Dinner at the “wurst” restaurant in town

Ever since I read about this place in the New York issue of Gourmet Magazine (in 2004!) I’ve wanted to go to Hallo Berlin. The restaurant is located on 10th Avenue, between 44th and 45th, so it’s just far enough from the Times Square area to feel like you’re in a residential part of the city.

NYC brownstones
45th street between 9th and 10th Avenues. I kept expecting the Cosby family to spill out of one of the brownstones.

The restaurant’s exterior awning proudly proclaims “Germany.”

Hallo Berlin front awning
It’s always time for sausage and beer at Hallo Berlin.

I had the two wurst plate, which came with sauerkraut, red cabbage and spaetzle. Plus cabbage and potato soup to start. I choose bratwurst and knockwurst.

Wurst at Hallo Berlin
You can only see one of the two mustards which accompany the gorgeous sausages and sides at Hallo Berlin.

It was delicious!


A delicious New York lunch

I had to, just had to hit the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar while I’m in NYC.  The place was only a short subway ride away from my hotel – in fact, all I had to do was hop on the shuttle from Times Square and 42nd to Grand Central Station.

I quickly found a place at the bar and ordered, then sat back to watch the cooks at work.

Oyster Bar chefs
The crew at the Oyster Bar got the lunch orders out quickly.

Since it was only 39 degrees outside I decided to have the oyster stew. It came dusted with paprika.

bowl of oyster stew
Lovely bowl of oyster stew

I could have had lots of different oysters:

Oyster menu
Who knew there were so many different types of oysters?
last oyster in the bowl
Just one left
Stew's all gone
All gone – it was delicious!

Matilda writes back

Look at how well the Algonquin Hotel handles publicity… they have an email address for their cat! This is excellent PR. These are my email exchanges with Matilda… Start at the bottom and work your way up.

From: MAlgonquin Cat <MAlgonquinCat@algonquinhotel.com>
Date: March 21, 2013, 10:16:42 AM EDT
To: J

Subject: RE: My blog post about YOU

FURbulous! Thank you.

From: J
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 10:22 AM
To: MAlgonquin Cat
Subject: Re: My blog post about YOU

Thank you for the info… I’ve just updated my blog.
On Mar 20, 2013, at 10:12 AM, MAlgonquin Cat <MAlgonquinCat@algonquinhotel.com> wrote:

Very CATabulous – thank you but please note I am the 10th cat and the third Matilda – the first seven cats were all males named Hamlet.

Please come by anytime. I like making new FURiends

Have a PURRfect day




From: j
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 8:57 AM
To: MAlgonquin Cat
Subject: My blog post about YOU

Hi Matilda,

I’m visiting NYC for a few days and dropped by to catch a glimpse of you. The concierge was so kind; he let me come in and get a picture. Thought you might like a link to my blog post:


I had to stay somewhere else due to my conference in the city; hope to stay at your place next time I come to town.


The Algonquin’s most famous guest

Yesterday evening after classes at the Usability Seminar I walked the few blocks over to the famous Algonquin Hotel, home of the Round Table of wits and bon vivants during the 20s such as Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley.

I didn’t go to trade bon mots with whoever was hanging around the bar. I went for one reason only: to catch a glimpse of Matilda, the house kitty. The Algonquin has hosted a cat ever since the 1930s, when a wet and bedraggled cat wandered in looking for a warm spot. The generous hotelier provided a dish of milk and a new tradition was started. Ever since, a cat has lived at the hotel. When the cat is a male, he’s called Hamlet. When they have a female, she is Matilda.

This is the 10th cat and the 3rd Matilda in the line. I ducked into the lobby and asked the concierge where Matilda was; he laughed and took me over to the front desk.

Matilda, the Algonquin kitty
I leaned over the front desk and got a picture of the queen herself, Matilda. Being a cat she ignored me.

From the hotel’s website:

Matilda, the current resident, is very popular with our guests. She has the run of the house (except in dining areas and the kitchen) but prefers to oversee the comings and goings of the many guests who cross her threshold.

Matilda receives mail weekly from friends around the world and has been the subject of countless stories. On one occasion, when her collar was stolen, the “Algonquin Cat-Burglary” was the talk of the town.