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Monday, January 3, 2011

Gaumenkitzel: North German Restaurant and Bakery Headed for Berkeley

Posted By on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

click to enlarge The owners of Gaumenkitzel, which should open on San Pablo Avenue later this month, are from Hamburg. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • The owners of Gaumenkitzel, which should open on San Pablo Avenue later this month, are from Hamburg.

Gaumenkitzel, a restaurant and bakery specializing in the food of North Germany is slated to open in Berkeley later this month. "It means 'delight for the taste buds,' literally 'tickle the taste buds,'" owner Anja Voth tells SFoodie. Voth and her husband, Kai Flache ― whose construction firm is wrapping up the build-out of the former Metro Lighting store at 2121 San Pablo Ave. ― are from Hamburg. Voth was a breakfast cook and worked at a patisserie there, and plans for Gaumenkitzel call for emphasizing both. The 3,500-square-foot space near University Avenue will house a bakery counter offering German breads and sweets, and breakfast promises to figure big at the 89-seat restaurant.

Voth and Flache emphasize that everything ― from bread to jams ― will be made in-house, and from ingredients sourced as locally as possible. For breakfast (which will start at 7 a.m.), expect brötchen, German open-face sandwiches on house-baked rolls, with fillings that skew either sweet (marmalade) or savory (salad, cheeses, and house-baked schweinebraten, slow-roasted pork loin Voth hopes to source from Marin Sun Farms). Also: house-made granola and Bircher muesli.

click to enlarge JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall

Since the couple is from Hamburg, fish will be a big presence on the menu (Monterey Fish has been tagged as the house supplier, says Voth). After lunch, at 4 p.m., service will switch to coffee and kuchen, followed by what Flache describes as early dinner, till 6 or 6:30 p.m. Once the restaurant can staff up, dinner will extend later into the evening.

As for the bakery counter, expect two basic breads: a rustic whole-wheat loaf and a lighter one Voth calls graham bread. "It's especially good for people with sensitive stomachs," she says. Gaumenkitzel will have a beer and wine license, and a small retail shop on the premises, selling prepackaged house cookies and jams.

Flache says construction should wrap up this week, with final inspections next. With any luck, that means the doors should officially open the week of Jan. 24.

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