For those of us expats who have knowledgeably been living outside our homelands for a few years, we come to appreciate both the good and bad of our home country, as well as our newly adopted land. No one can say one place is more perfect than another, though I understand that in many instances certain nostalgias develop for things from home, (peanut butter, for instance!)
But one thing that never ceases for me is my want of sharing American culture or experiences with newfound friends. Not the obnoxious, loud-talking, I’m better than you kind of culture, but the “you can eat fried chicken on waffles with syrup” kind of culture.
So in my quest, and after having made many PBJ (foreigners, read: Peanut Butter and Jelly) sandwiches, some chicken fingers, more than a fair share of mac and cheese, and what for my family always feels truly like home, Noodle Pudding, I have come to scout out all the truly American joints throughout my city.
There was a New Orleans Cajun style restaurant in Kreuzberg when I first arrived, which has since closed, as well as a delicious pie shop down the road. But what has always persisted are the larger-than-life burgers and hot wings at The Bird, (thank you to those brave New Yorkers who decided to introduce a true American burger to Berlin!) And most recently, a new addition to the American culinary delights of Berlin, Nalu Diner in Prenzlauer Berg.
After first hearing about it two weeks ago from a friend, that some new American diner had opened in the hood with real American pancakes, I knew I needed to give it a try. So on Sunday, I convinced one of my (more than willing) friends to join me in my quest for pancakes and hash browns. What we were met with was, well, truly American!
From the moment we sat down, they brought us two large glasses of water. To any American that sounds normal, ridiculous even that I had to point it out. But trust me, as an American in Europe, that. is. amazing. Free water! I immediately ordered a hot chocolate with whipped cream (!) and my friend, Kora, had a black coffee, (she even got a free refill!)
So we agreed to share the Deuces Wild (see above) 2 pancakes, 2 hash browns, 2 scrambled eggs, 2 strips of bacon. Oh. My. God. It was the American dream! We also planned to share a piece of Apple Pie afterwards, with whipped cream on top. (We may have been a bit overzealous, but at least we didn’t order it before the main meal came.)
So the waiter brought our food to us on one giant plate, and we asked for an extra for sharing. It was huge. American diner style huge, if you know what I mean. The pancake was the size of my head.
I forgot to take a picture before I ate half of my plate, but I think you can still get the point…
So we ate to our heart’s content, and I must admit, it really, truly, felt like we were in an American diner. the food was so spectacularly like home, I couldn’t believe we were on a street in Berlin.
So for anyone in Berlin looking for some good American Home Cooking, go to Nalu Diner. I cannot wait to go back and test out the grilled cheese and maybe even a burger!