Saturday, August 13, 2011


You too should be proud to say: "I am a jelly-filled doughnut!"* **

As this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the construction of der
Berliner Mauer, I felt it necessary to have breakfast at a local German restaurant, Schmidt's. They are located in the Mission District and are the upscale little brother of Walzwerk, which is also in the Mission.

I have had lunch and dinner several times at Schmidt's, but this was the first time I ever went there for breakfast. I even did a little grocery shopping at their in-store deli while waiting for the food to come, as they offer many German import items.


To me ein typisches deutsches Frühstück (as described in a previous 'blog-entry; see: Suppenküche, August 15th, 2010) was always simply Käse (cheese; usually a few different types), Brot oder Brötchen (bread or rolls; again, usually a few different varieties), and ein Kännchen Kaffee (a small pot of coffee), and, often enough, ein gekochtes Ei (a semi-hardboiled egg) may be included. The first time I had this simple breakfast fare was on my first trip ever to "Mainland Germany" from (what was then still) West Berlin (Vielen Dank, Herr La Prade!).

Schmidt's really only had a few Frühstück-y items from which to choose, so for olde-tyme's sake I ordered the kleines frühstück ~ sliced ham, salami (both of which I skipped, by the way, Herr Skipper Way) and cheese, quark***, hard-boiled egg, shredded carrot and raisin salad, served with German breads, butter, mustard, blackberry, gooseberry, and lingonberry jams. I asked what the difference was between the kleines Frühstück and the großes Frühstück and was told that they are the same just a larger portion for the großes. I also had a cuppa coffee ~ well, actually a 17 oz. French Press of a local roastery, De La Paz (you really can't get more local than one located just a few blocks away). (Sorry, Lowell, but they don't offer any Kännchen.)


The only disappointing part of the meal was that there was just one type of cheese provided (albeit a nice Edam or something similar) and one type of bread (a Vollkornbrot of some type). However, I really did like that they had three different types of jams from which to choose, which, unlike they have on their menu, were actually strawberry, lingonberry, and ein sehr gut Pflaumenmus. The plum jam was truly wunderbar; I ended up finishing off all the Pflaumenmus and spread it intermittently with some of the Quark on several slices of bread. The Karrottensalat was pretty good, too, with golden raisins and diced apple bits in it, but this mostly went uneaten as I had more than enough trouble finishing off what I had. I pity the Dummkopf that orders the großes frühstück and with the additional dead, decaying animal products.

Figuring I wouldn't be needing any hot sauces for condimentary supplementation, I did not bother to bring any with me today. However, it was nice that Schmidt's provided two different types of Senf (mustard) ~ Löwensenf Extra (scharfer) und Bayerisch Süß (Extra Hot and Bayern Sweet) ~ to use with the cheese and bread.

Unfortunately it was too early in the morning to order ein Bier (which was a shame as they have a very decent selection of imported German Beers). Now if they had ein Wassermelone Altbier on the menu, maybe I would have gotten one…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Frühstück ~ 6.4; De La Paz Coffee ~ 6.8

*(Just a little clarification on the whole JFK "Ich bin ein Berliner" story ~ copied from the always reliable pages of Wikipedia:

"It is a common misconception that John F. Kennedy made a risible error by saying 'Ich bin ein Berliner' (emphasis added): the claim is made that Kennedy referred to himself not as a 'citizen of Berlin', but as a 'jelly doughnut', known in parts of Germany as a 'Berliner'. Kennedy should, supposedly, have said 'Ich bin Berliner' to mean 'I am a person from Berlin', and that adding the indefinite article 'ein' to his statement implied he was a non-human Berliner, thus, 'I am a jelly doughnut'. However, the indefinite article 'ein' is omitted when speaking of an individual's profession or residence, but is necessary when speaking in a figurative sense as Kennedy did. Since the President was not literally from Berlin, but only declaring his solidarity with its citizens, 'Ich bin Berliner' would not have been correct."

Besides, the entire quote was:

"Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum ['I am a Roman citizen']. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'... All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'" 

Consider that your useless cunning linguist pointer of the day Nummer eins [or numerus, even].

Plus, I was once told by a local Berliner that their term for a "jelly doughnut" is a "Französisch" ~ meaning French-style. After all, New York-style pizza in Manhattan is simply called "pizza", youse knows.

So, even though I think Eddie Izzard is a very funny man, sometimes a good cigar is just a jelly doughnut, mein F

And here is another little known fact, Mr. Clavin, the "F." in "John F. Kennedy" really stands for "Frühstück" and if you don't believe me, you can look it up for yourself on Wikipedia!)

**(Yeah, sure, I could have gone with the more popular, classic Marlene Dietrich version, but I like this sexy, but controversially ambiguous, singer much better: )

***("Quark" is basically the Teutonic version of a ricotta-type soft cheese. It has nothing to do with the Physics term for elementary particles; no matter, however ~ and here is the useless cunning linguist pointer of the day Nummer zwei ~ the term actually derives from the German word and was coined by U.S. physicist Murray Gell-Mann from a nonce word in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake.

And, Doktor Wer, I am sorry to say, it has nothing to do with a type of robot, either.)

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