Dolores, Mexican Fast Food, Schöneberg

It’s a different world in the West.  Not better or worse.  Just radically different.  There are a lot more fair-haired people.  They seem, on average, taller (probably because they are actually German as opposed to the primarily foreign population in the former East).  They wear a lot of beige, caramel, brown, suede and fur coats.  Without a hint of irony, men in their early 30′s match their belts to their shoes.  Most perplexing of all? They don’t seem to get* Dolores.  Which is a crying shame because this branch is much larger than the one in Mitte.  With high ceilings, comfortable chairs, music turned down (probably in a bid to lure in a patron in a camel haired coat).  Even though it’s just off Wittenbergplatz, which is packed with bodies eating vertically, Dolores never has more than a quarter of its tables occupied.  It makes me want to go out in the square, throw out their Witty’s bio Curry Wurst and lead them by the hand to Dolores.  Where for 2 more Euros on average, they can eat good food, sitting down in a warm room (and there are hooks onto which they can hang up their camel haired coats).   Read more of this post

Kochhaus (Shopping by meal), Schöneberg

A friend of mine told me about this place. “You’ll love it! It’s so your thing!”  I wasn’t entirely convinced but it sure was pretty from the images I saw on the internet.

Its looks don’t disappoint.  Kochhaus has a wonderful round fronted corner site, with large windows all the way around.  The palette is black and beige with fun clusters of table lights poking out of the ceiling and walls.  
I made the most of the sunny bar and ordered a lentil soup (€3.90 for about 1/2 a kg’s worth) it was nice enough, although heavy on the vinegar.  They were doing a roaring trade while I was there, most people seemed to be shopping for two.

I must admit to being surprised to find something like this in Berlin. It’s so slick, thoroughly thought out and branded.  Normally things that open up here are more “this is my first venture on my own and I am still working out the merchandising, service, and am only open from 11am to 6pm on Tuesdays - Fridays.”  No, Kochhaus is something I would expect to come across in London.  In fact there was something along those lines in one of the train stations, where you would buy all the ingredients raw and then make it yourself at home.  It went bankrupt pretty quickly, probably because it’s easy and cheap to eat out in London (Hello Wagamama for a tenner?) or pick up some pretty decent ready or almost ready meal at Marks & Spencer or Waitrose. Read more of this post

Renger-Patzsch, Local German Cuisine, Schöneberg

We walked in early for our 6:30 reservation, the staff at Renger-Patzsch were still having their dinner. “Wow, that looks good.” exclaimed my husband eyeing up the manager’s dinner.

When the manager came over to take our order, my husband asked him what he had been eating “Oh, Puy lentils, with spaetzle and smoked sausage.” he replied.

“Good, I will have that to start and the duck for the main.” said my husband, snapping his menu shut.

Two things happened then that boded well for the evening ahead.
1. Instead of immediately replying No! That is not possible, the young manager smiled and said,
2. “I will have to ask the chef” - now a restaurant where the chef (in this case Hannes Behrmann) is prized and respected is a good sign.

My husband received his staff meal special request and was happy as a clam. The lentils were strewn with bruinoised root vegetables and the sausage was smoky and juicy. “I like this place.” he said in between bites.

Now, I may give my husband a hard time about his undeveloped taste buds and his child-like repertoire of acceptable foods but he knows quality when he see’s it / eat’s it. He’s also brutally honest, all the time.   His other favourite restaurants in Berlin are Ma at the Kempinski, the Desbrosses at the Ritz and our little Spanish local, Volver so that he had decided this place was good was high praise indeed. Read more of this post

Winterfeldtplatz Market - Schöneberg

I have been looking for a Borough Market type set up here in Berlin, with the cool stands and the great food.  It’s true that Borough Market in London is eye waterlingly expensive and jammed full of people but I loved to go down on a saturday, get in a great breakfast at Brindisa, a coffee at Monmouth and then hit all my favorite stands and spend way too much money!  Ach, old London life…  How I miss you some days!

This is the Timeout Berlin’s Market Critique Choice and I am inclined to agree with them!  I still have loads of markets to visit, in fact this weeks Tip Berlin has a listing of notable Berlin markets (By the way, if there is anyone out there that feels like translating those pages for me, just holler!).  So far my forays into Berlin markets has been a bit of a let down so I was pleased to finally come across one that I would bother to come back to. Read more of this post

Apple Gallery - Apfelgalerie

For me, smell is the only one of the five senses that has the ability to yank you by your collar so that your feet dangle clear off the present and hurl you into some distant memory. That is what happened to me when I stepped into the Apfelgalerie in Schöneberg.  Wham! I was no longer a thirty something wife and mother of one, all of a sudden, I was a little girl, hiding behind my father while he negotiated with a man about some apples. Read more of this post


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