Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Dänemark: Besser in Berlin
I was so disappointed to discover the Danish Kunst Cafe (Danish Art Cafe) only to find out that it was closed (yes, another one bites the dust). I had envisioned such a nice outing to Schoenweide with a walk around the lake and then warm cinnamon buns or Smørrebrød. Once I had resigned myself to the fact that this couldn't come to be, I called the Danish Embassy to see if they knew of any Danish restaurants in Berlin. Considering that Denmark is a neighboring country, it seems like there might be a few Danish places here (although I supposed the US isn't full of Canadian restaurants). The Embassy reported that there was just one Danish cafe in Berlin: Lene's Creperie. Alas, I am not here to tell you about the deliciousness of liquorice crepes (which Lene's apparently serves). I just couldn't get excited about crepes. I know they really do eat them in Denmark (where they call them pandekager, but something about this place just didn't draw me. Aside from crepes, they offer daily lunch specials like ground beef, cheese, and leek casserole (ick) and salmon in puff pastry with ginger-dill sauce (possibly interesting, but I've eaten out in this town and I'm telling you at a place serving ground meat casserole it is almost definitely both soggy and overcooked).
Fear not, I didn't get lazy and skip over Denmark. (For the record, I do actually like Denmark (I even visited last year!) and Danish cuisine (although I did have the worst AND most expensive meal of my life at AOC.) I can't tell you if Lene's crepes are worth a trip to Stuttgarter Platz, but I can tell you that the Danish hotdog at Der Hot Dog Laden in Schoeneberg is better than the one I had in Copenhagen. This is mainly attributable to the fact that as hot dogs go, Germany knows what it's doing. (There aren't that many things that I give Germany credit for being best at (that's right -- I said BEST), so take note. Other than the slightly improved dog, Der Hot Dog Laden's version of a Danish hot dog seemed pretty authentic to me: relish, ketchup, mustard, fried onions, and sliced pickles on top. I could do without the ketchup (actually, it just about ruined the dining experience for me), but I felt I needed to keep my Danish hot dog experience as pure as possible seeing that I had ditched out on the authentic Danish crepes. At the end of the day, I can't really say that Der Hot Dog Laden is anything all that special. The dogs are decent (they are Neuland, which as I understand it means the animals are raised under humane conditions and not given GMO food or antibiotics), but I don't know that they are wildly different that at other places with the exception that here they are served in a bun in a variety of styles (Danish, Kraut, etc.) rather than with a bun on the side and a pool of mustard on a small rectangular paper plate. As a side note, Der Hot Dog Laden is really more of an Imbiss - you take your dog through a window and can sit at one of the tables in the front, but it's not really a place to linger. Especially if you visit on a sub-zero day in February....
Der Hot Dog Laden