While I would argue that America’s soft power has taken some considerable hits over the last decade, its food culture is thriving abroad. It crops up in the most unlikely places- like on Hannoversche Strasse. A street that even a die-hard Mitte resident will struggle to locate. There on the former site of BarCelona next to the cutsie Maialino is Chicago Williams.
Its walls are bare brick. There are meat hooks to hang your coat on. And a giant Beelonia smoker, hunched against the back wall like some sort of dormant beast. Behind it, “Don’t mess with the chef!” is spray painted onto the wall. (Because you might end up in the smoker?).
You place your order at the bar. There is a wonky shelf, affixed at such an angle that the carefully stacked ceramic beer mugs seem sure to slide off with a crash. There is a lot of humor in that shelf. 2 slushie machines whir and churn like fat hula dancers promising perfectly icy Margaritas. When I try to order a diet coke for my husband I am told that it’s bad for you and they don’t serve it but would I like an Africola instead?
“What? And a platter of smoked meat is good for you?” I quip.
“It’s good for your heart.” Comes the answer.
And I see where they are coming from. This place is conceived from the heart. There is a lot of pride in their platters of meat. The pulled pork and the jerk chicken are great. On the other hand the pastrami is dry and the baked beans are half tender and half most definitely not quite there yet. The service is excellent, friendly and personal. Lovely place, already a favourite.
Hannoversche Straße 2