My continuing tale of food. It’s a good thing we walked alot.
The rest of the week in Berlin was a flurry of lunches, dinners and simple breakfasts. The best morning coffee and pastry was at Zeit für Brot. This bakery, with great coffee and seating, was a half a block away. If you didn’t get there early you had to join the line that snaked out the door and into the street. This was true on the Sunday we were there.
For our other meals we did very little planning. The only time we ever made a reservation was on our last night together. For lunches, we just looked around at what was available in the area. There was never a lack of choices. The only time we were restricted to one choice was the day we did a day trip to Potsdam. Potsdam is the home of the Sanssouci, which was the summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.
The closest eatery was a short walk from the palace. Our other choice was to get the bus and go back into Potsdam but this place looked very promising. It was The Drachenhaus (Dragon House). There are a total of 16 dragons on the corners of the roofs.It was built by King Frederick the Great of Prussia in 1772 for the winegrowers of the area to inhabit but they never did. Since 1934 it has served as a restaurant. Beautiful dining rooms inside and wonderful outdoor terraces. Since it was sunny and in the 70’s we chose al fresco.The service proved to be very slow but the weather was beautiful and we really didn’t need to be anywhere so if they didn’t want to turn the table we were fine. For an out-of-the-way place the food was fresh and beautiful. Everything came with baguettes but curiously no butter unless you asked. We found that true in all of the restaurants in Berlin. On the right below was my lunch. This was Roasted Chicken Breast, Pickled Vegetables, Mango Chutney and a Salad Bouquet. Yes, there were flowers in the salad. Curt had Seawater King Prawns in Herbal Sauce, Salad and three dips: mango chili, aioli horseradish and sweet mustard. Both were excellent.Our friends had some wonderful dishes as well with equally long names. On the left Kenn had Euro Prussian Soup with Marinated Leeks. His salad was described as Salad Leaves of the Season with Lots of Healthy Stuff (That’s the German translation). As close as I can tell the other dish was Chicken with White Wine Risotto & Caponata.
Once we were back in our neighborhood, we stopped for coffee. We did this often after a long day. Here is one such stop. I must say, the Germans do coffee quite well. But sometimes instead of coffee we would stop for a beer, the Germans do beer equally well.We wanted to make our final dinner in Berlin special and through an accidental circumstance it was. The night before we decided to go to Gugelhof. This is a restaurant made popular in 2000 when President Bill Clinton and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had dinner there together. Once we arrived we were told they only took reservations, no walk-ins. So we reserved our table for Sunday evening, our last time together in Berlin. When we arrived the following evening we had the choice of outdoor or indoor dining. The weather was mild but the inside had a warm glow and a cozy atmosphere so inside we went. Our waiter was a wonderful young man who knew a lot about the wine choices and answered all our questions about the food. Gugelhof features Alsatian and Southern German dishes. The lighting in the restaurant was low so I apologize for my rosy photographs. We began with appetizers. Below, Curt’s Creme Brulee of Duck Liver and my Alsatian Onion Soup w/ a Cheese Crouton. Similar choices for others except Michael had the Escargot.For our mains we chose Rosti dishes which when described we realized were potato pancakes. Mine was Rosti with a Veal Ragout in Zurich Style Cream. I really don’t know what that means but it was very good. Curt had Rosti au Gratin (Raclette cheese which is Swiss-like), Black Forest Ham and Salad. We knew Kenn (Mr. Duck Tongues and Chicken Feet) was going to have the pig knuckle and we were right, Crispy Knuckle of Suckling Pig in Black Beer Sauce w/ Sauerkraut Dumplings. Pam was hoping for the Beef Burgundy ( which they were out of!) but went with the Coq au Vin. The pork was a success but the chicken was not as flavorful as she had hoped.But taken all together it was a wonderful. A fitting meal for the old “Gourmet group.” Now here is the kicker to this story. When they brought the bill Pam inquired if she could purchase a tureen like the one her Coq au Vin came in (It also had a lid). Yes, was the answer, 20 Euros. Such a deal and what a great souvenir! Her carry-on just became a lot heavier.