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Breakfast in East Village/Union Square?

Help! I'm hungry and jetlagged after 6 months in Berlin. Where's your favorite breakfast spot in the E. Village/Union Square/Lower East Side? Early morning specials? I'm not normally up this early... Anything but bratwurst or doner!

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  1. Downtown Bakery on 1ave and 4thst.

      1. I hope you do a little write-up on your food adventures in Berlin once you've beaten the 'lag :-)

        6 Replies
        1. re: linguafood

          My report: Don't have high expectations for food in Berlin. The local specialty, currywurst, is essentially a sliced hot dog with ketchup and curry powder. I liked Thuringer Bratwurst, an occasional Doner Kebab, and my favorite restaurants were Renger-Patsch (Alsatian) and Saigon Green (Vietnamese). I went to Berlin for a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, where we fellows were lucky (and spoiled) enough to have a great chef so I was not terribly motivated to hunt around for interesting food.

          1. re: hungrycomposer

            Ah, well. If currywurst is your measure for the food that is available in Berlin, your loss '-P

            Glad you were well fed out in the boonies.

            1. re: linguafood

              Not my only measure, but currywurst was one of the specialties that locals recommended most. I loved being in Berlin, but even Germans agreed that food is not the city's greatest attraction.

              1. re: hungrycomposer

                Currywurst is drunk food. It's about as impressive as a Philly cheesesteak.

                Berlin has fantastic food to offer, but one has to know where to go. Glad that Renger-Patzsch at least was to your liking.

                1. re: linguafood

                  I just saw your blog - I wish I had seen it six months ago, it would have been a big help.( And as a native Philadelphian I can say that a good local cheesesteak can be pretty impressive.) I did love the little handle-style roll on a Thuringer bratwust, and also like Pauly Saal. Plenty of good smoked fish and bread to eat at home too. Tian Fu and Selig were good. But we were way out in Wannsee, and so well fed that I took the opportunity to focus more on writing music than finding food. I went to Noto the other night and found it very disappointing.

                  1. re: hungrycomposer

                    Totally agree on Noto. Not sure what Bruni saw in that.

        2. I love City Bakery on 18th Street near 6th. Two words, Pretzel Croissants. Also great coffee and other tasty breakfast foods!

          1. Peels or Northern Spy would be good for some american flavors. Hopefully you have eaten by now...

            1. Thanks all, I went for two things I had been craving, a good espresso macchiatto from Ballaro and a great hamburger from the Brindle Room. Imagine six months without a hamburger - it made it easy to wait another hour for the Brindle Room to open.

              10 Replies
              1. re: hungrycomposer

                You didn't even get to the Bird? Oh, dear. What a shame.

                  1. re: hungrycomposer

                    Oh now I see "The Bird is a New York style bar and steakhouse". I was more interested in what I couldn't normally get in NYC.

                    1. re: hungrycomposer

                      Oh? It sounded like you *couldn't* get a burger for 6 months. I just happened to call bullshit on that '-)

                      In any event, it doesn't sound like you made much of an effort. Which is understandable, given you lived in the equivalent of New Jersey.

                      1. re: linguafood

                        I started the fellowship in the dead of winter with a sprained ankle. A Chinese friend recommended Selig and Tian Fu but said the Asian food was not great. Wannsee was quiet and beautiful and about as different from my life in the East Village as I could imagine, which made trips into the city just for meals a little less enticing. We ate so well at the Academy that weekends were spent making an effort to eat lightly, so once it warmed up it was fun to visit farmer's markets. And as I said, I was more eager to pursue foods that weren't as common in NYC, like our local schnitzel or bratwurst place.

                        1. re: hungrycomposer

                          Ouch. That blows. Berlin winters aren't great to begin with, and being walking impaired is no help, either. So sorry to hear!

                          If you should ever return to our fair city, I hope you'll discover that there is some really good grub to be had.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            I got some very good chocolate covered marzipan at this nice Turkish confiserie
                            And of course I loved the big outdoor Turkish market in Kreuzberg. Come to think of it there was plenty of good stuff, it was just a challenge being so far in the dead of winter.

                            1. re: hungrycomposer

                              Berlin in the winter is a challenge in and of itself -- dark, grey, cold, blech.

                              I'm happy to hear you got to try a few things you liked. Btw, did you ever end up making it out to Winterfeldtmarkt & the Thai stand (or the grilled fish stand)?

                              1. re: linguafood

                                I got to the Winterfeldtmarkt but it was late so I missed the Thai stand. I did get some good lamb bratwurst there that was pretty intense.

                1. Orlin ( St Marks) has very good breakfast.