Berlin 1/30 – 1/31/2014

The hiatus from blogging over the past few weeks was because I travel a decent amount both for work (and for pleasure).  I’ve been toying with opening up the scope of this blog, and I have realized that in order to be able to keep regular posts, I have to do so.  Here’s the first post with a focus outside of Minneapolis.  Instead of the typical venue/food&drink/price breakdown, I will follow my dining itinerary.

So without further ado, on to BERLIN!

Thursday 1/30, Dinner at Katz Orange

Made it into the city after finishing up work in Leipzig in time to get dinner.  I usually look up my location in the NYT Travel section to see if they have a “36 hours in…”, and they happened to have a relatively recent edition for Berlin.  Based on the article, I chose Katz Orange.  A coworker of mine had a friend in Berlin, so the three of us ventured to Mitte to enjoy some haute cuisine.

The location was hidden in the back of a courtyard.  Apparently this is relatively common for the area, but I thought it was quite lovely, so I grabbed a quick shot of the view on the way in.

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They had a fun cocktail list, which I indulged on some sort of sparkling raspberry concoction, and the menu and food that followed was delicious. Below is a summary of what we had:

  • Daily special trio of soups (beet, parsnip, pumpkin)
  • Ceviche a la Marseillaise – mussel, spinach salad, aoili toast
  • Skate Wing with Roasted Chicory – carrot puree, blood orange salsa
  • Short Ribs of Free Range Beef – soy sauce, ginger, sugar beet syrup

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I love variety, and being a cold winter day, the soup trio was a perfect way to start.  The blood orange salsa was perfect with the skate wing, and I was happy to try chicory for the first time.  The short ribs were very melt-in-your-mouth.  Perfectly cooked and with a great spread of sauces, which completely appealed to my taste.  Entree prices were 20-25euro, which wasn’t terrible considering level of deliciousness.  I would definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting in the near future.

Friday 1/31, Lunch at Curry 36

From a little more online research, I found a great resource for quick bites as I was on a mission to see a few sites around Berlin on my one free afternoon.  At the top was a recommendation for currywurst, something that every German told me I needed to have at least once while I was in Berlin.  Apparently Curry 36 is very touristy, now that it’s made it into all the travel guidebooks, but my coworker’s friend said it was the essential place to get currywurst in the city, and my timing of mid-afternoon worked out perfectly to avoid the crowds.  I went for the combination of 2 Curry-Würste mit Pommes-Frites for 4.30 euro.  Perfect street food.

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Friday 1/31, Dinner at Gel Gor Inegol Kofteci

After seeing the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie, I headed to Gel Gor for some kofte.  There seemed to be quite of bit of places to get kofte, gyros, and doners in Germany.  In fact, right outside of Curry 36 was a doner food truck that had a huge line.  I was tempted, but I already had this place in my sights.  The kofte on a baguette with salad definitely hit the spot for me, though, especially for 3.50 euro.  I had it with “alles” toppings.  One of my German coworkers taught me that key term.  It is what is sounds like – all of them.

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Friday 1/31, Drinks at Ä and The Green Door

After dinner, I decided to check out a couple bars.  I started at Ä in Neukölln, which was from the 36hrs in Berlin article.  It definitely lived up to the hipster reputation.  From graffiti on the entrance to a chalkboard menu, mismatched furniture, foosball, and turntables, I was not let down.  I enjoyed a cheap but good German beer and then was on my way.

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From here, I went the complete opposite direction and made my way to The Green Door, which was recommended by The Guardian and has the motto “The power of positive drinking” – very nice.  The place apparently hosts quite a few famous people, including David Bowie.  I’d say it *almost* put Marvel Bar to shame.  You have to ring the doorbell at an inconspicuous (of course) green door before a server lets you in.  What follows is one of the most intense drink menus I’ve seen.  I think I counted 26 pages of cocktails.  I was on my own, so I only had two.  Both were very nicely balanced drinks.  Definitely not cheap, though.  This ran me around 24 euro.

  • Ramos Gin Fizz – Tanqueray No. Ten, Fleur d’Orange, Zucker, Eiweiß, Limette, Zitrone, frischer Rahm, Soda
  • Tritzentratzentrutzen Crusta – Elijah Craig 12, Framboise, Maraschino, Zitrone, Orange Bitters, Peychaud Bitters, Champagne on Top

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Well done, Berlin!

As a side note, the metro system was very easy to navigate and worth the daily pass to make it around the city to all these spots.  Just make sure you have change because some of the ticket machines don’t accept cards or big bills.

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