Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

polyg's Profile

Title Last Reply

Berlin restaurants critiques

AFAIK, Kater Schmaus has unfortunately closed with the Kater Holzig itself.

Sep 12, 2014
polyg in Europe

Munich with Young Children

Any recommendations in Munich, for places that are :
- not very expensive
- as kids-friendly as possible
- non-smoking, if it is still legal for people to smoke indoors in Bavaria. What is the legal status of smoking in restaurants in Bavaria?

Obviously doesn't have to be fancy places.

It would be nice if the restaurant will offer something made of vegetables. That are not potatoes. Dare I ask for vegetarian dishes that are not Spaetzle?

Specific areas I am thinking of

- Near the Deutsches Museum
- City centre (near all corny sites)
- Olympic Park area
- East (between the Tierpark and the Michaelisbad) and eastwards (I am staying in the far-far east of Munich. One step and I'll be out of the city!)

Jul 13, 2014
polyg in Europe

Berlin food gifts for pals and potential paramours

Some ideas:

(1) In fancier supermarkets (e.g. Kaiser or Rewe) you can find a brand called "vonhier" (from here), which is for local stuff from Berlin/Brandenburg. They have all kinds of stuff you may like (e.g. horsehaddish which is pretty important here), but my recommendation is something called Klosterbrot which is bread in a jar.

(2) Also from a supermarket: there is the Berlin Honey, which is only from local plants and beehives:

(3) Gummy Bears are not quintessentially Berlin/Brandenburg, but they are identified with Germany, and in the tourist shops or the Ampelmann shops you can find Ampelmännchen Gummibärchen , which are green and red and designed like the red/green iconic traffic light figures. Gummy Bears are especially good given the fact that your friends are unfortunately hipsters.

(4) There are several local chocoletier, e.g. Fassbender and Rausch. All have "touristy" chocolate (shaped like Brandenburg Gate and what have you


(5) Bionade and Club Matte are the drinks that you'll see in every party and beach bar, obviously you can also buy them in the supermarket. I don't know if carrying drinks is a recommended thing (heavy, can break), but it is an option

(6) And of course - again not a Berlin thing but a European one that is actually banned in the US (and hipsters would love): Surprise Eggs (WTF! )

Apr 14, 2014
polyg in Europe

Berlin in November. Where to eat?

It was a pretty good Schnitzel at Borchardt. The food there is certainly nice . The space and service certainly add a notch. It is not that common to have waiting staff actually being attentive in Berlin. They even found a delightful, off the menu, solution for a vegan member of our party.

I had a surprisingly good Wiener Schnitzel at Schönbrunn in the middle of Volkspark Friedrichshain and the leafy scenery might be nice in the autumn (and then again, weather might be plain Scheisse).

I have forgotten to add Schwartzwaldstuben, which is very basic, yet good.

The service at L&W is horrendous, that is why I never recommend it, despite the fact that I ate there a very good steak tartare there.

Oct 28, 2013
polyg in Europe

Berlin in November. Where to eat?

Vietnamese: I think it depends on your expectations, there are several quite decent places. The brothers that own Si An have opened District Mot which I really liked.

Traditional German: Germany is very big and with many regional cuisines (being a local patriot I will try vehemently to claim that the Berlin one has its fine aspects, but I would be lying).

Most of what people actually conceive (outside Germany) as traditional German is actually... Austrian. One good place to have Wiener Schnitzel (Schnitzel made of veal) is Borchardt on Franzoesischer Str. There are plenty of fine Bavarians or Austrians that serve this staple food, with potato salad, e.g. Ottenthal, to which I haven't been in ages, but really liked back in the days.

Oct 27, 2013
polyg in Europe

Can Eating Poppy Seeds Make You Fail a Drug Test?

can't anyone remember it was on Seinfeld?

Oct 29, 2010
polyg in Features

Need Advice: burning my food (creating the campfire effect without actual fire)

You guys are wonderful - gonna try some of your ideas.

Aug 09, 2010
polyg in Home Cooking

Need Advice: burning my food (creating the campfire effect without actual fire)

I had a very happy accident lately: I have left potatoes to boil on the stove, had to attend to something and when I was back, they were scorched and not unlike camp-fire potatoes. Yummy. The pot: made of regular metal (not cast iron or anything) - was black and difficult (but not impossible) to clean.

I suddenly thought that I can actually sometimes try out BBQ / grilling / camp-fire recipes at home (another point: I understand that in the US it is standard to have a BBQ grill in your balcony/yard, but I live in a European sized flat, with big balcony, but with house regulations that would prevent setting fire to anything in the flat or on the balcony).

So, are there any ways of making the "camp-fire"/grill affect at home? I saw that some ethnic stores around here sell electric grilling plates - are these things any good as an alternative for meat/shrimp (for the winter, for times when you don't feel like grilling outside with the whole gear)? What about other ways to "burn" my food?

Aug 08, 2010
polyg in Home Cooking

Berlin: Middle Eastern groceries, hummus, tahineh, thin pita

Kastanienallee Israeli update: I went this week to the Zula Hummus Cafe on Husemannstrasse 10. The place is very good, probably the best hummus I have had in Berlin. They don't serve (almost) anything else, and it was half empty when I was there (a busy time in many other place in the area), so I wish them good, and urge you to go before they will not be able to pay the rent.

May 09, 2010
polyg in Europe

Berlin: Middle Eastern groceries, hummus, tahineh, thin pita

OK Dvash update: I *also* wasn't inside. Unlike her former place (the Ima compound in Kreuzberg), this one is in a gallery/wine store - not a place you can take kids to, unless you have sedated them with horse-tranquilliser beforehand. However, my partner brought me pita and hummus in a box to the Boxhagener. The hummus costs EUR6, which is a bit expensive to my taste, and although it was excellent, something was missing (then again, I have eaten it out of a take-away plastic box). It is certainly a place for adults only, and because of the "serious" location (gallery and wine store), also a bit complicated for casual eating. Still, very good eating, and a plus for adults - we parents (and their toddlers) would not be there to bother you.

May 01, 2010
polyg in Europe

Good, casual restaurant in Charlottenburg (nr Ku'damm)

I also thought of recommending Lubitsch, so I guess it is recommended. Have no idea regarding the Leibnitz Klause. This is really not my part of town...

Feb 24, 2010
polyg in Europe

Good, casual restaurant in Charlottenburg (nr Ku'damm)

Engelbecken is a good restaurant, but it is a bit far from Mommsenstrasse.

First of all, within a walking distance from Mommsenstrasse (at least most of it - it is a quite long street), you've got Savignyplatz and Kantstrasse. In Savignyplatz you'll find many nice restaurants, including the famous "12. Apostel" pizza/Italian place and Zwibelfisch, which is a casual, almost pub like, German restaurant. Kantstrasse has many of Berlin's most famous Asian places, including Good Friends (Cantonese) and Aroma (Dim Sum).

Marjellchen is right on Mommsenstrasse, and although I have never been there, I have heard it is a very good German restaurant with not too posh atmosphere.

Feb 23, 2010
polyg in Europe

Berlin: Middle Eastern groceries, hummus, tahineh, thin pita

First of all, I agree regarding Qademus. Great restaurant, friendly service and they have brunch buffet on Sundays.

However, I think that I have bad news for you: no way to avoid travelling to Arab neighbourhoods (northern Neukoelln, Eastern Kreuzberg or Wedding/Moabit) for some of the things you're looking for. The Gesundbrunnen area is only a short walk from Prenzlauer Berg (I think I have even written about a weird walk I had to this area once).

"real hummus" - like a restaurant, to eat? There used to be a great place to eat Hummus on Kastanienallee, and I have recently happened to meet to guy who did it, and he said that he's about to re-open, so stay tuned. Otherwise I know a girl who does hummus parties once a month and she makes kick-ass hummus at a hotel in Kreuzberg. I have found a Facebook intive but no real site to show you, sorry.

Apart from that, you should be able to find both canned chickpeas and Tahini at both Reichelt and the Turkish stores (try the one at the corner of Kastanienallee and Danziger, near the Prater, if you don't want to travel all the way to Kreuzberg for the real thing). Reichelt also sell ready made fridge hummus, which is as horrible as the American industrial thing. What they sell as Tahini is the Turkish version (I understand from my husband that this is not as good as the Arab one).

Thin pitas are a "big" problem. This is certainly something that could be only bought at Arab stores - the Turks eat a richer bread, and don't hold Arab stuff unless it is a very big store. The Turkish butchers usually also have better beef and lamb (and for cheaper prices), so if you're in the shop, you might want that.

There are stores like the one in the link you have provided on every other corner in the Sonnenallee/Kotbusser To/Turmstrasse/Hermannstrasse areas. No need to travel all the way to Schoeneberg.

Feb 15, 2010
polyg in Europe

Best Italian Food in Berlin?

@Linguafood -
You haven't mentioned Contadino - because you haven't been there? Because you think it is over hyped? I am curious - I haven't been there myself and I usually shy away from places which Brad Pitt frequents (nothing against Mr. Pitt, of course - and Brad, if you read it, I am also a hungry child who could be adopted). However, their menu looks superb, and I think Basilicata (which is where they are from) provides one of the best regional cuisines in Italy.

Dec 08, 2009
polyg in Europe

Foodies' Berlin 25.12-01.01

Regarding Spandau, one place that I can think of it is the Florida ice cream shop, near the Spandau train station.

Aside from that, there are no restaurants compared to the ones Linguafood has mentioned, but Satt und Selig in the Altstadt are true to their name (full and happy)

Nov 18, 2009
polyg in Europe

Berlin Fried Chicken?

Perhaps they meant Henne?

Sep 15, 2009
polyg in International Archive

Berlin at New Year's 09

Hugo's has great view and is a very impressive/unique restaurant.

Sep 01, 2009
polyg in International Archive

Staying at the Grand Hyatt Berlin- Need help on reasonable restaurants nearby!

$50 is about 40 EUR, and if you don't drink wine, you can find plenty of places in Berlin for that amount or less.

However, it is not really the area for inexpensive good food. Most of the food around the Hyatt is either expensive or fast food. There are several casual food restaurants around that serve quite decent food:
* Vapiano (pasta)
* Maredo (steaks, salad bar, usually also have some version of sea food)
* Tony Roma's

If you will try to walk, only a little, there are some interesting restaurants (I recall a good Iranian) on Potsdamer Strasse; also there is the Peking Ente on the other side of Potsdamer Platz, on the corner of Voss and Wilhelmstrasse (I haven't eaten there but it should be good, Streisand and all...)

Aug 25, 2009
polyg in International Archive

Berlin: Need critique of several restaurants

I have been taught once that a lady doesn't speak if she has nothing nice to say, but I agree with Linguafood regarding Defne.

Aug 13, 2009
polyg in International Archive

Berlin: Need critique of several restaurants

Your Mitte list: unfortunately I haven't been to half of them, but Zur Rippe, despite being a very nice restaurant, is the type of place I would take my 70-year old uncle and aunt (I actually have, and they had fun), so while I am sure that by "single diners in their early 30's" you have meant no agism, Zur Rippe is quite "an old people's place".

Konnopke's is not in Kreuzberg, but in Prenzlauer Berg. Its "achrival" (not really, but sort of East/West competition) in Kreuzberg is probably Curry 36.

I don't think that Storck exists anymore, perhaps I am wrong.

If you like food, I think that your list is really lacking on Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain eateries. Besides, if you like Asian (Toca Rouge, Susuru, etc.), there are several good places that you should try, like Ishin.

Aug 11, 2009
polyg in International Archive

Asian in Berlin -- and Germany, in general

What about the one next to the Chinese embassy (just across the Jannowitzbruecke station)? It is above my league, but I have heard good things about it.

Jul 01, 2009
polyg in Europe

Fruity Smoothie

Like Hershey, I cannot stand tofu. Any way to substitute it?

Aug 13, 2008
polyg in Recipes

Berlin: Spanferkel

Is there a restaurant in Berlin that regularly serves Schweinferkel? These are those grilled whole pig(let)s. A bit of googling did not really help, as I got mostly catering ("Party Service") and articles about how great it is to piggishly eat a whole piglet.

Aug 09, 2008
polyg in International Archive

Berlin: Lindenbrau

I went to Lindenbrau this week. Or perhaps I should say - so you will really think the worse of me - I went to the OF version of Mamma Mia! at the Sony Centre and to Lindenbrau this week.

For the Berliners among you, this is as if I have just said that I am 13 again and went to McDonald's and to see a Jason Donovan concert (when he mounted for something for 13 year olds). I have just introduced kitsch to Chowhound Berlin. The tourists are of course indifferent, they have no idea what I am talking about. So let me put it like that: I enjoyed myself more in the restaurant than in the film, and that is despite the fact that it is one of the best films to watch in darkness in the company of gay Berliners (oops, I think this sentence could be also wrongly interpreted).

It was great, and not great in the teenage kind of way. First of all, a refreshment of memory for those who haven't been there: Lindenbrau is a "traditional" German restaurant in the most non-traditional, touristy, location: the Sony Centre. It is supposed to be also a brewery, and there are home-made brews, but you don't see most of the brewery, and I would imagine that it is really located in some factory in China. So much for a corny, plastic-like atmosphere.

I didn't try the beer, though, so it might be good. Lindenbrau have several dishes typical to the Berlin cuisine; but mostly Bavarian and south German dishes, and I would imagine what tourists might think of when they think of German food. We tried two main courses: one Schnitzel, and one vegetarian dish - a noodle mixture served in a hot cast iron plate. Both were satisfying and as usual with traditional German food, very filling/heavy (depends on your sentiments on the matter and level of hunger). And yes, not only that the vegetarian dish was good, it was also not lonely in the menu, as it usually happens in "real" traditional German restaurants.

Non-Germans would also enjoy the fact that at least this "touristy" restaurant is really geared towards tourists: the staff speaks English (as much as you would expect from ze Germans ven dey spik Englisch); the menu is available in major tourist languages (if I am not mistaken: English, French, Spanish and Japanese); and there are also pictures of the dishes, so you will know what you're ordering, and whether it looks more like a brew or like a roast. As has anyone who has visited a (real traditional) German restaurant (that is, with no foreign language menus or weird explanations), you're bound for surprises if you count on the wording only, not knowing the dish.

I have neglected to mention, that my babysitter is one of those people with their own time concept, which means that by the time we got to the Sony Centre, it was almost too late to eat something. The service at Lindenbrau is also quick and efficient, another major difference than any real traditional German restaurant.

So forget those cosy little places in PBerg, go to the real thing ;-)

Aug 01, 2008
polyg in International Archive

Berlin indoor markets

There is a nice indoor market in Marheinekeplatz in Kreuzberg (take the U7 to Gneisenaustrasse). It has been recently renovated and looks (and tastes) great.

Following the recommendation of another Berlin Chowhounder (sorry, can't remember whom), I came upon this blog, and since then, dreaming of going there:

(I think *it is* on Herzbergstrasse, but unfortunately the better half is not that keen on Vietnamese food - what a weird person - so I am yet to mobilise a mass tour in that direction).

If you're a Berliner, please stay.

And if you're a tourist and not a Berliner, you're still welcome to stay, but the food emporiums in Galeria Kaufhof (Alexanderplatz) and in KaDeWe are worth visiting, even if they are not indoor markets proper.

Jul 28, 2008
polyg in International Archive

New discoveries in Berlin?

I am reminded of another really nice Arab restaurant that I ate at, about a year ago - It is called Casalot - on Claire-Waldoff-Str. 5 (which is just behind the FDP centre and the Deutsche Theater, which means that the restaurant is filled with the unappealing combination of politicians and aspiring actresses - but you sometimes have to suffer for food, and most suprisingly in Berlin, cordial service with a smile! <==== maybe the waitress is sick or something??? Why was she smiling?

In any case, naturally, this kind of area, while being more expensive than Sonnenallee, also lacked dodgy guys with beards and bearded women with headscarfs (near the Deutsche Theater and Guido Westerwelle's office, it is more likely to be dodgy women, who might be vulgarly called "birds", and clean shaven guys with headscarfs)

Jul 13, 2008
polyg in International Archive

New discoveries in Berlin?

There are several beef restaurants that are - in my opinion - better than Maredo and Block House. I like Maredo's salad bar, and their steaks are *OK*, but not more than that. The Bird in Falkplatz (not far from the Max Schmelling Halle in P-Berg) has really great steaks and the atmosphere is *almost* like in a real American restaurant; Kirk Royal was also recommended here as a source for good steaks; and I liked - if you prefer Argentinian over American - San Diego on Karl-Marx-Allee (which is in addition, remarkably cheap in comparison with Block House).

The best Arabic food is in Neukoelln, especially in "Little Beirut" on Sonnenallee. However, I am not so sure it is for everybody - it is all very authentic, might be too authentic for some - you will feel like eating with Hasan Nasrallah and his wives...

I ate at a great Libanese in Prenzlauer Berg on the border with Friedrichshain (on Am Volkspark Friedrichshain), but I don't remember the name.

North African cuisine is notably different than Lebanese cuisine and you shouldn't mix the two, but I don't know any good Moroccan restaurant in Berlin (a start-up idea?).

Jul 13, 2008
polyg in International Archive

Berlin vegan/vegetarian/kosher

Rachel, the question is why you want to each either Kosher or Vegan - if it is because you eat kosher, but if you will eat from non-kosher plates at a restaurant that serves non-kosher meat - I would recommend just going to a German restaurant and order a vegetarian dish.

If you will only eat from kosher or vegetarian places:
- Gabriel's: I was there twice (once with a rabbi). Food is "Jewish" and Israeli. Not bad at all (I like Jewish food) but I don't remember "German" dishes.
- Chabad's restaurant (Sushi) - haven't been there; Baharat - ditto
- You haven't mentioned Bleiberg's and Beth Cafe - both are Kosher diary with supervision, and they serve (vegetarian/diary) German and Israeli/Jewish dishes.
- Samadhi - very good but naturally not German at all
- Hans Wurst - was horrible for me, but this is because I am not so soymilk-tolerant and I have forgotten that this is what they will serve if you order coffee. Was not much impressed that they have a real menu, more like a coffee house/pub
- Kädtler - good bakery, normal prices despite kosher certificate and most importantly, you will get to see a real German bakery - but please note that while there is no meat anywhere, only some of the baked goods are under supervision.

More Kosher:

To summarise: authentic German = at a German vegetarian place - none of the vegan/vegetarian places you have mentioned is "German".

Jul 10, 2008
polyg in Europe

Berlin: My Sunday Walk Through Wedding

thank you. Going to try!!

At Barcomi's I am always distracted by the cakes and I have never gone past cakes or "serious eating". But I have been there at least a dozen times and I think that my Cannoli-obsessed mind would have remembered.

Jul 10, 2008
polyg in International Archive

Best sit down Turkish in Berlin?

Just this week I wrote about a Turkish restaurant in Berlin called Yesil Firin, check my review bellow.

However, it is not in a very touristy area. Hasir is in all the touristy places: near the KaDeWE, near Hackescher Markt.

I haven't been to Dafne, but it is considered to be good.

Jul 08, 2008
polyg in International Archive