Bulletin Board To The World

IMG_0138The telephone pole outside of Katzinger’s Deli, at the corner of Third and Livingston, has served as a public bulletin board for decades — and it shows in the extensive collection of staples, nails and thumbtacks that have been used to post announcements of musical performances, church socials, restaurant openings, and candidate appearances.

The completely random distribution of the staples, nails and tacks almost looks like art.

Corned Beef Hash At Katzinger’s

IMG_5584In one way — and admittedly probably only one way — I’m like the Most Interesting Man in the World:  I don’t normally eat breakfast, but when I do I prefer it to be a good breakfast.  An Egg McMuffin just isn’t going to do the job.

Fortunately, there are many great breakfast places near our house.  One of them is Katzinger’s, the deli at the corner of Livingston Avenue and Third Street that many people identify as the kind of gateway to German Village.  Katzinger’s is legendary for its excellent sandwiches (the chicken liver options are particularly compelling) and has a terrific cheese section too, but it’s no slouch when it comes to breakfast, either.

My rule of thumb at a breakfast place are pretty basic:  can it deliver of a mouthwatering plate of corned beef hash?  Even a borderline kitchen hack like me can prepare scrambled eggs and toast some bread, but corned beef hash requires much more skill.  Is the corned beef cooked so that it is tender and flavorful, or is it so tough and chewy that it needs to be soaked in egg yolk before you can choke it down?  Does the proportion of meat to onion and potatoes hit the sweet spot?  And, equally important, does the resulting platter that comes to your table look like the glorious definition of everything that a really good breakfast should aspire to be?

Yes, I’d say Katzinger’s does a pretty good job on the corned beef hash test.

Shopping In The ‘Hood

Many of the new large-scale developments in America are framed as “mixed-use” developments.  They are designed to offer office space, retail shops, and residential options in one planned undertaking, and they are marketed using slogans like “Live. Work. Play.” or “Eat. Shop. Live.”  The idea is that Americans want to get away from sterile suburban designs, where only houses can be found for blocks and blocks, and live in places where they can stroll to a pub, restaurant, or green grocer.

German Village is the quintessential mixed-use area, except it wasn’t pre-planned — it’s that way because that’s what life was like everywhere in America before suburbs were conceived.  Even in the core residential areas you’ll find antique stores, flower shops, coffee houses, art galleries, restaurants, and delis, as well as doctor and attorney offices and even the Franklin Art Glass Studios, which has been making stained glass window since 1924.  As a result, people are constantly out on the streets walking to these commercial establishments, which gives the area an enjoyable bustling feel.  It reminds Kish and me of our old neighborhood on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

If you have commercial establishments in your neighborhood, though, you’d better support them or they won’t be there for long.  Fortunately, this hasn’t been a problem for us.  It’s easy to frequent local businesses when they offer quality goods and services at reasonable prices.  We haven’t bought any stained glass pieces — at least not yet — but we’ve gladly purchased excellent sandwiches to go at Katzinger’s deli, freshly ground coffee at Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, and wine at the Hausfrau Haven, which offers a great selection, helpful advice from the proprietor, and a weekend wine bar to boot.  And when you’ve got G. Michael’s, Lindey’s, the Sycamore, and Barcelona, as well as more casual options, within easy walking distance, it’s not hard to spend your dining dollar in the ‘hood, either.

Shopping and eating out in our neighborhood is one of the things that I like the best about our move.  It makes German Village feel like much more of a real community.