By now, having brunch on the weekend needs to be planned, aka making reservations or showing up quite early to still score a table. However, don’t underestimate the power of a rather excessive breakfast during the week. How about taking your time on a Friday morning, get down to Neukölln’s cutesy, inner-city village called Rixdorf, enter the pretty location of Hallmann & Klee and enjoy a plate of charcuterie, cheese, soft boiled eggs, and obviously don’t forget to order the pancakes.
A needed disclaimer, this place opened in the summer of last year to much praise online and offline, which resulted in lines out the door on weekends. I went with friends, liked the food, but service was, while trying to be nice, painfully slow. We waited an hour for our plate of cheese and pancakes, so I decided against recommending it to you, my readers, fearing you’d have a similarly disappointing experience. I went back now because I do think the food is delicious, ambitious, and a needed opportunity to have a more traditionally German breakfast. However, I can only hope they made some adjustments to their service structure (like, sectioning the room, or having a front-of-house manager who’s taking names and assigning tables), to manage weekend crowds in a more pleasant way, but I can’t tell because I’m too easily stressed out by chaotic service and thus avoided the weekend. I went during the week and despite it being rather full, service was no problem at all, so we enjoyed their excellent breakfast dishes.
Hallmann & Klee is serving a traditional cold German breakfast, you can add some scrambled or cooked eggs, even poached ones are on their list. And since the rest of the city seems to insist on avocado on toast as if we were in California, the simplicity of the menu here is actually refreshing, and reassuring, even. The key to make a breakfast as simple as this work is obviously choosing prime ingredients and produce. And this is what they do: the assorted cheeses come with pretty, whole spring radishes, fresh cheese with herbs, pesto, a small bowl of jam, and a selection of different breads, from white, to dark, filled with seeds, and small lye rolls. Ah but yes, the pancakes. Cute in their shape, stacked, topped with toasted oats, splashed with cream and European blueberries, with an extra splash of melted butter.
I’ve heard, that they do serve an ambitious evening menu as well, so pencil that in to try one time.