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Archive: 2019

Eats in Berlin: Sirup against the Heat

Oh my, it’s hot. There’s no way around it, Berlin now is a sweltering city when summer comes. We still need a couple years to get used to the heat, it seems. Air-cons are far and in-between, most buildings miss window blinds or awnings, but at least our city isn’t as sealed with tar and concrete as other capitals that turn into melting pots. Still, everything and everyone becomes very, very slow. I just recently told a friend who had moved here three years ago that this development is entirely new! (And we all know who made it happen.) I remember summers entirely devoid of one day over 30 degrees, I remember wearing coats at 13 degrees in July, and I remember the pressure of having to get out to the lake when that one perfect summer day combining blue skies and enough warmth came up.
This Eats in Berlin is all about places where you can have heavy meals filled with either butter and sirup or cheese and chickpeas to fight the heat. Seems counter-intuitive? Thing is, we as people are so adaptable (or ignorant), I – a privileged woman who can determine her own work hours in a chill apartment – can feel how the longer summer lasts, the less I’m bothered by the high temperatures. Which means we (again, the privileged few) will also find a ton of reasons to change absolutely nothing (or making things even worse). So, if you have time in between baklava and hummus, check on your elderly neighbour and see if they need help with something, if you can spare some coins buy a homeless person a bottle of water, give that bee-attracting shrub outside your house some water in the drought, and put out a bowl of fresh water on your balcony for birds to cool down in.
Until then, go sirup!

Eats in Berlin: Syrian bowls, Chinese bowls, French bowls

Years ago, I entertained myself with the idea of opening my own bistro where everything would be served in bowls. Which is what it would’ve been called, obviously. It was never serious, I just needed it during an extra-stressful time to get my mind off things. However, five years later and here we are: what is a restaurant today, if it doesn’t have a bowl on the menu? My most hilarious example of peak bowl-itis was a spätzle-bowl. What does it even mean, to make a “bowl”? To put all kinds of ingredients into a deep dish and call it a day, at its worst, and using bowl-shaped ceramics for extra saucy foods, at its best. The title here is just a joke, though. Almost none of the dishes – except the first one – in this post qualifies as a “bowl” in the late 2010s meaning of the word. However, I couldn’t help but notice the dominance of bowls, even in this none-bowl focussed post. On with it, then…

Escape: Where to Eat in Paris

Ooooh, Paris! I have not spend enough time in Paris, a day here, a day there, mostly just as a stop-over when going some other place, really. This time, we were staying for almost 4 days, we were going to eat all the things at all the right places so we had all our eating opportunities planned, from breakfast to lunch to dinner, we even had a day where we had breakfast, two lunches, one of them a menu, and a dinner with five courses planned for later in the evening. We were doing this thing right, we were prepared, we were ready.

Eat in Berlin: Not Really Summer Foods

Sometimes, people complain about the lack of local diversity on this very page. I wouldn’t 100% agree (look how spread out the over 450 places on this map are), but it’s true, I am focussed on the areas I frequent daily, where I live and work. For one, because Berlin is actually humongous, stuff is far and commuting can take too much time to just go for a quick bite. And I’m often lazy, it takes planning and willpower to go check out a place in northern Reinickendorf. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy traveling the city and I ensure you, I’m much more mobile than your usual Berliner, who needs strong incentives to leave the Kiez (that’s why we don’t have friends who live in other districts). Because all the Bezirke have their own distinct flavour, especially those beyond the park (my own wording). Breakfast in Grunewald feels like you went on a weekend trip (with the M29 bus), and dining in Charlottenburg feels like dining in another city. That is because Charlottenburg actually was its own city, until 99 years ago! So I want to encourage you to roam the city, like I did when I went to Wilmersdorf for breakfast and then to two places in Mitte! Told you, I’m lazy.

Escape: Where to Eat in Toronto

Lucky me, I was invited to join the annual Terroir symposium in Toronto, Canada, to speak on behalf of my side-hustle, the Feminist Food Club. I joined Soleil Ho, a gifted food writer (and the current restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle), chef and activist who I have admired from afar for a very, very long time, Petra Mutch, a passionate food entrepreneur and activist, and moderator Marie-Claude Lortie, a Montreal based food journalist and restaurant critic, to talk about how to achieve gender balance in the industry. I arrived a couple days earlier to take in the city, meet some people and get accustomed (thank you, cannabis dispensaries). During these days, I mostly just walked the city, watched a show at Second City, read books and fought jet lag by buying loads of ice cream. I haven’t had enough time to explore all worthy parts of Toronto, especially not the less central parts where I have heard is where the best food is to be had (I read about an awesome Egyptian brunch at Maha’s in the east; and a white rabbit candy soft serve in Markham!) So this list is referring to central, mostly downtown Toronto only and is by no way including everything you should eat when there, but it’s a good start.