Sunday, 17 February 2008

The Bird

The Basics:

Am Falkplatz 5, 10435 Prenzlauer Berg (S+U Schoenhauser Allee)

Tel.: +49 (0)30 51053283


no (restaurant is very crowded, no place for a wheelchair; and the toilets are in the bottom floor, with many stairs to go)

very little if any: no high chairs, no play corner; but one would imagine that they are willing to tolerate kids in the Victorian fashion (it is Prenzlauer Berg, after all, so even the least child friendly places can expect having the PBerg parents coming off for a lunch)

American burger and steak house

Related Tours/Sites:
Prenzlauer Berg
Could be integrated with a Jews and Booze tour and with customised Berlin tours

The Bird is currently considered one of the best steak/burger bars in Berlin; however, see our own review for some critique

Simon Kingsley, Variety, Jan 25 2008

Our review:
The Bird is a "New York style steak bar" hidden on a side street of Prenzlauer Berg, not far from the Schoenhauser Allee train station. It has, as it says itself, very little "variety" on its menu: steaks (with prices from 12.5) and all types of burgers with creative names, including "The Dumb Texan. with a fried egg" (I think that this dumb Texan has gotten a good deal here, given the nice burgers). There are also wings, fries, clubs sandwich and Caesar's salads. The latter also comes as a "big Caesar's salad", which is a great thing: a big Caesar's salad (optional: with anchovies) with 200 grams of steaks next to it.

The Bird has excellent meat, although IMHO a bit over-touted in the sense that there are several fine meat restaurants in Berlin that are not American (but "Argentinian"), and that there is this general feeling that (some) Americans would not try the Argentinian (or any other non-American) steak house for that matter. The "Argentinians" are notably cheaper than The Bird, and although - as mentioned before - the quality at the Bird is higher, one must ask themselves if the difference between a 32 EUR steak and an 8 EUR one is not a little too much.

But this is really afterthought, because we actually enjoyed our meal. Or maybe I should say: would have enjoyed our meal hadn't it been for the fact that towards the end of it, we see from the corner of our eye that the table next to us has just ordered an ashtray. This has just ruined our lovely meal, which was in fact for a specific ocassion, of someone who was waiting to go there, to have "real medium rare hamburgers in Berlin". The hamburgers are indeed good and also made medium rare, but it is just not fun to sit and eat when you're being smoked at, especially if you have expected a non-smoking restaurant.

There is a law against smoking in public places (restaurants) in Berlin. A restaurant can, if it chooses to, designate a separate room for smokers; but it cannot use the main hall for smokers. Well, guess what? Despite the fact that the restaurant has more than enough in its share of customers and certainly doesn't need to suck up to their whims, it just would not obey that law. I will leave it for the reader to decide whether or not this is possible in a "real" American restaurant, say in San Francisco or NYC, where smokers obediently wait outside the restaurant to satisfy their addiction, would do something like that (and ruin the evening for most other customers: it is not only militant non-smokers who hate their food being smoked at; it is also people who care about their taste buds, even smokers, who'd rather have the smoke outdoors and be considerate of others).

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