I love Germany. I love German food, culture, people, the beautiful land, and the architecture. I visited Germany in 2007 during a European adventure to six countries in three weeks. We arrived in Munich after a week in Italy and I fell in love. Everyone is so friendly and inviting, you can find anything from traditional to modern German cuisine, fun activities and nightlife, and you can visit the city for Oktoberfest, music, or the English Garden. Outside the city are amazing sights like the Schloss Neuschwanstein castle or Dachau Memorial. Oh, and then theres the beer.
Any day that starts out with attending a Sounders game ending in victory can’t be bad. Any day continuing with beer and sausages also cannot be bad. After the triumph, we took the light rail and a short drive out to Renton (yes, Renton.) to have beers at The Berliner Pub, a German gastropub owned by my good friends Dennis and Lydia Mascarinas, the former owners of the Aristocrats Club in the International District. Located on Maine Ave, formerly Pounders bar. The beautiful new pub is a welcomed addition to the neighborhood.
Henning, me, Dennis, and Lydia.
I met Dennis & Lydia in 2008 while looking for a nanny position as a second job while working at Lark. While their boys were the reason for our meeting, we quickly became like family and I was happy to engage in all of their food adventures. Dennis is Filipino, so at major events like birthdays, boxing matches and Super Bowl games you can find whole roasted pig (lechon), pancit, lumpia, and fish & vinegar soup. Lydia is German, and grew up in Austrailia before moving here over a decade ago. Dennis lived in Germany during a foreign exchange student program where he met his friend, Henning, who helped put Dennis and Lydia’s dream into a reality through help with the food menu and creative direction while the constuction of the pub was crafted by longtime friend Jay. Family is a priority to them and it was important to create an all-ages, family-friendly environment. Their two son’s, Collin and Logan, run around freely and Collin, age 3 1/2, is often seen visiting and chatting with guests!
Lining the walls are dark wood shelves, some with antique steins, with a large one holding glass steins for their “Stein Program”, and communal tables inspired by German beer halls. A drop-down stage hosts musical guests that folds up when not in use.
What I like about The Berliner, other than the nostalgia, is their menu with not only charcuteries (aufschnittplatte kalt) and sausages (eight different kinds!), but they also have pretzels with three kinds of mustards (braetzein), salads (salats), “snacks” (imbiss) like salmon lox and German cheeses (käseplatte), and four different kinds of burgers. They have an extensive German and Belgian beer list consisting of 16 on tap, 10 bottles, with more to come. We enjoyed the Ayinger hefeweissen, lighter and crisp with a background of toasted wheat. It went perfectly with our sausages: currywurst (a Bockwurst covered in Henning’s curry sauce recipe from Kassel) and the haushmacher bratwurst (their housemade beer bratwurst), both poached, subtly seasoned and juicy, served with crisp pommes (frites with dill), sauerkraut and a giant pickle! I was in heaven.
Hamburger oder Käse Burger, Hausmacher Bratwurst, Ayinger Hefeweissen.
Collin and his pretzel…
During Friday and Saturday nights at the pub, you can see the servers dressed in Lederhosen! You can spend the upcoming summer days and nights on their outdoor patio or stay inside getting cozy by their tableside fire pit. Other than being a traditional German beer hall, they show sporting events year round, host parties and socials both casual and business, they have a beautiful pool table and a stunning portrait of ‘The Hoff’ greeting you on your way to the toilette! It is impossible not to have fun here!
Through Dennis’ travels, Jay’s craftsmanship, and Lydia and Henning’s background and expertise, they have created a traditional German gastropub that makes me miss my times in Germany, Amsterdam and Prague, but happy to visit and share good times, beers, and sausages with some of my favorite friends. I am so proud of Dennis and Lydia and loving their pub makes me ask Dennis, “Why isn’t this in Seattle?!”.
The Berliner Pub
2221 Maine Ave S, Renton WA 98057
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter!