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Best of Berlin: A Good Pancake is Hard to Find


One morning not too long ago, I had a sweet tooth. However, it didn’t call for an easily accessible pastry from the main drag of cafés tucked around the corner. My sweet tooth needed something special, buttery, fluffy, syrupy. With this thought, I marched down the hall of my apartment and planted myself  in my roommate’s doorway, “I could really go for some pancakes right now.”

“We could go to Spreegold’s,” He replied.
“Too expensive and not like home,” I retorted.
“Belushi’s?”
“Eh sure, but that’s a lie. Is there anywhere else?”

My roommate’s fingers immediately began tap dancing across his keyboard. In Berlin, pancakes are pretty hard to come by so he had to consult “The Oracle”, the rest of the world may know it as “Google”.

“I found a place right down the road, Nalu Diner. Want to go?”

ZAP! Ten minutes later we were sitting outside at a table where ketchup, mustard, and pancake syrup were arranged as the centerpiece. It’s possible I may have made a big deal about pancake syrup welcoming me to a table in Berlin, but in my defense the greeting fit the visit. Five seconds with my eyes on the menu and I located the pancakes, €8.00 for a platter with bacon and eggs. Sold.

When the two slabs of cooked batter were placed in front of me, my jaw dropped. They were huge and looked different than what I’d been used to at Spreegold’s or Belushi’s. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 centimeters in circumference, I knew my work was cut out for me, but I had done this drill before many times. Knife in hand, I spread the disintegrating butterball to reach the stack’s edges. I then grabbed the syrup and lavishly doused my plate. Next came my fork, and thereafter I was transported back home.

Truly these were diner pancakes imported from overseas. Every piece had a cohesive amount of fluffiness, and one bite did not require much use of my mandible as the consistency turned into a doughy melt. With no semblance of dryness where flour and sugar were graciously infused, I could feel the syrup bleed onto my palate heightening the moistness, It was the marriage of memory and that present moment officiated by a breakfast food.

My craving was remedied and Nalu Diner was mentally bookmarked. As I walked home, I thought about how one day I will tell my children that a good pancake is hard to find and regale them with the tale of Nalu Diner being there for me. However, that day was well down the road so I started focusing on the need of changing into my sweatpants.

Nalu Diner, Dunckerstrasse 80A 
Monday + Wednesday – Friday: 10:00AM – 9:00PM
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00AM – 9:00PM
Closed Tuesdays

By Lindsay McKean

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