dry and tough. But the place was so cute! And our waiter was so sweet. Such a drag.

  7. Jessie says:

    Hey Foodie!
    I love your blog. Your pictures and write ups are great. Do let us know when you are back in London. Would be great to catch up with you.

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