Tag Archives: Food

K’UPS Gemüse Kebap in Prenzlauer Berg

Gemüse Kebap (Chicken Döner) Berlin Prenzlauer Berg Close Up

A viable alternative to the long queues at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap (and for me the schlep to Kreuzberg), K’UPS Gemüse Kebap has opened on Kastanienallee in Prenzlauer Berg.

Legend has it that the Döner Kebap (or Doner Kebab) was invented in Kreuzberg so it’s no surprise that it is one of Berlin’s most popular snacks.

Serving a variation on the traditional lamb or veal (a combination of chicken and roasted vegetables with the usual trimmings), Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, is one of the city’s most popular Dönerbuden.  As Mustafa’s has been in numerous Berlin guidebooks and has rightly gained a solid reputation, and achieved a kind of cult status, eating there normally involves a considerable wait.

K’UPS Gemüse Kebap on Kastanienallee has two advantages over its more famous rival:

  1. Indoor seating: particularly welcome during a Berlin winter.  The tables and chairs are repurposed wooden pallets.
  2. A significantly shorter wait: that could well change though when word gets around.

On my two visits to Gemüse Kebap, my Döner was ready within just a few minutes and bang on the money for flavour.  The meat and vegetables were well cooked and seasoned, the salad fresh, the sauce spicy and the finishing touches – crumbled Feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon – for me, the crowning glory.

Gemüse Kebap (Chicken Döner) Berlin Prenzlauer Berg Close Up

Like Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, the new Gemüse Kebap in Prenzlauer Berg may well benefit from its proximity to another of Berlin’s landmark eateries.  The queues for Mustafa’s sometimes stretch along Mehringdamm to Curry 36, whilst Gemüse Kebap is only a short distance from another of Berlin’s most popular Currywurst BudenKonnopke’s Imbiß.

For me, the only thing missing at K’UPS Gemüse Kebap is beer but there are a number of Spätis on Kastanienallee so the beer drinker’s thirst can be easily satisfied.  And it’s also very near Berlin’s oldest BiergartenPrater Garten – so in the summer, a Kebap will be the perfect food for soaking up a few Feierabend beers.

Photos From My Phone – May

Here are my May highlights from Berlin as illustrated by the photos I took with my phone.  Some of these photos have appeared in my Twitter feed, on my Facebook page or my Instagram account.

Early in May I went back to Burger de Ville and tried the Funky Pommes, which come drizzled in Garlic butter and topped with parsley – I recommend you try them for yourself.

Funky Pommes at Burger de Ville in Berlin

I finally made it to see the Wannsee in daylight and it was so good I made a second trip and both times I stopped for a drink in the Biergarten at Loretta am Wannsee.

Beer in the Biergarten at Loretta am Wannsee

And I was joined by an uninvited guest…

Hornet  on a beer glass in the Biergarten at Loretta am Wannsee

Street Food Thursday has become one of the highlights of my week and I was back again almost every week in May.  The sandwiches at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ are just that good.

Pork Belly Sandwich from Big Stuff Smoked BBQ at Street Food Thursday at Markthalle IX in Berlin

I spotted this drunk Octopus looking for a fight at Burgeramt

Drunk Octopus looking for a fight at Burgeramt in Berlin

A brief spell of sunny weather (a false summer) meant that the flowers started to bloom in all their glory.

Summer Blooms in Berlin

I took a wander around the Hansaviertel for the first time in ages and marvelled at the architecture.

Balconies in the Hansaviertel in Berlin

Mauerpark is only a short walk from my flat so I made my first (of many) visits of the summer to the Bearpit Karaoke.

Bearpit Karaoke at Mauerpark in Berlin

I spotted a beautiful old Ford Falcon parked on Paul-Lincke-Ufer…

Ford Falcon Details

And I was back at Mauerpark to take in the sunset

Sunset From Mauerpark in Berlin

Fingers crossed and thumbs pressed (even though doing both at the same time is painful) that June’s selection will involve a lot more sunshine.

Big Stuff Smoked BBQ at Markthalle IX Berlin

The logo of Big Stuff Smoked BBQ in Markthalle IX Berlin

Big Stuff Smoked BBQ in the Markthalle IX in Kreuzberg should be a Mecca for Berlin meat lovers.  The sandwiches are mouth-wateringly spectacular – so tasty in fact, that looking at the pictures while I type this is almost too much to bear.

The star of the show at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ is undoubtedly the meat, which has been slow cooked to the point where it is melt-in-the-mouth tender, juicy and succulent but the sauces and accompaniments play a commendable supporting role.  The buns are organic, handmade in Berlin and based on a traditional Scottish recipe.

Pulled Pork Sandwich at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ in Markthalle IX Berlin

On my first visit I went for the Pulled Pork sandwich for €5.50, which came with BBQ sauce, slices of apple and salad leaves.

I would always recommend taking the staff’s advice on what to have in your sandwich.

Beef Brisket Sandwich at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ in Markthalle IX Berlin

Last time, I went for the Beef Brisket sandwich, which costs €6 and came with a spicy BBQ sauce, Sauerkraut and pickles.

Feeling particularly hungry I opted to go back for seconds and this time chose the Pork Belly sandwich, the most expensive of the three at €7, accompanied by pickles and BBQ sauce.

Pork Belly Sandwich at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ in Markthalle IX Berlin

It turned out my eyes were bigger than my belly – don’t be fooled by the size of the buns, as you can see they are overflowing with meat – despite my big appetite I had to call on Steffi to help me out.

There is also a Meat Platter on the menu but I haven’t tried that yet.  There’s always next time.

If you are eating at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ I would recommend washing down your sandwich with a beer from Heiden Peters.  I’ve been very impressed with the Pale Ale and the Weizen that I have had there in the last couple of weeks.

There is a warning on the Big Stuff Smoked BBQ Facebook page:

Please note: our food takes endless hours to cook, so when it’s over it’s over.  Come hungry and come early.

Big Stuff Smoked BBQ is only open from Thursday to Saturday and always seems busy – I guess those in the know are determined to get their fix.  I have been the last two weeks during the new weekly Berlin event, Street Food Thursday at Markthalle IX – and the queue has snaked around the corner of the booth – always a sign of good quality.

Five Elephant – Sublimely Good New York Cheesecake in Berlin

The sign at Five Elephant Berlin

When Steffi and Bine told me that they had driven from Charlottenburg to Prenzlauer Berg just to get the New York Cheesecake at The Bird it got me wondering where you get the best New York Cheesecake in Berlin.  I started to draw up a list and the first place to go on it was Five Elephant.

On Reichenberger Strasse in Kreuzberg, in their own words:

Five Elephant is a specialty coffee micro roastery, bakery and cafe in Berlin, Germany. Passionate about quality, our goal is to source the best coffees in the world in a way that is both socially and environmentally responsible.

You can read more about Five Elephant’s approach to sourcing and brewing their coffee on their website and Facebook page.

All this is lost on me because I’m not a coffee drinker so it’s lucky that Steffi had come along, tempted by the prospect of excellent Cheesecake, and sampled a Cappuccino (very good).  I have to admit that it looked great but coffee is just not for me.

Cappuccino at Five Elephant Berlin

And the Cheesecake? It was as good as it looks, if not better.

New York Cheesecake at Five Elephant Berlin

The top was rich and creamy and light and the biscuit base sweet and crunchy – so crunchy in fact that I somehow managed to get some in my pocket.

As well as the stellar desserts and great coffee, Five Elephant is in a great spot.  It’s just a short walk from the Landwehrkanal and what is arguably the most instagrammed view in Berlin – equally stunning in snow and sun.

The Landwehrkanal from Hobrechtbrücke on a snowy Berlin day

The Landwehrkanal from Hobrechtbrücke on a sunny Berlin day

For me, the New York Cheesecake at Five Elephant in Berlin is as close as a dessert can come to Heaven so it’s going to take some beating but I’m still going to continue my quest for Berlin’s best New York Cheesecake.

Berlin Burger International (BBI)

Berlin Burger International (BBI) in Neukölln

Berlin Burger International (BBI) has been on my to-do list so long that I can’t even remember where I heard about it – I just remember hearing that the burgers are amazing.

I was heading to Neukölln last week to check out an abandoned Children’s Hospital and had woken up with a burger craving so I decided to make a pit stop on the way.

Berlin Burger International is on Pannierstrasse not far from the corner with Sonnenallee so an easy walk from U-Bhf Hermannplatz.

Indoor seating is at a premium at BBI and knowing this I decided to delay my visit until 3 in the afternoon in the hope that the lunchtime rush would have died down and the dinner rush not started.  Well, either lots of other people had the same idea or this place is just busy all day long.

Fortunately, I went on the first sunny day in Berlin this year (an exaggeration but it feels a bit that way) and despite the cold people were sat on the benches outside eating their burgers.

I ordered a Chilli Cheesburger and Pommes (chips), grabbed a Bier from the fridge and sat down at a stool near the grill to wait for my food.

Chilli Cheeseburger at Berlin Burger International in Neukölln

My Chilli Cheesburger came loaded with toppings and a stick thrust through the bun doing its best to stop the whole lot spilling across the plate and was a taste sensation.

There were plenty of jalapenos and they along with the chilli in the cheese gave the burger a great kick and the smoky bacon added another dimension.  My one criticism would be that the sauce was a bit too BBQ like but that’s a very minor point – the Chilli Cheeseburger at Berlin Burger International is delicious.

So my advice is to get yourself down to Neukölln to try out Berlin Burger International, preferably when the sun is out and you can either sit on those benches outside or take your burger and sit near the canal.

Zsa Zsa Burger – Star Quality In Schöneberg

Zsa Zsa Burger Sign in Berlin Schöneberg

I have Chris Lietze of Blog’n’Burger to thank for introducing me to Zsa Zsa Burger.  My first visit to this Schöneberg burger restaurant was for BlognBurger11 and a few days later I was back again for more.

My first time at Zsa Zsa Burger I was tempted by The Silence of The Lambs described on the menu as:

Lamb burger served with red curry dip, the insider’s tip!

A very good burger – lots of meat and a tasty (though for me a little mild) curry sauce – and great chips but I had to go back to try the beef.

So on my second visit, just a few days later, I went for The Breakfast Burger, a beef burger topped with bacon and a fried egg.

Breakfast Burger at Zsa Zsa Burger in Berlin Schöneberg

Again, a very meaty burger and the runny yolk of the egg brought the delight that comes with messy food.  The buns at Zsa Zsa Burger also deserve a special mention.  I had the white sour dough version both times and they were delicious.

The Steak Burger, made with grilled Argentinian rib-eye steak and served with a Teryaki sour cream dip, also came highly recommended by Gilly.

Steak Burger at Zsa Zsa Burger in Berlin Schöneberg

Steak Burger at Zsa Zsa Burger – Photo courtesy of Gilly of Gilly’s Playground – http://blog.gilly.ws

The food at Zsa Zsa Burger is of a very high and consistent standard, the restaurant is smart and comfortable, the service is excellent and when I was there, super-quick despite being full on both occasions.

I followed up both of my visits to Zsa Zsa Burger with cocktails and would recommend both bars – Stagger Lee and Green Door.

Curry Mitte – Saucy Pleasure in Berlin

Curry Mitte Berlin Sign

It’s amazing that it took me so long to try the Currwurst at Curry Mitte, an Imbiß on Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin, as it’s only about 1km from my flat, but thanks to a recommendation from Gian left in the comments of my Reasons I Miss Berlin #3 – Currywurst post I went there a couple of weeks ago.

Taking advantage of a special offer, I ordered Currywurst (mit darm) mit Pommes (Currywurst (with skin) and Chips) and a small bottle of Berliner Kindl for €4.50.

Currwurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry Mitte Berlin

And I have to agree with Gian that Curry Mitte serves one of the best Currywurst in Berlin.

I had the standard sauce, which was tasty and had enough curry to make it interesting without spoiling the flavour, but they do offer options to go spicier.  The sausage and the chips were also very good and with the special offer this was fantastic value for money.

The Currywurst at Curry Mitte is definitely up there amongst the best in Berlin that I have tasted – it wasn’t quite as good as zur Bratpfanne but it was a close run thing.

Marjellchen – Hearty and delicious German food in Berlin

The sign at Marjellchen - a German restaurant in Berlin

I think it’s fair to say that German cuisine (for some, that’s an oxymoron right there) doesn’t always get a good press but anyone who doubts the quality of deutsche Küche obviously hasn’t eaten at Marjellchen in Berlin.

My exposure to traditional Berlin food so far has consisted of Currwurst and Döner (and I’m a big fan of both, so that’s a good start) but when a recent discussion with Gilly, Bine and Steffi turned to their favourite dishes I was keen to expand my horizons.

I’ve been eager to eat at Marjellchen since I read this great post on Little Red Courgette months ago so it was my first suggestion.

Just reading the menu on the internet was enough to get my Berlin friends salivating, mmmm-ing, and talking of hunger despite having just finished a filling meal.

Arrangements were made to meet a few days later for an early dinner.

Marjellchen is in an unassuming building on Momsenstrasse in Charlottenburg just a few hundred yards from the S-Bahn station at Savignyplatz – a restaurant as homely as the food is hearty and the perfect spot for food that will protect you against the cold of a Berlin winter.

Now, I don’t normally have too much of an issue with a menu written in German but I guess I know what to expect from my usual haunts because I have to admit that the menu at Marjellchen was a mystery.  Thankfully, I had three ‘echte Berliners’ on hand to help out.

Don’t worry, if you arrive Berliner-less, I’m sure that the friendly staff at Marjellchen would be happy to help you out (there is an English menu on their website so they may have copies in the restaurant).

After requesting a few translations and taking on board some suggestions I decided on the Rinderroulade (bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef).

As Bine’s Kalbsleber “Berliner Art” (Calf’s Liver “Berlin Style”) arrived first I have to admit to a little food envy, likewise with Gilly’s Knusprig gebratene Landente (Crispy Roast Duck) and Steffi’s Schmandschinken (ostpreusßische Verführung) (Cream Ham (East Prussian temptation)).

Rinderroulade (bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef) at Marjellchen in Berlin

Luckily, when my Rinderroulade was placed before me I wasn’t disappointed.  Everything looked and smelled incredible and there were nods and ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of approval all around the table.

The food tasted as good as it looked (if not better) and there was a full house of satisfied murmurs at the end of the main course.

And the desserts were even more remarkable (visually) than the main courses.

The Windbeutel (cream-puff served with ice cream and fruits) was enormous…

Windbeutel (cream-puff served with ice cream and fruits) at Marjellchens in Berlin

…and the Marjellchens Desserteller (Marjellchen’s Dessert Plate) sensational.

Marjellchens Desserteller (Marjellchen’s Dessert Plate) at Marjellchens in Berlin

I’m now torn between exploring more German restaurants in Berlin and going straight back to Marjellechen where I know I’ll have something more than a little bit special.

Reasons I Miss Berlin #3 – Currywurst

I Love Currywurst - sign on a Currywurst van at Ostbahnhof in Berlin

As much as I’m enjoying some home-cooked meals and the opportunity to have a great take-away curry back in the UK, I miss my favourite Berlin snack – Currywurst.

Over the last year I’ve been on a quest to find the best Currywurst in Berlin – my ‘Best of the Wurst’.

Here’s a rundown of my 3 favourite Currywurst Imbisse in Berlin.

1 – zur Bratpfanne

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Zur Bratpfanne in Berlin

The best Currywurst that I’ve had so far in Berlin is from zur Bratpfanne in Steglitz.  I loved it on my first visit and have been back a few times since, even making some special trips.

2 – Curry 66

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry 66 in Berlin

At Curry 66 the sauce is offered in 9 different levels of spiciness from ‘Angenehm’ to ‘Black Death’ – so far the spiciest I have had is 3: Scharf.

3 – Curry 36

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry 36 in Berlin

Curry 36 features in all the Berlin guidebooks and along with Konnopke’s Imbiss is probably the most famous of Berlin’s many Imbisse.  Devotees can now get their Curry 36 fix at Zoologischer Garten Bahnhof, as well as the original Imbiss on Mehringdamm.

Fräulein Burger – Berlin’s Newest Burger Joint

The sign at Fräulein Burger in Berlin

Fräulein Burger opened its doors to the Berlin public at Koppenplatz 1 (near The Barn) for the first time yesterday, serving homemade organic (Bio) burgers.

Having heard predominantly good things about Fräulein Burger from friends who attended a special pre-opening event for Blog n Burger on Sunday, I was keen to try out Berlin’s newest burger joint.

Coincidentally, I was running some errands in the area on opening day and walked past the door at lunchtime.  It would be rude to ignore fate.

My first impressions were good.  For a first day, the place was reasonably busy – there were customers eating at the tables and more waiting to place their orders at the counter.

Having given the menu the once over, I opted for the house-burger, The Fräulein Burger:

with freshly minced extra-large medium-cooked beef patty, lightly melted cheddar, crispy bacon, crisp lettuce, onions, tomatoes, gherkins and the incomparable Fraülein Burger sauce

Again, first impressions were good – the food looked and smelled delicious.

The Fräulein Burger with chips (kleine Pommes) at Fräulein Burger in Berlin

Unfortunately, it was clear from the first bite that the burger was greasy. Whether this was a result of the burger or the slightly fatty bacon wasn’t clear but the grease was soaking through the bun, dripping on the paper lined serving tray and coating my fingers.

That said the taste was very good.

In the pros column, the chips (Pommes) were cooked with a slight skin on and light and fluffy on the inside – very tasty.

Overall, I would say that the food at Fräulein Burger is good but at €11.90 for the burger with small chips (kleine Pommes) and a bottle of Lemonade (Zitronen Limo) I think it is a little overpriced (the burger alone is €8.90).

As this was the first day of service I’m willing to chalk the issue with my burger down to teething problems and will go back to Fräulein Burger to see if these can be ironed out.  As well as having another of the signature burgers, I’m keen to try the Lamb Burger, which looks delicious in the picture on the menu.