Update Nov 2015 – Sadly, MJ’s Foodshop is no longer open.
After starting the week all zen and light with a post about a yoga-festival, this article will surely reset the/ a balance. After visiting this joint on the bustling Sonnenallee, you’re sure to leave feeling heavy, full and more than a little self indulgent. The menu ticks pretty much all of the quintessential, American, comfort-food boxes with serving sizes to match. For the days when your stomach yearns to be filled, and your palate craves carbs and nostalgia (be that real or imagined from years of watching U.S tv): welcome to MJ’S Foodshop.
MJ opened this place a little over a year ago, and I have no idea who she/he is, except very likely to be American with a big heart for hearty food. Indeed, glancing at the menu you’ll find classic all-star American dishes like: philly cheese steak, open-face meatball or roasted turkey club sandwiches, braised beef brisket, and Southern-fried chicken (some call it the best in Berlin). Of course, fries are on there there too, and come served with a choice of house mayo. All dishes can easily be combined with drinks like the home-made lemonade and iced tea, or the lemonade and ginger infused vodka. Sounds like the ideal hangover-cure, right? Or like the perfect spot to begin a night of one or (too) many drinks.
We went there on a regular weeknight, and opted for the more unusual: vegetarian pea paté with caramelized onions and grilled, two-finger-thick, white bread (6,50 Euro), as well as the crispy potato pancake with house-cured salmon and tzatziki (8,00 Euro). And we couldn’t avoid ordering the U.S classic: mac and cheese (5,00 Euro) and obviously had to sample the fries (3,00 Euro) too, which were home-cut and crispy with a nice potato flavor, yet still satisfyingly greasy – a balance that’s not easy to find, especially in Berlin. All dishes ordered were from the “Small Favorites / Sides” menu, surprising given the size of portions. Being a truly American-style diner, the servings are not down-sized for Europeans and are therefore plentiful and hard to finish.
MJ’s is definitely not the place for delicate fine dining, subtle flavors or arty plating. It’s more of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get Diner-esque experience (without the classic interior, though): big plates; lots of heavy, fried food; fresh vegetables as garnishes; and lashings of salt and thick sauces. I am certain we can all imagine more than one occasion we’re craving exactly that. As said, perfect hangover-food.