06 September 2009

Fact-checking, 45 years late

We spent an hour or so yesterday strolling down the Kurfurstendamm, which is kind of like the Champs-Elysees of Berlin: a wide street populated with both the impossibly ritzy and astonishingly kitschy. Every fashion label I've heard of has a store here--Prada, Burberry, Gucci, etc.--as well as many I haven't. But there are also t-shirt shops, theme restaurants, and all the stereotypically gauche trappings of tourism.

On the east end of the street, we tracked down what seems to be the only Frommer-recommended restaurant still open in Berlin, a big bistro called Berliner Kindl. You can't miss it: the name is on the bright-red awning and spelled out in yellow neon letters that glow above the bar.

As we took our seats, Lee started laughing. He plucked a coaster from a holder on the table. It also had the name of the restaurant. Impressive, I thought. Custom coasters.

Then he pointed to the top of the drink menu, which was lying on the table. The text read, "Alt-Berliner Biersalon."

Below, in smaller type, was the name of the restaurant, heading a long list. There was a number after the name.

"I think Arthur got the name of this place wrong," Lee said. "I'm pretty sure Berliner Kindl is the name of a beer, not the restaurant."

"Arthur wouldn't do that," I said.

"Well, he did."

"What, he just saw the beer sign, and thought that was the name? Like walking into an American bar and assuming it's called Miller Lite?"


I examined all the menus and promotional materials on the table, unable to believe Arthur could have been so wrong. But Lee was correct.

Proof below. Note the coaster and the drink menu (left).

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