Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The other day I was sitting in my friend’s kitchen in Berlin, flipping through her copy of “The Return of the Naked Chef”. Have you read that book? So yummy- and I’m not just talking about the recipes. The Naked Chef (Jamie Oliver) is smoking hot, and has some great views on food to boot.
However, as I was reading his rant about why breakfast should be elevated to a more important meal status- “Instead of meetings over lunch or dinner, why not meetings over breakfast?”- and how hard it was to find a good breakfast buffet, I couldn’t help but wonder if he had been to Berlin. And if he had, then did he ever miss out.
The Naked Chef’s cookbooks promote recipes using the bare essentials and that strip down restaurant food. Sounds like a Berlin buffet to me- the simplest of foods, but oh so delicious. Berlin’s restaurants are all about the breakfast/brunch crowd. And we’re not talking about the scrambled eggs with some bacon and hash browns type breakfasts that are the standard in so many countries. No, we’re talking about the kind of breakfast the Naked Chef had in mind: fresh juices, self-composed mueslis, and homemade breads. Add to the list a variety of fresh cheeses, a dozen kinds of meat, rolls, jam, fruit, and eggs, and you’ve got the typical Berlin breakfast buffet.
Some restaurants even take breakfast a step further than the food. One restaurant in the Neukolln neighborhood has a small stage and offers a “jazz brunch” every Sunday. How nice to eat breakfast while listening to live jazz. Plus, a buffet in Berlin won’t break your budget. The “jazz brunch” is only 7.50 euros. And other restaurants offer buffets for as low as 3 euros. There may be a lot of artists in Berlin, but you can bet that none of them are starving.