The Berlin International Film Festival is off and running, so for any of you on the hunt for something good to eat while strolling around Potsdamer Platz - or, rather, exiting a movie theater bleary-eyed and blinking - here's an idea: head to the Hyatt.
The Grand Hyatt, to be exact. There, in the lobby, you'll find a little cluster of comfortable sitting chairs and low tables, with a sort of futuristic-looking fireplace giving off warmth and a quiet little dining room alongside. Collapse into one of the chairs, or if you're feeling alert, ask to sit at a proper dining table. You'll be brought a menu, though I'll admit I barely looked at mine since I already knew what I wanted to order. So you can eschew the menu, I suppose, if you, too, are in the mood for a hamburger (or cheeseburger, if we're splitting hairs). You can just tell your server right away, "the hamburger, please" and because you're in a fancy hotel lobby and sitting in a plush sitting chair and ordering a hamburger at midday (though it's on the menu in the evening, too), you'll feel like you're a modern-day Doris Day or something.
What happens next is that the waiter will bring you a little plate with adorable little jars of mustard, mayonnaise and Heinz ketchup (be still my beating heart!) and this will charm you to pieces or at least make you very, very hungry. Order something to drink, too: at lunchtime, your beverage and a post-prandial coffee or tea is included in the price of lunch (in this case, 13 euros). A deal! At the Grand Hyatt! It will make you feel even more special.
Next, the burger will appear, plated rather grandly on an oval plate balanced by two tiny pickle spears and a tangle of cabbage. Folks, let's cut right to the chase: It is a very good burger. It is beefy, if you can forgive the unimaginative adjective, and substantial. In fact, I split the burger with my friend, and the half-burger was very definitely enough lunch for me (don't forget that it comes with fries). The meat is fresh as can be and cooked just right. It tastes...clean, if you know what I mean. In a good way. It is missing the right amount of seasoning - I will preemptively cross my fingers for you that by the time you have a hamburger at the Hyatt, the chef will have started adding more salt to his patties - but a lot can be corrected with the right amount of ketchup (in my book, at least). The accompanying fries, delicious ones, will be delivered to your table in a separate bowl and you will eat almost all of them. Okay, fine, all of them, alternatingly dunked in mayonnaise and ketchup and sometimes in a swirl of both.
The staff is very sweet and friendly (they even brought out cookies for the littlest member of our lunch party along with our coffee) and they will let you wile away on the comfortable chairs as you warm yourself next to the fireplace long after lunch is over. The restaurant apparently also serves other classic dishes, like Schnitzel and sole and steak, but - for now, at least - it's my go-to place for a burger.
Grand Hyatt Berlin
Tizian Lounge & Restaurant
(030) 255 31 527