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Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Schnitzel, a Doglist

"The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed." –"Araby"   




















A couple of friends from London recently visited, determined to take in Berlin's best. I already had them covered in the street food department— currywurst at Curry 36 and döner at Mustafa's. And, we had an appetite for bigger things. Naturally, we embarked on a Sunday hunt for the most breathtaking schnitzel in the city. Passing on the popular Max and Moritz, we landed on Jolesch, a true Austrian tuckaway in Kreuzberg with a trimmed down menu, unmatched, though slightly overpriced, schnitzel, Zipfer lager, and cakes of the Black Forest persuasion.  

But, something about the oaked elk lodge atmosphere invited me to unguard a closely held secret— a list of dog names I'd built over the years. What I miss most living in Germany is my dog Charlie (above). Dogs are perpetually overjoyed to see you and there's something about being around that every day that changes your DNA. So can the ring of forks, the right gravity with the right dinnermates.

Here's my list. Rondo, after my favorite basketball player, Magellan, and Ramsees didn't make the cut.

Harper                                                  Elly
Cairo                                                      Balthazar
Chex                                                       Bento
Hemingway                                         Araby
Archer                                                   Dutch
Mason                                                    Jolesch
Berlin                                                     Giovanni Ribisi
Schweppes                                           Shay
Jean–Pierre Croissant                    Cello
Miles                                                       Canada
Parker                                                    Mistry
Asterix                                                   English
Oslo                                                         Eiffel                                                  
Jhumpa                                                 Hendrix                                  
Uncle Jesse                                          Monterey                                                            
Cilantro                                                 Penne                                                           
Bixby                                                      Vandy                                                    
Café con leche                                     Panama
Edamame                                             Rickon
Kashmir

Do you have your own favorites? I'd love to hear them!

Come read my piece "Moon Over Kastanien" on German identity beyond the wurst, the Wars, and the Wall. 

*****

"Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods." –Christopher Hitchens