Thread: Dca txl nue
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Old Jun 17, 09, 7:34 am
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
Programs: UA, US, AS, Marriott, Radisson, Hilton
Posts: 7,203
Next morning.

I was supposed to go downstairs for breakfast at 9, and
running a couple minutes late, in a momentary idiocy I
pulled the door to with the key still in the lock. Even a
spare key wouldn't work in this situation: only a locksmith
would help. Hans called the owner of the flat, who came by
and made ineffectual motions with his spare key, to the
expected lack of effect. We found a local locksmith who
could come over fairly soon, which he did. Though the door
looked impregnable to me, the guy looked at it briefly and
then popped it in approximately one second. He charged E60
as it was a local job and the easiest thing he'd done all
day. I momentarily considered changing professions.

Our lunch was at Bellwinkel on Guntzelstrasse - a culinary
shop with food at lunchtime cooked in a home-style kitchen
in the back. Lentil soup with caraway and turmeric was
pretty much what you'd expect; a daily buffet dish of Savoy
cabbage stuffed with lamb and rice was hearty if a bit
underspiced; with it I selected a warm carrot salad with
pickling spices. Then took surface transport instead of the
underground so as to see more scenery; it turns out there
wasn't so much scenery to look at.

Paule was not in so good condition this day, being a bit
exhausted from the previous day and exercised by the lack
of the promised physical therapy. He recognized me less
than the previous day. We did chat for almost an hour,
though, and then the rather cute brunette physical therapist
kicked me out (Paule thought she was the speech therapist).

Came back to Wilmersdorf, and after a quick washup and
check of the mail, met up with Hans, who rode the 100 around
with me to show me how Berlin had changed in recent years.
At Brandenburg Gate the bus driver made the announcement
of a traffic stoppage ahead, so we got off, walked through
the Holocaust Memorial (surprisingly emotional experience),
took a look at the vital, new, and ugly Potsdamer Platz,
and took another bus back home from Philharmonie.

Dinner at Alfios Ars Vivendi. We started off with a good
antipasto that included stellar eggplant with raisins and
pine nuts. Alfio is Sicilian, and Sicilians do love their
eggplant. We had a reasonably priced Farnese Salice
Salentino with this and our starter, which was ravioli with
tuna and seafood stew, delicious with its homemade pasta
and fresh shell- and other fish.

Chris's beet and horseradish ravioli was wonderful - she
gave me one and Hans one, and I thought her a hero for
sacrificing so. The only criticism of Hans's tuna steak,
medium-rare, was that it was twice what he could eat.

As of this moment, I'd have thought this a truly great find.

But I ordered the "ossobuco in the house style," which was
truly wretched - a slice of overage meat undercooked in
umido: what could have been nice with three or four hours'
more cooking was tough and fibrous and well-nigh inedible.
I ate the marrow out of the bone and sent the rest back.
The waitress took the dish back without demur. At the next
table, someone who was represented to me as one of Germany's
most famous TV actors (plays a detective or something) had
the same dish. He didn't send it back. Did he get the same
thing, I wonder, or is he palate-dead? The other celebrity
there, a prominent Green politician whose name also meant
nothing to me, ate good green food.

My replacement for the osso buco, veal-cheek stew over
homemade tagliatelle, was rather nice, sort of a gelatinous

By the time this was consumed, it was late, and my plan to
get a bit of that eggplant for dessert went by the wayside.
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