Our scheduled meeting was difficult for we blew the first date. I had announced my coming to Berlin early and asked Sebastian whether we could meet at the Mommseneck at Potsdamer Platz for lunch.
Why that place? Whenever I travel I like to eat the local specialities which means in the case of Berlin a hearty cuisine. The dish of my desire was pea soup like mother used to make. In the past the famous place for pea soup was Aschinger, which does not exist anymore. So I looked on the Internet for Berlin and pea soup and found Mommseneck at Potsdamer Platz. In addition to traditional cooking the place offers a good variety of beers.
Sebastian answered my e-mail: That is excellent. What time are we going to meet?
Me: At Mommseneck on September 19 at noon. Is that ok for you?
Sebastian: That is what we are going to do.
|Mommseneck at Potsdamer Platz. House of 100 beers.|
|Theodor Mommsen, a German historian, shown inside on an original Litfaßsäule|
As time went by and with Sebastian not showing up I still felt thirsty and ordered the classical Berlin white beer with woodruff syrup. Boy, look at the photo!
|The real Berliner Weiße mit Schuss brilliant in the sun was served in a beaker|
Sebastian: I can't find you. How do I recognize you. I am sitting at Mommseneck on Mommsenstraße. Luckily he had added the number of his cellphone to his mail.
Well, there are two Mommsenecks in Berlin. I had not repeated Potsdamer Platz in my second e-mail and he had not read my first e-mail carefully enough. The waitress told me that this mix-up happens quite frequently. Nevertheless Sebastian and I agreed to meet the next day same hour at the Zur letzten Instanz. Is this name a symbol?
Eventually my pea soup arrived and turned out to be the third disappointment of the day. There were peas alright and al dente as they should be but the taste of the soup was rather exotic with a touch of curry and green pepper. Regrettably the dish did not live up to my memories of Aschinger.
Later somewhat frustrated I explored the surroundings of the pedestrian area around Potsdamer Platz. A place called Lutter & Wegner caught my attention.
|Lutter & Wegner at Potsdamer Platz in the former Huth Building|
The original traditional restaurant Lutter & Wegner located at Gendarmenmarkt was completely destroyed during the last war. In 1947 black market activities took place in the basement.
|Lutter & Wegner at Gendarmenmarkt in 1947 ©Bundesarchiv|
Wine House Huth was constructed in 1912 and to accommodate the load of the stored bottles based on a solid steel structure. Therefore it was the only building that survived the complete destruction of the area during the war and stood isolated in the landscape at the time of division into East and West Berlin. I had intended to show you a picture of the solitaire building but all copies that I found are heavily copyright protected. Following the Wende the Huth Building was renovated and integrated into the pedestrian zone of Potsdamer Platz.
Nearby at Leipziger Platz I visited the Mall of Berlin. This is indeed a vast shopping center but simply too big in my opinion.
|Look into the Mall of Berlin|
|Constitution meets commerce. |
You walk on articles of our Grundgesetz (Basic Law)
|Just opposite the Mall the building of the Bundesrat, Germany's senate|
The following day I made it just in time to the Zur letzten Instanz. Sebastian was already seated and I took my usual bench. My problem is that Napoleon was short; therefore the seating surface of the historic bench is too narrow. With respect to lunch I followed the same procedure as last year ordering Kohlroulade with a dark beer Märkischer Landmann.
|At Die letzte Instanz with ©Sebastian Wallroth|