Mariona – the catalans are the best

Excellent!! That doesn’t say much but it says it all.

The place is small, inconspicuous and always packed. The menue is straightforward and changes every day. Josep, owner and cook, brings only those ingredients on the table he finds worthy enough when he does his daily shopping at the market.  A dozen or so appetizers, a few main courses and two, three desserts are being created each day. The cooks can run riot with their creativity and it doesn’t take more dishes to convince the customer of the greatness of catalan cuisine. The drinks menu is manageable, but the few wines chosen well. The waiters are knowleadgeable (hooray!),  attentive and brisk. We are here once again in a larger group and to save us from the difficulty of choosing what to eat, we order all of todays 14 starters for all of us to try.

To start of with we have a cava, olives and some homemade bread with seasalt and then, one after the other we receive: Rabbit-clam-stew, tuna-carpaccio on salad, ox cheeks>>   read more / weiterlesen


Tavernaki – what a pity

The area is not very frequented. Here one hopes the residents will come and that the odd tourist ,who doesn’t find his way to Charlottenburg castle, stops for a meal.

Whoever opens a restaurant here has to have something to offer so people come back on a regular basis. I was full of hope when after a few weeks of emptiness a new gastronomer promised to fill the gap. At long last: A greek! The inner decoration is clearly arranged, not overloaded, a few rustique wooden tables and the tipical greek chairs with braided seats whose legs stick uncomfortably into you after a while. On a shelf along the wall a few delicacies that can also be bought in the near future. So far so good, seems o.k. With the menue comes an ‚ouzo’ as  welcome drink. On the blackboard outside grilled seabass and gilthead, as well as veal liver are being advertised. On the menue one finds another aproximately 100 dishes. Oh dear… if it were all affectionately made starters, wonderfull, but what>>   read more / weiterlesen


Mar y Sol – far away from sea and sunshine

Well, the location is nice being on Savigny Platz with a large, green terrace. I have been here years ago and had a mediocre fish soup. Another visit stayed in my mind as being a waste of time, but now I am invited and as the place is always packed when I drive past it, I am interested to find out what it will be like third time round . The bottle of wine is cold and comes in a cooler.The glasses are of good quality. That’s about it. The rest is rather frightening. The girl, that is serving us sitting outside on a sticky table, has never been to Spain and hasn’t got much of an idea about the menue. Well, we order the usual tapas each spanish housewife can do blindfolded, out of lack of unusual ones. Braised chicken with garlic (too braised, the meat has fallen of the bone and has to be labouriously picked out), fresh goat cheese with figs in honey oil (there could have been a fig somewhere in the kitchen, but it never met up with the cheese), fresh dates in bacon (dates>>   read more / weiterlesen


Wonderpots – we’re wondering

We just had a boring Chili-bratwurst and chips tasting of cardboard, we needed something sweet. Preferably indoors as it can get quite loud on Friedrichstrasse with the passing trains. Wonderpots has one of three shops close by. Perfect!

Stylish-cosy appearance, board games on the shelves, a motivated bartender and the many different toppings – we were enthusiastic. The classical choice is a medium portion of frozen yoghurt with three toppings for € 4,50. But with all the colourful options it was hard to choose so we go a small portion to try. At some stage we were ready to choose and I took a combination of cold dog (butter biscuits and chocolate), applesauce and Bounty. My friend also opted for cold dog (shows we are both from east Germany…), caramel toffee and raspberry.

To be honest: I was disappointed. The apple sauce with a hint of cinnamon was o.k. but the chocolate tasted old, the bounty peaces had – yet again – a boring cardboard taste and the caramel>>   read more / weiterlesen


Mr. Minsch – a handy handout

The woman and men from Mister Minsch love cake. That is why both their shop windows are full of their masterpieces. I stand outside and choose my piece of desire. Whilst inside new cakes are being created constantly, customers are being served trough a hatch in the door. To go or to divour on one of the few empty seats infront of the shop. Marzipan, fruit, chocolate, eggnog – every piece looks grand, is quite a good size (even for me…) and costs only € 3. At the weekends or when the sun shines you will find people queuing. Get used to it – you will do the same.

News: Mr. Minsch has expanded to inside seating. Now they are armed for atumn and winter.

Mr. Minsch >> Facebook
Yorckstraße 15 / Kreuzberg
U Mehringdamm


Ars vivendi – disputable way of life

The name Ars Vivendi – or better said way of life – sounds promising, especially when an italian is concerned. With high expectations we enter the restaurant on Holsteinische Strasse in Wilmersdorf on a Friday lunchtime. The establishment is unpretentious, newspaper reading gentleman, couples and other guest who seem to be regulars, sit at tables with red checkered tablecloths. An eye catcher is the opulent display cabinet, that shows the kitchens repertoire: a wide selection of antipasti, cheese and coldmeat specialities and the homemade pasta, the restaurant is known for. Spaghetti, Tagliatelle, Ravioli with Ricotta and boletus or zucchini filling – all is produced right here. Proven by the machine next door the chef handles every now and then. So far it is inviting. The daily food is written on a straightforward blackboard, there is no printed menue, and sounds good. From the small selection of fish, meat and pasta dishes we choose Cannelloni with Cime di Rape, a typical>>   read more / weiterlesen


Toca Rouge – only if you’re not choosy

Absolutely hyped and completely overrated. The interior is extravangant, o.k., but nothing else. The tables are small, too small should you want to order more than fits on two plates and you wouldn’t be able to see your food as the LED lamps form circles of light big enough for two plates + your drink. The dishes have funny names like Making Sense, Seven Seconds, Mao’s Darling, A Better Tomorrow… We try Pretty Woman, turnip chicken salad in fish-honey sauce, rather boring if it wasn’t for the 3-4 bits of chillie. My brother takes the Spider Beef, roastbeef in hot coriandersauce, which is o.k. The main courses are Long Life, mandarin noodles in too sour sesame-garlic sauce, and Chop Chop, apparently lamb with mince sauce but so finely chopped and covered in mince you cannot get a taste of lamb at all. No guys, this doesn’t work. You won’t be more than a tourist trap. Yours Saskia Sanchez

Toca Rouge
>>   read more / weiterlesen


Spreegold – fresh and filling

The Bötzow area is quite hip and offers so many cafés and restaurants, that one can get lost and won’t know which one to choose. Choose Spreegold, go on! You won’t regret it. When entering you look straight at the counter filled with delicate sandwiches and cakes. Next comes the open kitchen where every dish is prepared on the spot. The menue offers a great variety of sandwiches, pasta, soups, salads, fresh fruit juices, a fine array of teas and coffee and some wines. It is early afternoon and whilst we wait for our food we enjoy tea and homemade lemonade. The plates are nicely decorated, the food looks very appetizing and the portions are quite large. The lemon black pepper sandwich is devoured the quickest, the pasta with oven veggies and chicken pieces take longer, so does the chicken soup who comes with so many noodles and vegetables, I need to take a fork as well as a spoon to eat it. Berries are the decoration of the vanilla pudding and the fresh croissant>>   read more / weiterlesen


Sudaka – rather Sudoku…

Not just the head of the catholic church comes from Buenos Aires, but also the Chef of the relatively new, but already pretty hyped restaurant in Schöneberg: Eduardo Andrés Lopez. In the last few years in Portugal and Berlin the chef come artist has taken on the not so unpretentious name of Chakall. Same as the pope you can recognise him by his headdress, in this case a turban, there to undermine his cosmopolitan vita. He named his restaurant in Goltzstr. Sudaka, a depreciative term for a southamerican. Here it is supposed to stand for the crossover of the latin american cuisines ranging from to the southern tip of Patagonia to Machu Picchu. It seems to work. At the weekends there is hardly a free table to be gotten in the ample rooms with brick-lined walls. But it’s different on a Monday, when we arrive at 9.30 pm.

Only two, three tables are taken, the rest is emptiness. The chef himself isn’t is. We are told he is travelling. Maybe visiting his compatriot at the vatican?>>   read more / weiterlesen


Lavanderia Vecchia – Eating with laundry

The road is a very busy one in Neukölln, not a cosy place. Home to small businesses, and it looks rather like work in progress, when we walk into the restaurant located in the second backyard. Outside, inside everywhere are clothes on the line. Checkered kitchen towels and white tablecloths, old fashionly embroidered – just as if somebody had just hung them up to dry in an old Lavanderia Vecchia, a laundry. As decor it goes astonishingly well with the restaurants unrendered brick walls and wooden tables (without cloths), who would otherwise look too much of being a workshop. Unconventional as the rooms is the concept of the kitchen: Before sitting down one has to pay for food and drink and that brings on the question: Lunch menue with three courses, or only pasta? We are a bit lost and order just a main course and a drink, only to realise that we would have liked to have a salad as a starter, just as the one looking so appetizingly on the table next to us. So we are back>>   read more / weiterlesen