EDIT: LOUIS PRETTY IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED AS OF DECEMBER 2016
Let me introduce you to Louis Pretty, the next chapter in the rather thin book of great Berlin pastrami and the second restaurant to rise out of the ashes of the Mogg & Melzer empire. Pastrami really wasn’t a thing in Berlin until Oscar Melzer and Paul Mogg opened their Jewish deli Mogg & Melzer in 2012 and brought proper, handmade pastrami to Berlin. The deli flourished and eventually dished out some best pastrami I’ve had outside of North America.
“It turned out I was wrong and that Mogg and Melzer had to go separate ways before Berlin got another destination for great pastrami.”
You might think that a world class pastrami deli that attracts customers and press from all across the world might attract other Pastrami entrepreneurs to copy the concept. I sure did. It turned out I was wrong and that Mogg and Melzer had to go separate ways before Berlin got another destination for great pastrami. Because while Mogg and Melzer turned into Mogg under the guidance of Paul Mogg (preserving the fantastic food concept), Oscar Melzer decided to open up a brand new deli in Kreuzberg under the name of Louis Pretty.
Louis Pretty is Oscar Melzer’s ode to Kreuzberg, a part of Berlin entirely new to the man who once founded the techno club Weekend on Alex and then went on to start the deli Maxie Eisen and fine dining eatery Stanley Diamond in Frankfurt. Louis Pretty is located in a brand new house built on Ritterstraße this year and architect David realized Oscar’s vision of a venue that’s designed to act as the direct antithesis to the surrounding neighbourhood of Turkish Kreuzberg. He definitely succeeded to do exactly that, the venue of Louis Pretty is Miami Beach meets Palm Springs and GTA Vice City, a beautiful venue where minimalistic and futuristic design is complemented by wooden chairs, pink sofas and pool-blue tables.
“Oscar Melzer calls Louis Pretty his “modern deli with a Jewish twist” where everything evolves around the core product pastrami.”
Oscar Melzer calls Louis Pretty his “modern deli with a Jewish twist” where everything evolves around the core product pastrami. The inspiration for Louis Pretty’s pastrami comes from the iconic Schwartz in Montreal and head chef Joey from New York is in charge of executing this vision in the small kitchen. Louis Pretty opens at lunch and the menu focuses on sandwiches with the “Classic Pastrami” at the center of attention. There are several other, noteworthy alternatives on the menu though, among them the excellent “Reuben” with sauerkraut and cheese (fantastic knockout meal by the way) but also innovative takes on the cured meat like the PLT sandwich, where the pastrami is seared to a bacon-like consistency and then served with tomatoes, lettuce and chipotle mayo. Or how about the daily lunch special I had with pastrami, cheddar cheese and jalapenos on a light brioche bread?
“Louis Pretty is not all about Pastrami either, the BBQ flavoured pulled pork sandwich is tasty and so is the vegetarian sandwich with fat slices of pan fried King Oyster mushrooms.”
Louis Pretty is not all about Pastrami either, the BBQ flavoured pulled pork sandwich is tasty and so is the vegetarian sandwich with fat slices of pan fried King Oyster mushrooms. Also noteworthy: The very fresh Haussalat with roasted cauliflower and harissa dressing. The question that remains to be solved is of course how good the Louis Pretty pastrami is. The classic sandwich is served on a rye bread with French’s mustard and a side of cole slaw and a pickle. The bread is very old school rye and although it’s slightly too dense for my taste, it works great as a vehicle for the pastrami . The pastrami itself is exactly how it should be: fatty, smoky, salty and satisfying in a way that only handmade pastrami can be and miles away from the salt-injected and machine-tumbled shortcut-pastrami you get elsewhere.
“The difference is subtle and comes down to two things: It’s slightly less fatty and a bit more salty.”
The difference to the Mogg pastrami is subtle and comes to two things: It’s slightly less fatty and a bit more salty. Now, I can see how people will go either way on this, many should prefer a leaner pastrami. In my world more fat and less salt are good things and Mogg’s pastrami hits that sweet spot slightly better. This discussion is entirely pointless though, because in the end Louis Pretty is foremost a great restaurant and sublime addition to the Kiez around Kottbusser Tor and thrilled that we finally have a second location with killer pastrami in Berlin. With its casual vibe and menu Louis Pretty will surely find its way into the heart of the Kreuzberger crowd and I’m looking forward to devouring many delicious sandwiches here. Watch this project as it evolves over the next months with a large outdoor area and a future breakfast menu for weekends.