Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Exploring Berlin Like a Local

On my second trip to Berlin, I wanted anything but the typical tourist experience. I had hoped, without spending hours researching, to explore Germany’s capital city like an insider. 

As we walked to the first restaurant of the evening, we saw many points of interest along the way, including the gothic towers of the Oberbaum Bridge, the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery and a trendy electro club, Watergate, which offers views of the river.

Our first stop, the riverside Riogrande restaurant, was located near a concentration of the city’s “beach” bars. These themed bars have gained popularity in the past few years, with their sand-topped floors, palm trees, surf decor, tropical drinks and chill out music. Rounding out the meal at the Riogrande restaurant, with a glass of dessert wine and a few sips of espresso, we prepared for our final course at restaurant/nightclub, Sage.

Sage was the quintessential Berlin experience, edgy, unassuming and unique. Located in a former silk mill, Sage is somewhat hidden and would be virtually undetectable to those who aren’t looking for it. Once inside, I was impressed by the dining room’s monochrome tables, chairs and place settings as well as the brick-exposed walls accentuated with traces of graffiti.

Dessert consisted of a frozen blood orange marshmallow and a tart made with South American tonka beans, which tasted similar to vanilla. Blood orange segments and a sweet citrus sauce helped pair the two desserts.

After our night of visiting popular spots around the city, my companion and I started to feel like we knew a thing or two about Berlin. With a little more German practice and a bit more exploring, perhaps we could even pass for locals.

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By Skye Mayring, Berlinagenten, April 15, 2011
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