Food in Berlin: Mogg & Melzer

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Mogg&Melzer

Mogg & Melzer is a small Jewish restaurant located next to Pauly Saal at former Jewish girls’ school on Auguststraße with a beautifully balanced interior design and very nice artworks lining the walls. Having visited it before, I hesitated writing about them since their vegetarian options are fine, yet not as noteworthy as is their pastrami. Which is why I took my friend Florian Duijsens for a lunch, when they invited me to check out their kitchen, to guarantee a fair review. So while I’ve had the shakshouka (a new favorite of mine), and a lentil chipotle sandwich, he chose the Reuben sandwich, pictured above, with pastrami and a chicken liver brûlée and here’s what he thought.

The Reuben is a sandwich made for meat lovers. Its combination of crunchy roasted bread, succulent sauerkraut, a slightly spicy dressing, and tender piles and piles of pastrami are pretty much the definition of hangover food. The way they serve it at Mogg & Melzer, sided with sweet and springy coleslaw and a rather tame pickle is entirely traditional, even if the setting and clientele is not; instead of a noisy, busy corner deli, this sedate joint is secluded behind a not very clearly marked door inside an old girls school.

Still, this doesn’t mean that the place is not jumping, just that it’s filled with a mostly homogenous crowd of PR and design folk, topped with baseball caps and shrouded in a cloud of self-importance. The Reuben then, to get back to the meat at hand, feels a little out of place, as it would be more at home near a busier, more egalitarian part of town, Potsdamer Platz or Strasse, say, or even, though you might shudder, out West.

The service is sweet, though, as was the delicious if enormous chicken liver creme brûlée that came topped with crispy caramellized sugar; another recommendation for when your morning after feels more like a morning under.


Chicken liver brûlée


My Shakshouka experience is rather limited, but I liked it a lot more when it’s reduced to a thick sauce.


The vegetarian sandwich, sadly not toasted, but with a nice spice thanks to the chipotle.

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  1. Amandine on

    Reply

    Stop! You’re making me soooo hungry and lunch is hours away…

  2. Kerstin on

    Reply

    Mmmm, looks so good. I had reuben sandwich twice, in a jewish diner in Chicago and in London. Now I can try it out in Berlin too.

  3. Ben on

    Reply

    I went in expecting the Ruben photo’ed in your burger voting thing.. and was instead confronted with the above sandwich.

    Now, the sandwich was really impressive (THAT PASTRAMI!?!!). but you know… it kind of felt like that disappointment you get when meeting someone from a dating site and realising that they don’t ACTUALLY look like they did in their photos and you have to question whether you actually needed to choose your good suit rather than just pulling on a tracksuit.

    I guess in the end this comment is a cautionary tale of love: I love me a Ruben.. I’ve done a Ruben tour of Melbourne (Australia), enjoying the amazing Rubens scattered throughout the CBD and inner-suburbs. And I’ll always go back for more of a good Ruben.

    But, if you check out Mogg and Melzer… make sure you order the right Ruben, lest you leave with a satisfied stomach and a broken heart.

    1. Ben on

      story update: I tracked down Paul’s number and had a chat to him… the burger pictured here was from a street food event.. the sandwich is the usual menu offering. I am again at peace.

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