We had the pleasure last night of dinner with our friend Ben, his mother Debbie, cousin Barb and their friend Susan. Ben came into our lives early this past summer when he showed up to work on assignment at the Embassy. Turns out his Government job was only to pay for his music studies – he is an extremely talented operatic tenor with a wicked sense of humour and he puts up a damn fine blog as well. God I hate multi-talented people.
He had been in Berlin last year studying and performing and when he returned to Vancouver after several months in Rome decided it was now or never. So in September he gave up his comfortable job and moved to Berlin with a suitcase and some IKEA pillows to pursue an operatic career.
Last night’s dinner was a veritable feast of Prussian delights at the Restaurant Marjellchen in Charlottenberg near Savignyplatz. Anyone who has read Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin – the inspiration for Cabaret – will recall that Sally Bowles and company lived in a rooming house in the area of this lovely Platz. These days its known for its restaurants, chic boutiques and some rather good examples of pre-War buildings.
But our main interest last night was food – good hearty Prussian food. And the heartiest of all was Ben’s pork chop. Oh sure the rest of us had hearty – borscht, double chicken broth, veal aspic, pork and beef fillet hot pots, chicken livers, dumplings, boiled potatoes, fried potatoes – but his was hearty!
It had to be the biggest damned pork chop I’d ever seen! It was at least an inch and a half thick! And it came with dumplings! And onion gravy! And Ben, because his mother always told him to finish his plate, did exactly that! And he had desert to! Well so much for the starving artist theory!
08 novembre – Santi Quattro Coronati