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Berlin: A Brew Pub Reminiscent of Home

Chicken skewers on salad (left) and Käsespäzle — very traditional German mac and cheese — at Lemke Brew Pub in Berlin. Emily Harris, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Harris, NPR

Chicken skewers on salad (left) and Käsespäzle — very traditional German mac and cheese — at Lemke Brew Pub in Berlin.

Emily Harris, NPR

Brauhaus Lemke is my favorite place to relax after being on the road because it's a lot like the microbreweries I grew up with in Oregon: wooden tables, comfy chairs, a friendly staff and tasty beer.

They always offer four different Lemke brews. The Original remains my favorite, although I suffered through trying Champagne beer for a story. I do admire the brewers for testing the limits of Germany's ancient beer-making laws!

The bar is under the S-Bahn train tracks, so the whole place regularly rattles as the trains go overhead, making it feel a bit more industrial and real than many of the high-brow watering holes in the neighborhood, Mitte.

In the summer, you can enjoy your food and drink in a nice garden out back. Inside in the winter, the dark wood tables and copper mash tons glow cozy in candlelight.

Lemke's is the kind of place you can walk in and find half empty, or packed with a couple of huge parties. Even then, there is usually at least a corner of a long table to share.

When I am sick of traditional German menus with pig's knuckles and Knödeln, I go to Lemke's for the chicken skewers on salad. But I really adore the Käsespäzle — very traditional German mac and cheese –- with bacon and tomato. Gooey homey food! Unfortunately neither is available during the lunch buffet. Lemke is right around the corner from NPR's Berlin Bureau. Can I help it if they know me?

Brauhaus Lemke (Lemke Brew Pub) — Dirksenstrasse 143 (under the S-Bahn tracks), 10178 Berlin. Telephone: 49-30-2472-8727. Web site: http://www.brauerei-lemke.de. Open daily 12 p.m. to midnight.

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