I don’t know about you, but it is a rare occasion that I eat something so delicious I keep thinking about it for days. It happened after going to Café Valentin, just a stone’s throw away from the (occasionally) sunny Maybachufer.
It might look like a French café from the outside, but it is in fact thoroughly Swedish. Mary already went there a while ago for some homemade baked goods such as kanelbullar, but it turns out they have a few more tasty tricks up their sleeve.
Stumbling in one afternoon, I asked for something simple ‘to go’, like a sandwich. But I was told that the open-faced Scandinavian version called smørrebrød is best eaten freshly made. And so I found myself sitting at a cast-iron table outside on one of these early days of spring, waiting for my order.
The menu at Café Valentin is simple: different variations of smørrebrød all served on a slice of homemade bread baked with figs and nuts. Traditionally, preparing smørrebrød requires special expertise acquired through three years of study (at which point you can call yourself a ‘Smørrebrødsjomfru’); so be careful not to compare it with a simple slice of butterbrot (which still needs only a bit of butter when you’ve got the right bread). Instead, the signature smørrebrød style is to top it with as many ingredients as you like, the slice of bread beneath hardly visible anymore.
Among options such as avocado with pesto or the daily changing special, I decided on a ‘süß und salzig‘ combination (4,50 Euros): the taste of goat cheese together with some rosehip jam stuck with me throughout the day. What else is there to wish for from a (ful)filling and satisfying lunch?