So, here’s a new thing I’ll be doing. Because a, it fits better with my overall schedule, and b, it’s better aligned with how I currently want to write about the Berlin food scene on this blog: short but sweet recommendations (or not), depending on whatever I ate the week prior. Admittedly it’s much more blogging than reporting / journalisting, but hey, this is a blog! So let’s go back to the roots. Let me know what you think!
Otherwise, here’s where I ate this past week, and what I thought. (I’m leaving out the disappointing salad at a very prominent co-working space in Kreuzberg, which really isn’t worth either a pic or a word.)
As announced, one of my fav Berlin tea brands has opened their very first stand-alone space on Weserstraße (just next to Stella, where I had lunch while pondering why they’re still using disposable paper trays…). It’s obviously much bigger than their lil’ shop inside of Voo, has more cake (!), some sandwiches, plus coffee drinks and a big selection of their tea (try “Snow”, it’s currently sold out and only coming back in November, but keep it in mind for then). I met with a friend, we ordered tea and carrot cake, and then proceeded to be the only ones sans laptop in the very elegant yet still casual space. Dear Laptoppers who order one espresso per sitting: your time here’s gonna be limited, so make the most of it ;)
12045 Berlin Neukölln
I finally returned to Kanaan after at least a year, there’s not even a reason why I don’t eat their chickpea dishes more often, I’d rather just blame it on distance? Anyhow, glad to report it’s still yummy. This time, I had their musabaha and falafel with a salad with goat cheese. Their falafel is just so intensely green inside, never fails to make me happy. And though the bowl of boiled chickpeas with tahini was big, I just went on and finished it. And needed a nap later. They rebuilt their lil’ shed, which is now ready for autumn and winter, when their sandy garden will be closed. Still a big fav in the city.
Last Thursday, a friend came to town and we decided to pre-celebrate her upcoming birthday with a boozy and refined lunch in the sun. It was one of the final hot days, so we sat down in front of Annenlies, Distrikt Coffee‘s still kinda new sister café in Kreuzberg. I’ve been there once before for a slice of their bread pudding, a dessert I love which is unfortunately still under represented in this city. This time we went all out and ordered crémant, the gem lettuce salad (€6.80), marinated mushrooms on toast (€8.50), and roasted zucchini (€7.80). I can see where they’re going with this menu, the ingredients are of high quality and put into the center of a dish that’s never too complicated. The yellow shavings you see on the picture above are smoked egg yolk, and there was also pickled watermelon rind and pumpkin seed tahini. The mushrooms came with a parsley puree, and the salad had cheese (also shaved), linseed, and a dijon mustard dressing. However, I’m not entirely sure whether they are really where they want to be – despite the obvious quality and thought that went into each dish, none left a lasting impression (in contrary to the bread pudding from four weeks ago). They served us a complimentary slice of french toast with mirabelle plums, cultured cream, and lemon balm (which made my friend remark how much she loved going out to eat with me, but this ain’t standard!) I liked it, however, it’s going for €8.80 and I find that pretty steep for one slice of toast, despite it very likely being entirely made in-house. Let me say it like that, the €8.80 don’t translate to the plate. I will be coming back for the bread pudding and a cup of filter coffee anytime.
Görlitzer Straße 68
10997 Berlin Kreuzberg
As you might know (if you follow my instagram, you certainly do), I like to get out of the city and walk through Brandenburg’s forests a lot. This past weekend I didn’t have as much time as I wanted so I chose to make a short trip into the Briesethal. The Briese is a murky, swampy stream north of Berlin, it features many mosses, loads of trees in water, and an impressive beaver dam. If you park your car here and start walking north on the eastern bank, you’ll eventually hit the Alte Försterei Wensickendorf, a charming farm in the forest with donkeys and sheep and loads of chicken, and a small snack bar serving Wildleberwurst, hot tea, and coffee, as well as Kalter Hund and seasonal cakes. It’s a great walk and easy to reach (by car, by train the closest station would be Birkenwerder), and not too long for a weekend with a slight hangover from Friday night.
The Poutine Kitchen
The Canadian speciality poutine is renowned for its potential to divide the masses into poutine-defenders and strict poutine-repudiators. I always leaned towards the former: fries (luv) with gravy sauce (also luv) and squeaky cheese curds (double luv). Sounds like a winner to me! I might be wrong, but the Poutine Kitchen inside of Moabit’s Arminushalle is actually the first one bringing this junk food to Berlin? So I was super happy to finally try it. In the spirit of Berlin foodie-ism, I chose the poutine that came with additional kimchi on top (no bacon!) and happily dug in when the giant portion arrived at my table. First, I burned my tongue because the gravy was so hot (and the kimchi very cold), but then I got the hang of it, picking fermented cabbage, firm cheese blobs, fries, and sauce at the same time to get the full experience. And while kimchi and cheese is a combo I will praise till the end of time (Kimchi Käsespätzle!), poutine left me a little… wanting. You see, for me the greatness of fries lies in the fact that they are, well, fried. So they’re crispy and crunchy (while soft inside). Once you put gravy sauce on, they eventually turn rather soggy. This isn’t Poutine Kitchen’s fault, it’s the concept of the dish. And I should’ve expected it. But I kinda didn’t, and so the sogginess of it all put me off. So just to warn you, fries get soft when you put sauce on them and this is what you do with poutine. However, if that isn’t concerning you, you’ll very likely love this place.