The first time we met, she said: “you’re with me”. And indeed I am. And will be, for the rest of our lives.

We got married in New York this fall (Well, only two of us. Brunch for three, Wedding for two..) . Both because we love the city, and due to the paperwork in Germany being much more a pain in the ass than anything else. It also gave us a great opportunity to continue a now three-year-long tradition of breakfasts at the place we consider to be heaven on earth: Good Enough To Eat.

 Though it’s on the other side of the pond, and despite only visiting New York a total of three times, we’ve managed to sample the better part of their menu and get many Good-Enough-hours under our belt. By the end of each visit to the city, the staff would already recognise us with a smile and a nod in the morning. Some people like to be recognized at their local bar or coffee shop, but for me the epitome of the “Cheers” fantasy lies in Good Enough To Eat.

Looking at the menu, you’d think it’s just another typical American diner: Apple pancakes, eggs Benedict, French toast from a cinna-bun, Waffles, BLT sandwich with home fries, omelettes and the mandatory free coffee re-fills. But it’s only once the smell hits your nostrils, your pupils get dilated at the sight of your plate, and your taste buds sizzle after the first encounter with the food – that you understand why the place has been around for over 30 years (and why its name is the understatement of the century).

Oh, and don’t get us started on the fluffy, divine strawberry butter that accompanies almost every dish..

Bottom line: best place on the upper west side. Of the world, that is.

The plate test: portions are more than generous, but we never leave a crumb.

SoundTrack: diner-chatter

Kids: very friendly

Pets: only outside

Service: The best. We still owe a big “Thank You” for the manager, who made our wedding day even more special. Need we say more?

Price: 9-12$ for most main dishes

Crowd: mostly local, well-informed tourists, and two addicts from Berlin

 Good Enough To Eat

http://goodenoughtoeat.com/

520 Columbus Ave (At 85th Street), Manhattan, New York

Tour de Brunch, Uncategorized
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There are a lot of good reasons to go to Südblock (or “The Camel and Moose” as one of us calls it due to the sign hanging above it), in all hours of the day. We’re definitely planning to check them all out, but this time it was for brunch. Sunday morning, slightly raining, and the inside space was crowded, lively and joyful. Same-sex families, families of three generations plus leather jackets and dogs, large groups of friends, couples – an interesting collection of characters, with a quality soundtrack in the background, mixed with children chatter and dog barks. Happy.

The Südblock brunch is possibly, and probably, the biggest and longest in town. It’s so rich and diverse that no plate will be big enough. And our stomaches are definitely too small. There’s sweet and salty, meats and cheeses, warm and cold salads, quiches and pastries and quite a few options for vegans. We had (and loved) the cauliflower salad, antipasti, potato pancakes, hummus, beats, Spetzle and the cream puffs for dessert. We would have loved to binge on those small and perfect cream puffs endlessly, if we weren’t already so full and powerless to get up. So we stayed there for quite a while, to recover. And it was really nice. ‘Cause it’s really nice to sit in Südblock.

The bottom line: Exciting brunch flavor-wise, and nice brunch taste-wise

The plate-test: Cleaned it, and went back for seconds

Soundtrack: Wonderful, rock ballads, American country

Price: 7-10 EURO is the recommended price range. You pay as you see fit

Crowd: Happy and gay

Service: Friendly and informal

Kids: Yep

Pets: Yep

Yesterday’s cloths: Yep

Südblock

http://www.suedblock.org/wp/

Admiralstraße 1-2, Berlin

Uncategorized
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We were a bit excited going to Al Hamra. From the intelligence we had – a recommendation from a good friend and some googling – we knew it’s an Arabic/Middle-Eastern restaurant, or what the Berliners sometimes refer to by mistake as “Oriental”. Doesn’t matter how you call it, for us it’s home. Since temperatures were still below freezing, the city was covered in snow, and our legs felt like popsicles, we were relieved to arrive at Al Hamra, and be cuddled in warmth and scents from a warmer life.

We pealed off and settled at our reserved table (recommended). Not an easy task, since the place was packed, and even if the two-leveled space were empty, the furniture is packed. The tables are so close you can actually fell human warmth. Like the U-Bahn in rush-hour, but in a good way.

On Sundays there’s a brunch buffet: a colorful selection of delicacies is weighing down two large tables, wrapped in a long queue. During the full length of our stay, about 3 hours (yes, it was that good), there were constantly people standing in line. “Memories from the good old DDR times”, we heard someone joking. We don’t have any memories from the Stasi era, so we didn’t let the long line spoil our mood. Not even the shortage of plates, forks, spoons, and where the hell is the waitress around here? Granted, it took some time to get everything together, but once we managed to fill our plates and try the goods – we had no more complaints.

In addition to the regular Berliner brunch goods, that is cheese, ham and sausages, the Al Hamra buffet had some original (and yummy!) surprises up it’s table cloth: Hummus, eggplant salad, boiled red beats, pickles, mushroom salad, pita bread, other baked carbs and some sweets. One of us really liked the Hummus, the other the eggplant salad, and the third noted the the evening menu has Couscous so we have to come back. We didn’t have too much room left for desert, but that’s ok, since they are definitely not the forte of Al Hamra.

Price: 7.5. All you can eat. One of the cheapest deals in town

Space: crowded. You should reserve in advance and even then – it’ll be packed

Service: problematic ratio between guests and service personal. They were nice and wanted to be helpful, but didn’t really manage to juggle everything

Breakfast: not just the brunch, but also breakfasts by nationalities

Lighting: quite dark but contributes to the cosy atmosphere

Music: no

Pets: Yes, but only if they’re up to knee-high and well behaved

Kids: yes. Well, it’s Prenzlauer Berg after all

Summery: we’ll be back!

Al hamra

http://www.alhamra.de/

Raumerstr 16, Berlin

Uncategorized
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