One Hungry Hallion

Eating The World A Bite At A Time

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Es schmeckt sehr gut – BERLIN

Ooft, just back from a short break in Berlin and have fallen absolutely IN LOVE with the city. We stayed in Kreuzberg, in this ridiculously pimp loft apartment for ten people, it was so big it came with it’s own scooter and fussball table and was surrounded on all sides by excellent, cheap places to eat and drink.

So we got fully stuck in. Just up the road was a place called Lilly’s burgers, the menu read like a meaty jazz rag, piles of juicy burgers, stacks of bacon, ridiculous, extraneous extras like pancakes as buns, chunks of pineapple and fried eggs. I decided I wasn’t hungry enough for a burger so went for the bacon fries. I did wonder why they cost E8.50. I found out when they arrived.

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This was a board piled high with crisp, tasty fries, ridiculously good aberdeen angus bacon which had been charred to a delicious crisp and burger sauce made of plastic cheese which oozed over everything. Definitely the best pre-drinking stomach liner ever and enough for three of us to pick at for half an hour.

Last time I was in Berlin I was obsessed with the falafel wrap I got, so this time, despite the fact we only had 3 dinners there I ate falafel for my tea twice. Just a few doors up from where we were staying on Uberstrasse was a place called Falafel King, it was just a window onto the street and a tiny kitchen where a wee old lady in a headscarf and apron was making falafel magic. There were all sorts of options, fully vegan, extra salad, hummus, feta sauce so I went for just a classic falafel with salad and hummus wrapped up in bread.

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It cost E4 and was stuffed full of falafel and salad, the hummus was rich and garlicky and the balls of falafel themselves were gigantic yet light, fried to a perfect crisp and seriously flavourful. I was proper stuffed and didn’t even manage to finish it.

The other falafel came from a place near Gorlitzer bahnhof, we’d been knocking back strawberry daiquiris outside a bar called Hannibals for hours and, rather than get stuck into the average sounding pizzas and nachos they had on offer there, we negotiated the gauntlet of slightly sketchy drug dealers under the railway bridge and got fresh falafel from a place called ‘Falafel’ – does what it says on the tin.

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This wee place was lovely, really cool colourful outside seats and just one guy making your food fresh to order. As with a lot of other places we went in Berlin you can just buy a beer from a nearby shop and drink that with your food. Most folk walk about with travellers and we really enjoyed getting a couple of bottles and just sitting outside people watching. This lot of falafel was deliciously fresh, there was mint in with the salad which made everything sing, there was a lightly curried sauce with it and the bread it came in was perfectly toasted with little sesame seeds. And it cost E3.50. I wish more than anything that Glasgow had a couple of amazing falafel\kebab houses like these.

We also went out for Fruhstuck (breakfast) most mornings and, aside from one disappointingly buttery ham and cheese toast we did pretty well.

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En route to Badeschiff, this really cool outdoor swimming pool on the river we found an Australian style cafe called Melbourne serving breakfast and got stuck into some sourdough, bacon, scrambled eggs and avocado. Perfect with coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice, which most places seem to do really well. The service was really friendly, the bacon was crispy, the eggs were buttery and the avocado was perfectly ripe. We sat in the sunshine and patted our comfortably full tummies contentedly.

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My favourite meal of the week was the last we had. My pal Martha (who fitted into Berlin perfectly with her penny boarding skills and excellent wardrobe) had spotted Fatma and Frida on her travels so we went back for a final breakfast before our flight. As per usual The Boy and I got a couple of options and shared. ‘Karlos’ was a light fluffy omlette with smoked salmon, salad and a couple of bits of melon and ‘Fatma’ was a plate heaving with turkish sausage, menemen (turkish scrambled eggs with peppers, tomatoes and onions), hummus, salad, olives, sundried tomatoes, feta and melon.

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It was incredible. The menemen was rich and spicy, the hummus was totally smooth and balanced and it was great having a couple of fresh tasting pieces of fruit to round off the meal. If you’re in Neukolln seek out this great wee place, you won’t be disappointed.

Berlin is magical, it’s possible to eat amazing food on a tiny budget. I just wish we’d had longer there so I could have stuffed my face even more.