Tag Archives: Food

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’.

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.

Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap – Near Hackescher Markt

Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap on Oranienburger Strasse near Hackescher Marky in Berlin

***Update 8 March 2013 – CLOSED: I went to buy a Gemuse Kebap from Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap near Hackescher Markt on Tuesday only to find that the Imbiss is gone.  I went to the original stall on Mehringdamm during my Berlin Museum Marathon and will go back soon to take photos and post. – CLOSED***

Believe it or not, despite living in Berlin for a year, I still haven’t been to the hugely popular Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap on Mehringdamm, where the queues rival the Berlin Currywurst institution, Curry 36, just a few steps along the street.

I did have a Döner at the newer and less well-known stall on Oranienburger Strasse near Hackescher Markt this week though.

There was also a short-lived stall operating under the U-Bahn station at Eberwalder Strasse earlier in the summer, though opinion was divided on whether this was the genuine article.

When I went to the Imbiss on Oranienburger Strasse the other day I was pleased to see that there was no queue and I ordered a Döner.

A Döner (Doner Kebab) from Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap on Oranienburger Strasse near Hackescher Marky in Berlin

The combination of chicken with fried vegetables, fresh salad, Feta cheese, a squeeze of lemon and, for me, Scharf (spicy) sauce is a taste sensation.

As I did when I visited Curry 61, I took my food to the nearby Monbijoupark to eat.

The funky Mustafa’s website is worth checking out for the Döner Disko (click on the speakers) alone.  Don’t fall for the Live Cam (click on the CCTV camera) though – people are certainly not wearing shorts in Berlin today, when it’s 3°C.

At €3, a Döner (with Chicken) at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap is excellent value for money and great for lunch or as a snack to soak up some booze on a long Berlin night out.  I will have to brave the queues and visit the original soon.

Almost 1 Year In Berlin

Anniversaries and Birthdays have always seemed to me to be a time for reflection and as I will be celebrating 1 year in Berlin tomorrow, this seems like the perfect time to reflect on what I have seen and done here.

My original intention was that I would be able to create a Berlin Top 10 from my experiences over the last year but hey, this is Berlin, so that would mean leaving out too many great things.  So here are some of my highlights.

City of Diversity

It seems appropriate that Berlin celebrated its Birthday yesterday.  The City of Diversity exhibit on the Schlossplatz was my highlight of a program of events and displays.

The map on the Schlossplatz as seen from the Fernsehturm, the City of Diversity Exhibit part of Berlin's 775th Anniversary celebrations

It was great to see the city celebrate the diversity of its population and highlight the contributions made by immigrants.

Berlin Events

The city has a very full calendar of events (especially during the summer months) and if you are considering a visit keep these in mind as timing your visit to coincide with them will be a real treat.

In May, the Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures) is another celebration of Berlin’s diversity.

A lady in a feathered headdress dances at Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures) in Berlin

The main event is the parade but there are food and drink stalls set up for a number of days.

The Christopher Street Day Parade is Berlin’s Gay Pride.  A riot of colour on the city’s streets this is a great photo opportunity.

Statue of Liberty: Two revellers at the Christopher Street Day (CSD) Parade in Berlin

Find a spot along the route and get ready to watch the fun pass by (or join in and follow a float).

September’s Stroke Urban Art Fair was a real treat for me with my love of Street Art, something that abounds in the city.

Fin Dac - Killer Instinct painting in progress at Stroke Urban Art Fair 2012 in Berlin

In October, many of Berlin’s most famous landmarks (and less well-known buildings) were lit up for the Festival of Lights.

Brandenburger Tor (The Brandenburg Gate) lit up in many colours during the Festival of Lights in Berlin

This was a great chance to try out some night-time photography – you won’t be the only one carting your camera gear from place to place all through the evening and into the night.

Berlin Food Favourites

I have had some great food experiences in Berlin and have found my favourites.  When it comes to burgers, The Bird in Berlin, is the place to eat.

Da Birdhouse - the house burger at The Bird in Berlin

Their burgers are meat monsters and making a mess is part of the joy of eating Da Birdhouse.

The Pastrami & Turkey Sandwich at Ruben & Carla is a real lunchtime treat.

The Pastrami and Turkey sandwich at Ruben and Carla in Berlin

My first meal here was a real revelation and the service was so remarkably friendly I was back within days and have returned a number of times since.

I’ve also been on a quest to find the best Currywurst in Berlin but more of that later.

Soviet War Memorial

The Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park is what the word awesome was invented for.

The statue of a Soviet soldier carrying a German child and crushing a Swastika beneath his boot with the sun behind it at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

The grand scale and beautifully maintained lawns are truly impressive.  I immediately vowed that this would be added to my list of places to take visitors.

Fassbender & Rausch

For those with a sweet tooth and an appetite for chocolate that exceeds their desire to do any walking, Fassbender & Rausch is the ideal place for a spot of sightseeing.

The Fernsehturm made from chocolate at Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers on the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin

The chocolate sculptures of the Reichstag, Fernsehturm and Brandenburger Tor are a sight to behold and I dare you to leave without buying something – my Mum loves the truffles here.

Many of my favourite places and moments in Berlin are tied to people I have met here, without whom my experience would not have been half as fulfilling or a fraction as entertaining.  So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for the part they have played in my adventure.

Thank you Bine.

It was Bine who encouraged me to visit Schloss Charlottenburg and showed me around the gardens for the first time.

I have been back since to visit the gardens again and to go inside the palace.  It is one of the most opulent and beautifully decorated places I have visited and another of my must-see recommendations now.  I will post about it soon (probably in 2 parts – inside and outside) but sorting through the 1500 or so photos I took there will take a little time.

Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin

Decoration in the Chapel at Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin

A Buddha statue and blue & white porcelain in Porzellankabinett at Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin

Thank you for teaching me so much about the history of the city I love so much and also for helping me with my German – for pointing out my mistakes and in particular for letting me know when I have made a word up.

Thank you Gilly.

Thank you for talking to me when I was a little lost and for introducing me to your fiancée and friends.

Appropriately, as it was our shared love of the building that sparked that first conversation, thank you also for letting me be a VIP visitor to the Fernsehturm.

The Sunset over Berlin from the Fernehturm (TV Tower) at Alexanderplatz

Watching the sunset from Berlin’s highest point is worth queuing for but not having to makes the experience all the memorable.

Thank you Steffi.

I have Steffi to thank for taking me to my favourite Currywurst Imbiss in BerlinZur Bratpfanne.

Currywurst and Chips at Zur Bratpfanne, an Imbiss in Berlin Steglitz

My quest for ‘the Best of the Wurst’ continues but so far this is the star performer.

It was also Steffi who took me to Wannsee, where we watched a magical sunset.

A swan shows off for the camera during the sunset over the lake at Wannsee in Berlin

It’s worth venturing out to the lakes around Berlin, especially to cool off in Summer but don’t expect to be alone during the daytime.

And it’s Steffi I have to thank for suggesting a visit to Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem (Berlin’s Botanical Garden).

A statue at the Botanical Garden (Botanischer Garten) in Berlin

I visited on a gloriously sunny day and had an amazing time.  I haven’t been back yet but I will be.

Thank you Luci.

During my first week in Berlin I watched all of the videos in Luci’s In A Berlin Minute series back to back.  They gave me inspiration for some of my early forays in the city.  I have since been lucky enough to see the shooting and editing process and now know how much work goes into creating that 1 minute each week.

Thank you Sandy.

Without Sandy I wouldn’t have met any of the previous four people.  It was at Sandy’s party (a goodbye to her apartment near Monbijoupark) that I met all four.

Thank you James and Zoë.

Until I discovered their beautiful and informative blog, überlin, I hadn’t heard of Loxx Miniatur Welten but as soon as I saw Zoë’s incredible photos and James’s enthusiastic descriptions I knew I had to visit.

The Haus der Kulturen der Welt (known to Berliners as the Pregnant Oyster) at night at Loxx Miniatur Welten Berlin

A miniature railway and so much more (a miniature Berlin in fact) Loxx on the top floor of the Alexa shopping mall is a real Berlin gem – an indoor attraction that should be on everyone’s itinerary.

You can read my post about Loxx here and see the überlin post that inspired me to go here.

Also a massive thank you for being the first people to retweet me and champion my content.

Thank you Georg.

Thanks for getting in touch and suggesting that we explore some of Berlin’s (and the surrounding area’s) abandoned buildings together.

The thrill and adrenalin rush of exploring Kaserne Krampitz and the elation at (eventually) finding the ‘Nazi Eagle’ is hard to beat.

The Motor Pool at the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

A Nazi Eagle mosaic on a ceiling in the Kaserne Krampnitz - a former Nazi/Soviet Military base near Berlin

Thanks also for challenging me to improve my photography – seeing your shots of the places we’ve been together always makes me think ‘I must do better’.

Thank you Oliver.

Vielen Dank for encouraging me to speak more German and for making me feel OK about making mistakes.  I now know the secret – ‘üben, üben, üben’.

And last but not least, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my posts and especially to those who have taken the time to ‘like’ them or comment on them.

This post has gone a little more down the sentimental route of an Oscar acceptance speech than I intended but I have a lot to be thankful for.

If anyone is left in any doubt having read any of my posts I can’t recommend visiting Berlin highly enough.  It is the most wonderful city – a place where history seems alive on every street, on every corner and in every building.  A place where there is also a feeling that the future is still undecided and you can play a part in shaping it.  A city that is constantly evolving, always changing – not always for the better unfortunately but that’s life.  Berlin, ich liebe dich.

Bixels – Finest Baked Potatoes

The Bixels logo on an old window in Bixels in Berlin Mitte

For one week only, Bixels is serving Baked Potatoes in Berlin Mitte again.  Daniel Bixel has elevated the humble Baked (or Jacket) Potato to an artform and the small eatery, Bixels, on Mulackstrasse always seemed busy whenever I walked past.

That’s why I was so surprised when the restaurant closed a few months into my time in Berlin.

It would seem that a lack of customers wasn’t the issue though.  I read at the time (but now can’t find the source) that they had a problem with their lease because of complaints from neighbours.

Part of Bixels’ charm (but also the reason I didn’t go more often as a lone diner) was it’s communal dining table, with just a few other seats around the walls and in the window.  It always made it seem friendly and welcoming to me.

Enough reminiscing.

This week, Bixels is open again in the Club der polnischen Versager on Ackerstrasse.

I found out about the temporary opening via a retweet from @ntljk of a message from @ejcoombe, so thank you both.  And through them I realised that I needed to ‘Like’ the Bixels Facebook Page – if you’re a fan of Bixels you should too.

So on Monday my lunch venue choice was already made for me – a relief, as I’m a ditherer.

As with the previous premises, there is just a small dining space and it is mainly communal seating, with two tables for eight people each, and just a few window stools.  With Berlin enjoying some unseasonable sunshine there were a few people sat on benches eating outside as well.

There are just three potato options on the menu and as a committed carnivore I chose the beef with tomatoes, olives, carrot apple salad, red onions and horseradish sauce.

A baked potato with beef with tomatoes, olives, carrot apple salad, red onions and horseradish sauce from Bixels in Berlin

I have to say at this point that I’m not a baked potato enthusiast – I like them but they’re not the first thing I think of when I’m hungry.  The reason that I was so eager to eat at Bixels again is that the potato is so soft, almost creamy in texture, and flavourful.

The meal is delicious and filling but I have to say, I’m hoping that one day I might have a potato as full with toppings as their promotional shot.

I hope, like many others it would seem from Twitter and Facebook, that there will soon be a new permanent home for Bixels but for now get your Baked Potato fix while you can – you have until Saturday 6 October.