Lula-am-markt in Friedenau
What can one say about Lula's in Friedenau? Located on Lauterstr. 14 (Breslauer Platz) and a second location nearby. It's almost unfair to really write about it because it is so well known at least to the locals that finding a table, in particular in the winter time, can be the most difficult part of your experience. Fresh breads and baked goods though are the true highlight but there is so much more to enjoy at LuLa's. So how good was it?
Four Brad's out of five, almost a perfect experience.
I have been going to LuLa's for a couple of years now, I have celebrated Birthday parties and romantic brunches and have to confess that my experience has always been stellar. But it is with an incredible sad heart that I gave it a four out of five and not the full five out of five that I normally find the experience.
First lets start with our arrival. We showed up on an 'early' morning on a Friday. Early meaning sometime around 10ish. When we arrived the place as always was full of happy customers and with a couple of reserved tables but. The decor of the restaurant is a well done homage to shabby chic without being over the top or truly dirty. But the marvel that is LuLa's begins with the first hello. The staff are incredible apt at making you feel well taken care of with out being intrusive. We didn't have a reserved table and lucky for us, the server mentioned that one of the reserved tables is free for about an hour and half.
We sit down and order the coffee. Being coffee lovers, LuLa's coffee is always really nice, strong without being bitter and loaded with lots of flavor.
We order a Cinnamon Bun and the Vegetarian Breakfast and soon our food arrives.
This is without a doubt one of the best things in all of Berlin for me. Crispy, firm outside with a gooy, soft inside and a perfect blend of sweetness and spiciness. I used to live by a bakery in Canada that made the best (really and truly) blackberry cinnamon bun and had never had anything even close to being as good as that damn bun, but this one is almost on that same level. Really fantastic and worth traveling from anywhere in Berlin to have just this and a coffee.
LuLa's vegetarian breakfast comes with a beautiful salad, a slice of really great cheese, a slice of avocado, sundried tomatoes, a hummus dip, a goat cheese dip, a fresh made jam, herb and veggie scrambled eggs and some of the best fresh made bread in any restaurant in Berlin.
I want to get this missing star out of the way because everything so far was perfect. Five Brad heads out of Five.
The vegetarian breakfast has really remarkable features. However, the drawback was the eggs and to a lesser extent the hummus. The eggs were soft scrambled, meaning they were meant to be a bit loose, which was achieved, in fact it was perfect, cooked but not a hard scramble yet not under cooked. Which when busy is in itself a true accomplishment. The veggies and spice were visually there but lacked any distinctive flavor, the eggs tasted like they weren't seasoned with salt or any other seasoning and the eggs themselves just tasted like wet. And that never works. When something tastes so not like anything that even bland can't describe it, you know something was off and you get a product that you can only describe as wet. Wet. And in fairness, I have had scrambled eggs there before that were really tasty, so hopefully this was just a one off. I can tell you that, some times in a kitchen, when it is constantly full and orders are coming in without much a break, precision naturally goes. A missed dash of properly timed seasoning or a mis-step in the order of what to cook can and will happen. But sadly, on this day the eggs tasted wet and that was all.
The hummus was okay. And this is the true danger of getting so many things perfect that any flaw becomes magnified. And the hummus is that tiny flaw. It tastes okay. The garbanzo beans are well blended, the hummus tastes of all the things that one might expect to taste in hummus but it missed that little something that would have placed it on the same level as the other spreads. The underachieving brother or sister on the plate.
The bread like I said, if it hasn't made LuLa's a household name yet, it should soon enough and the salad was perfectly dressed and felt fresh and crisp. The cheese was excellent that had a richness that really complemented the overall experience. But today the winner (and my wife always thinks it's always the winner, in fact she would buy a big tub of it, if it was for sale) was the jam. Holy Shit! That combined with the bread is so mind blowing incredible that it is hard to not oversell it. I am not a big jam fan but this was so...so...so... You know when you have that one bit of something and you think that it doesn't matter if you normally eat it or not, it is just so good that all previous biases are gone, well this was it for me. I could have sat on my couch, with a spoon and a bucket of this magic potion and been the most content and happy man in the whole of the universe. At least until the jam disappeared. That is how good it is. A slight nod towards Christmas, with the flavoring that instantly makes you think of Christmas and a texture that is both creamy and not. It was so in good in fact, that usually I dissect a dish, thinking of what spices or herbs or how something was made, that with this jam I just closed my mind and enjoyed.
So that was it. Service was really nice, the coffee and atmosphere were great and the food was mostly excellent. Without a doubt worth going to LuLa's. Almost perfect experience.