berlin (saturday 30/6)

Saturday I fell in love with Berlin.

I was really enjoying my time in Berlin. The food was good, the coffee was great, everything was cheap (relatively – definitely in comparison to Copenhagen) and I felt as though I was walking through a living museum.

But I didn’t love it. My friend, who has a similar affinity for Stockholm, understood.

“Go to Prenzlauer Berg,” he said. “You’ll love it there.” So, I went.

And I fell in love.

It wasn’t as though there were major sites or things I had to do in the neighborhood commonly known as PBerg. Much like NYC’s West Village, I just went and looked. I mean, really looked. There’s a difference, mon cheries. You can look down the street to make sure you’re going the right way, or you can look down the street and see how the light hits the building, creating an ombre effect.

There’s no part of Berlin that escapes a slap of local personality. If you take pause, you’ll see it.

Remember these pancakes I made for Sunday breakfast last month?

They were topped with a gooseberry and lemon mint jam purchased at this Saturday market in PBerg.

Food markets always make me wish I lived in the city I’m visiting. I want an excuse to chat with my favorite butcher about the best bratwurst he brought to market or consult a cheesemonger on which cheese to serve at my dinner party tomorrow night. What I could buy and safely, pending my packing practices, bring home was jam. The people at the Rosenrot & Feengrün stall were so wonderful and friendly, translating the jam labels for me as I went about tasting, pointing and exclaiming, “Ooh, what’s that?! I like that one!” In addition to the gooseberry, I also picked up a jar of rhubarb and elderflower jam. If you’re really interested, it seems like there a shop on Amazon, just for you (if you speak German). There were other stalls grilling meats and serving beer. Definitely a great place to pass the afternoon and do some shopping.

Later, in the afternoon, I hopped on the Ubahn towards Wittenberplatz, destined for Kaufhaus des Westens. KaDeWe is a department store of epic proportions, but why did I make this a Berlin destination? Simple – the gourmet 7th floor. Have I mentioned how much I love a good food shopping spree? Have I shocked any of you?

Didn’t think so.

This place is a mecca. A goldmine. I could run laps around this place and probably get winded before I cover all the square footage. There were numerous deli counters, like this Lenôtre patisserie.

There is also what I’d like to refer to as the “American Department” – rotisserie chicken, pints of Häagen-Dazs, and a lethal amount of Monster “energy” drinks.

There was also a gorgeous oyster bar with a gregarious man behind the counter, and at least 3 other counters were selling various cuts of meat and wursts.

I’d say KaDeWe’s gourmet floor is bigger than Harrod’s food court. Todd English at The Plaza is a joke, in comparison.

After doing a few laps, I settled at a counter grilling and serving various wurst dishes. I took my seat at the counter and was served quickly and with typical German efficiency.

So here it is – my very first bratwurst, served with a potato salad. Sure, I probably paid twice as much as I could have if I bought it at a corner spot. I don’t care, it was deliciousMan, do I love meat.

You silly vegetarians, how do you pass it up?

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