Today is What’s-his-name’s birthday and we went to lunch at the most absolutely charming German restaurant just a couple of blocks from his apartment. Joseph Roth Diele. It seems to be an artist and local worker hang out and every time I’ve been there the place is totally and completely packed by 12:10 but empty at 11:50, so we went a bit early.

I had the hard-roll dumpling with mushroom sauce. Semmelknodel. Semmels are hard rolls. and he had fried cheese and spätzle. Both outstanding.

Plus a lunch time beer. Getting wild here.

There were people waiting for a table when we left.

Side note. Every time I type semmel it autocorrects to Memmel which was my mother’s family name.

Clean plate club.

Joseph Roth Diele

I’ve walked by this little place a bunch of times and always thought it looked cute and it always smelled great so I screwed up my courage and went in for lunch. OMG, what a freaking adorable place. This is right straight up my alley. Totally old school. The menu was on placards on the bar which is where you order and then go sit somewhere. It’s run by 2 old guys (OK, probably younger than I am) and is named after a German Jewish writer whom they had read and discovered, when they were starting the business, that he’d lived next door and died in 1939. It looks ancient but is really only about 15 years old.

One of the guys spoke to me in German and while I didn’t really understand what he said, I got “today’s special” out of it and said OK not knowing what exactly it was I was getting, praying it would not be eel stuffed, smoked fried herring or anchovy soup. It was roast beef with horseradish gravy and beets. It was good, simple. By the time I left, the place was completely packed. After I left I read about it. It’s an artist’s hang out. I should have worn a beret.