We were tempted by Berlin’s growing roster of Michelin-starred restaurants (13 and counting)–and even made reservations at one. In the end, however, we decided to save our primarily culinary experiences to the French and Italian legs of our trip. Even so, we found a few good and atmospheric venues to sample all types of primarily traditional German Cuisine. Our primary stops were:
Aigner. This Berlin culinary institution remains ever-popular. We began with wild chanterelle mushrooms in a dill and shallot cream sauce with a bread dumpling. As for main courses, the sautéed Antarctic salmon trout with braised cucumbers and boiled potatoes was delicious. The Brandenburg duckling braised with white cabbage and potato was good, although a bit overlooked for my taste. This, however, was my fault, since I failed to specify that I prefer my meat to be less well done than is customary in Germany. We that these with a Chianti Classico Riserva.
Reinhard’s. An attractive restaurant with a quirky accordion-themed bar (all vintages of accordions, and a few assorted horns hanging from the ceiling, mounted on walls, occupying niches) and a pleasant outdoor dining space. We had an order of lamb chops with potatoes gratin and a spot prawn on linguini with cep mushroom sauce, accompanied by a bottle of Chianti. The dishes were large, cooked as ordered and tasty. Not particularly innovative preparations, but good and plentiful with good, but not exceptional service.
Augustiner. This casual brewery/restaurant is known for its beers and its sausages. So we gave both a try. We had the Munich fried veal sausages and the Nuremburg pork sausages (each served with different preparations of the ubiquitous cabbage and potatoes) along with Edelstaff and Dunkel beers. All good and certainly filling.
1840. After a late, heavy lunch of sausage, we needed a light dinner. I got a sautéed calf’s liver with braised onions and apples (with, need I mention, potatoes). Joyce had fettuccine with chanterelles which, while promising a ragu, came in cream sauce. Neither were culinary creations. They were, however, but pretty much what we expected from local, outdoor restaurant in the middle of the popular Hakesher Market.
Berlin Fast Food. No culinary exploration of Berlin, however, would be complete without at least sampling the city’s de facto fast food obsession–Currywurst. This dish consists of sliced pork sausage (steamed then pan fried) that is cut into slices, slathered with ketchup or some other variation of tomato sauce, that is either blended or sprinkled with yellow curry powder. Although we wouldn’t necessarily use superlatives to describe the experience, it is pretty good and a very popular way of grabbing a quick bite.
Or, if you have already had enough sausage, you could go for what seems to be the second most popular fast food choice–the much more internationally popular donner kebab. Or, if you really require more Americanized fast food, you can always find a McDonalds or a KFC.