It´s hard to admit that I sometimes struggle to like Berlin because I hear it´s such a cool place, even the New York Times says so, and mein Freund really likes it and so do all his friends. Plus, I do live here and I really want to like it. One of my main issues with the city has been that (in my admittedly limited (can only meet so many people, see so much in 9 months)observations) it´s just not a food town. I don´t mean that there isn´t good food here, because I have had two excellent meals in very nice restaurants every bit as good as you could find in New York or Barcelona (H. H. Müller and Fischers Fritz), as well as more moderately priced good meals, and there certainly are plenty of good ingredients. There isn´t the variety (of produce, "ethnic" ingredients, etc.) as you´d find in NYC, but as I´ve been told: it´s not fair to compare any city to New York. Still, there are far too many mediocre restaurants and I´ve been frustrated that many people seem somewhat oblivious to what they are eating, who cooked it, did it come from a local farm or China, etc. I´ve taken it too personally, as is my way, but last Saturday was a different kind of day.
My sister regularly throws/hosts these potluck events that she terms Grub in Berkeley...they are more or less open to anyone and everyone brings something local, organic, sustainable. I´ve never been to one, so I can only imagine the culinary splendor, but I have eaten and shopped for food in Berkeley, so I know there is a difference between here and there to say the least. Anyway, my imaginination had me convinced that Berlin could never live up to BerkeleyGrub, but then I met Berlin Reified (I wish I was savvy enough to make links...http://reified.typepad.com/): another food person! So, with my sister´s idea and BR´s help, we launched GrubBerlin on Saturday. Berlin didn´t exactly become Berkeley (if I find the person who brought the Red Bull there´s going to be trouble!), but it tried: there was lots of good food (Grünkohl, Homemade Quince Paste, and Winter Squash soup to a few different tunes...I made Winter Squash Ham Biscuits and Walnut Toasts with Blue Cheese and Poached Pear), a really good international crowd that mixed really well, and perhaps most importantly, a good time was had by all. Such a good time was had by me, that I only have one really bad photo to share....alas: