Every city has a special watering hole where struggling artists, authors and actors converge to find sympathy and inspiration. Die Dicke Wirtin (The Fat Waitress) began as one such place and the aim of the original owner, Anna Stanscheck was to make the struggling artists and students feel at home. The first part of the restaurant is more pub-like, but don’t let appearances deceive you. The assortment of beers, brandies and liqueurs will have your head spinning in no time – I highly recommend the rhubarb schnapps and the Apfelglühwein (apple spiced mulled wine).
Walk further into the place and it will seem as though you landed in a scene straight out of Midnight in Paris or Dr. Who, take your pick. You forget that you are in Berlin 2018 and are transported into a sitting room where there is no concept of time and space. The collection of memorabilia on the walls is hilarious as it is curious, and if you take the time to look closely, these are all veritable zeitgeist treasures.
Choose a table, regardless of whether you go there alone or with friends, and no matter where you sit, there will be something that catches your fancy and remind you of summer holidays with your grandmother. It is honest, rustic, cosy, cheerful and unpretentious. Dress casual, be casual, and soak in the atmosphere. On cold winter nights Die Dicke Wirtin is a joy to be in, not just as a refuge from the cold, but also because the staff is absolutely delightful. Searching for the legendary Berliner sense of humour? You will definitely find it here, and I can guarantee that they put in extra effort to draw out a smile from the customers.
Savigny Platz is not my favourite corner of Berlin, but it is loaded with curious treasures with both local and international flavour. And speaking of flavours, let me address a few things about the menu of Die Dicke Wirtin. A place is only as good as it’s food, and this becomes the foundation for sustainability in a very competitive field. This quaint haven has opted to stick to the traditional Berlin and Brandenburg fare and do a damn good job of it. First of all, don’t bother to eat at Die Dicke Wirtin if you are not hungry because the portions are HUGE. The menu is meat-heavy but they do offer vegetarian items as well.
Whatever you do, no matter how full you are, always leave room for dessert. When the waiter came around to ask what we wanted, I forgot what the menu contained in terms of desserts. “Make me an offer” I said, and without batting an eyelid he said “Apfelstrudel oder Kalter Hund”. Everyone knows what apple strudel is, but how do I explain Kalter Hund (which literally means cold dog but is officially called Hedgehog Slice in English, how the dog became a hedgehog or vice versa is beyond me). This is a dessert that is really easy to mess up, despite the simplicity of recipe. Like the rest of the food at the Die Dicke Wirtin, they did not disappoint. Word of caution, if the waiter offers you the Windbeutel (profiterole) with a straight face, make sure you are still hungry before accepting. Nobody at our table ordered it, but the profiterole from hell on steroids landed on several other tables and I was absolutely fascinated. I made a mental note to order it with the largest cappuccino they can offer next time I need cheering up!