Tag Archives: Food

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.

Maria Bonita – Great Mexican Food in Berlin

The sign at Maria Bonita Berlin

Maria Bonita on Danziger Strasse is only big enough for a handful of people to eat at the same time but the food at this tiny Mexican bistro is a real treat.

A lack of good Mexican food in Berlin is one of the biggest culinary gripes in the city, especially amongst the expat crowd.  As an indication of just how bad Mexican food can be here, I once had Fajitas with cabbage in them – a first (and I’m determined a last) for me.

So when friends told me about the quality of the Mexican food at Maria Bonita, I was determined to give it a try.

On both of my visits I’ve had the Puerco Especial Burrito – a large tortilla filled with pork, guacamole, red salsa and Chipotle cream – an abundance of meat with a great balance of flavours for €6.

Puerco Especial Burrito at Maria Bonita Mexican Bistro Berlin

As always, I’d recommend washing it down with a beer – a Berliner Kindl is €2.

If you’d like to know what else is available, check out the Menu here.

This is the best Mexican food I’ve had in Berlin, though for a Californian-style Burrito I would recommend Dolores, which has restaurants in Mitte and Charlottenburg.

Maria Bonita, as mentioned earlier, is a small restaurant – just a kitchen really with a few stools at counters facing the cooking, the street and along the sidewalls (10 or so in total) – though during the summer there are also tables outside on the pavement.

If you’re looking for a larger restaurant, capable of seating larger groups, try Maria Bonita’s sister restaurant, Santa Maria on Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg.

A Magica – Incredible Pizza in Berlin

The sign at A Magica - an Italian Pizzeria in Berlin

A Magica, which opened on Greifenhagener Strasse in Prenzlauer Berg in 2007 is run by Sebastiano and Andreas, who met in Berlin in the early 90s.

According to the restaurant’s website, Sebastiano the chef, is a pizza acrobat and has competed at national and international competitions, displaying his pizza tossing skills.

This small and friendly Italian pizzeria has an impressive array of pizzas on the menu but very little else – if you can’t find the pizza that matches your mood you can even create your own.

Both times I’ve been to A Magica I have had the Focosa – a pizza with tomatoes, Mozzarella, peppers (Paprika), Taleggio cheese, olives and spicy salami – washed down with a half litre of Wernesgrüner Pilsner.

Pizza Focosa at A Magica in Berlin

The first time I went to A Magica, after I had spent the day at Schloss Charlottenburg, I described it as ‘the best pizza I’ve ever had‘.

On my latest visit yesterday the pizza wasn’t quite so spectacular but was still incredibly tasty.

The spicy Salami (scharfe Salami) has a real kick to it, so as well as one of the tastiest, this is also one of the spiciest pizzas I’ve eaten. The beer was enough to put out the fire though.

A Magica is a popular little restaurant and rightly so. It is especially popular with Prenzlauer Berg families according to some of the reviews I’ve read, though I haven’t seen many children in my two visits.

A total bill of €11 for a pizza and a beer represents excellent value for money in my opinion and I would have no hesitation in recommending A Magica for a tasty lunch or evening meal – you might want to book first though.

White Trash Fast Food – Rock n Roll Bingo

White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Last week I made my third Wednesday night visit to Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin.

The venue on Schönhauser Allee* is dark and slightly dingy – part restaurant, part bar, part club – and has an eclectic mix of art on the walls, all of which combine to give it a ‘dive bar’ vibe.

Rock n Roll Bingo is currently held on the first and third Wednesday of the month (check the Events listing on the website) and there is a €1 entry charge per person.

The Food

As I have done all three of the times I’ve been, I ordered the Extreme chilli-cheese burger, described on the menu as:

Beef topped with melted cheddar & our famous chilli con carne sauce to help it slide on home

Extreme Chilli-Cheese Burger at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

The burger comes loaded with a veritable mountain of chilli and salad so it always ends up messy but that’s not a bad thing.  At €9.50, it’s not cheap but I think it’s a reasonable price for what is a great burger.

A table of food at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

This time, my friend Gilly ordered the Big mucho-macho nachos plate, a combination of:

Chips + melted cheddar/mozzarella + all the fixins

and chose to add chicken.  As you can see on the right of the above picture, it was a mountainous plate of food for €12.  If you’d like to see a close up, click here.

The meal is described as ‘Easily enough for 2’ on the menu but Gilly had a good crack at it. His verdict was that it was OK but all the toppings made the nachos soggy so next time it’s back to the burgers.

The Rock n Roll Bingo

Shortly before the first game starts at 21:00, bingo cards and pens are brought to the tables.  Instead of numbers, the bingo card is filled with the name of 10 bands, from the 60s to the present day with a leaning towards indie/rock music.

Bingo Cards at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

There are 3 games throughout the night with prizes of €15, €20 and €40 to spend at the bar for a completed card.

Bingo Caller at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

The proceedings are overseen by bingo caller and MC, James, who is assisted by DJ Suavé and DJ Chianti – the trio hail from England and are bandmates in Big Skies.

The DJs play songs and if the band is on your card you mark it off – simple as that.  For those, a little worried about their music knowledge, there are often clues.

The Side Games

In addition to the bar tabs on offer in the bingo, there are spot prizes on offer for a series of side games.

I managed to bag my first swag in the first, a Name That Tune game, by standing on my chair and correctly identifying ‘Roll With It’ by Oasis.  I got to choose from a selection of CDs and picked the Tribes album (which I have been meaning to buy for a while now).

There was also Air Drumming, Air Guitar and a very impressive Limbo competition.

The Winning Limbo at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Sparklers (Wunderkerzen) were also handed out to all entrants and when a particular song was played, the best ‘sparkler dance’ won shots of Jameson whiskey for that table.

Sparkler Dance at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Sparkler Dance at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Sparkler Dance at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food is a great night out with a group of friends.  The burgers are tasty and the games are good fun.

I’ve been three times now and thoroughly enjoyed it every time.  The prizes to be won are just a minor part of the excitement – it is the enthusiasm of the hosts and their injection of humour that makes Rock n Roll Bingo a quality night out.

When the games are over there is an ‘after party’ – on my first visit in the summer we only left when the venue closed and reached home as the morning was starting to get light.

I know I’ll be back at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food on a Wednesday night soon.  I’m itching to stand up and shout ‘House’.

*Update* – White Trash Fast Food has now moved to a new ‘Nasty-Trash-Zen-Beergarden’ at Am Flutgraben 2 near Arena, Club der Visionäre and Badeschiff on the border between Kreuzberg and Treptow.

Burger de Ville Berlin

The Burger de Ville 'Airstream' food caravan in Berlin - outside the Bikini Berlin development

Burger de Ville is a pop-up burger van outside Bikini Berlin, a mixed use development, including shops, offices a cinema and hotel, currently under construction opposite the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche on Hardenbergstrasse.

The food caravan is being used to promote the Twenty Five Hours Hotel that will open at Bikini Berlin in Autumn 2013.

The logo of Burger de Ville in Berlin taken from the menu

It was the eye-catching design of the Airstream ‘silver bullet’, aluminium and steel caravan, that has been converted to house a kitchen, that first caught my eye on a shopping trip to the nearby Ku’damm.

The Burger de Ville 'Airstream' food caravan in Berlin - outside the Bikini Berlin development

I’m a big burger fan so it was only a matter of time before I went back to eat there and that’s just what I did early on Friday evening.

I ordered the Jalapeño Burger (which comes with tomatoes, jalapeños, manchego cheese, lollo bianco lettuce, crispy bacon and a chilli mayonnaise), Pommes mit Meersalz (chips with sea salt) with ketchup and a Fürstenberg (beer), which came to €9.10.

Jalapeno Burger & Chips at Burger de Ville in Berlin - outside the Bikini Berlin development

For me, the chips were too salty but maybe I made the wrong choice, as there are three other chips options on the menu – I particularly like the sound of the Funky Pommes (chips with garlic and smooth parsley).

The burger on the other hand was very tasty.  The meat was juicy and the jalapeños delivered a good kick.  It was so good in fact that I’ve already been back for another one.

Jalapeno Burger at Burger de Ville in Berlin - outside the Bikini Berlin development

And I’ll definitely visit Burger de Ville again and see whether the salty chips issue affects the Funky Pommes

The biggest challenge facing Burger de Ville though, isn’t the saltiness of the chips, it’s the lack of an indoor eating space. With the Berlin nights already closing in and temperatures in single digits, eating outdoors isn’t appealing to most people and in the coming weeks temperatures will struggle to climb above freezing.

In those conditions even the homemade Glühwein won’t be enough to make customers want to stand around at Burger de Ville for long.

***Update***

Burger de Ville in Berlin with a tent to keep customers warm in Winter

Burger de Ville now has a tent attached to the caravan that provides shelter from the elements during the cold Winter weather.

Also, Jürgen from Burger de Ville has been in touch about my issue with the chips (Pommes) I ate:

…if something like that is brought to our attention we will correct it immediately and would replace whatever it is without hesitation.  I spent 10 years in the US and have the same customer orientated approach as most companies in the service sector in the US…

It is this kind of attitude that will play a big part in the potential success of Burger de Ville.