Sunday, July 2, 2017
Straße des 17. Juni, (Höhe S-Bhf Tiergarten), 10557 Berlin, Germany
I had seen this Imbiss (snackbar) from the train several times last year and really wanted to try it. It looked old school and it is – I’m actually somewhat disappointed it has a website.. It’s run by a really nice old man, who seems perfectly happy to run his little stand. It serves sausages, fries, hamburgers, and sodas.
I get a Currywurst with fries and mayo, the standard fare in Berlin. It costs €3.80, which is very good, but the quality of the sausage is very poor and the reasonably thin fries are seriously undercooked.
I really wanted to like this place, but it was one of the worst snack experiences in Germany.
Maximiliansplatz, Bamberg, Germany
This is a big food cart that stands at a central square in the historic downtown of Bamberg, together with few other "market" carts. It sells only two items, sausage and something I've never heard off, Spanferkel, which translates as “suckling pig”. I get the Riesenbratwurst (Giant Sausage) with bread (€2.50), which definitely oversells. The sausage is not that big, quite thin, and very dry, as is the roll.
Pretty poor and not even that cheap.
Grüner Markt 10, 96047 Bamberg, Germany
Eiscafe Venezia is a classic German “ice cream café” that serves coffee and drinks as well as ice cream, particularly all kind of “coupes” combining the ca. 20 different flavors. The flavors are mostly classics but also things like “Smurf” (sigh).
I get two scoops (€2.40): melon and hazelnut. Both are quite bland and a bit too sweet. They miss the freshness of good gelato.
Decent price, mediocre quality.
List Ferenc repülötér 28, 1185 Budapest, Hungary
O’Leary’s Bar & Restaurant is a US-style sports bar that pretends to be from Boston, but was actually founded in Gothenburg, Sweden. It can be found throughout Sweden and in many large Asian and European cities and offers the usual menu of a US sports bar: burgers, salads, sandwiches, wings. I eat at the one inside Terminal 2A of Budapest’s Airport. Incidentally, the waiters are quite slow here. I get the Buffalo Wings (2300 Ft or $8.40) as a starter. They are small but crispy. The sauce is bit spicy, but has a kind off honey-sweet bbq flavor. Then I get Ray's Burger (3.950 Ft or $14.50), which comes with tomato, lettuce, onion, jalapenos, cheddar and spicy mayo. I don't know what counts as beef at O’Leary’s, but the patty smells and tastes quite funky. Given that the "spicy" mayo has little taste, and the jalapeños are absent, this is all very bland. The fries are ok, the mayo (at $1 extra!) pretty gross.
Extremely expensive and very mediocre.
Zrínyi u. 14, 1051 Budapest, Hungary
Hot Dog Cold Beer is a small, modern hot dog place in downtown Budapest, close to Central European University. It looks like a US chain, but it isn't. HDCB serves almost exclusively hot dogs, beers and sodas as well as sticks with freshly made potato chips. The hot dogs are all quite original constructions.
I get a Japanese Dog (1100 Ft or $4), which is a decent size sausage in an oversized bun covered with shaved red beats and some other shaved vegetables and wasabi mayo. While the bun is too big and dry, and the sausage is not remarkable, the hot dog is quite tasty and original.
Funky but expensive
Central Station, The Hague, The Netherlands
The Döner Company is a Dutch chain of Turkish kebab places that can be found at all major train stations in the Netherlands. It’s motto is “fresh, healthy and original.” It offers several varieties of Döner kebab and falafel as well as fries and the Dutch invention “kapsalon” (a mix of döner and fries).
I get a regular Döner kebab with spicy sauce. The bread is a bit dry, the shaved meat mainly thin and salty, and the lettuce etc hardly helps to make it all taste dry and salty.
Neither fresh, nor healthy, nor original. Some of the worst Döner kebab I've had. Just salty.
New Babylon, The Hague, The Netherlands
Dungelman is a famous Dutch butcher, founded in 1861, which is particularly known for its own version of the meat croquette. They recent opened up a restaurant next to the Central Station of The Hague, which serves all kinds of dishes - including rice and pasta - but mainly sandwiches with their own lunch or prepared meats.
I get a croquette sandwich (€2.45) and a spicy meatball sandwich (€2.75). The croquette is lukewarm and small, consisting mainly of threads of meat rather than ragout. Disappointing. The meatball is ok, but not spicy.
Not bad, but disappointing for such an institution.
Spuistraat 74, 2511 BE The Hague, The Netherlands
Bram Ladage is a chain of snackbars that originated in Rotterdam decades ago and can now be found throughout the western part of the Netherlands. It is known for its homemade fries and serves various typical Dutch snacks.
I get Fries with Mayo and a Croquette Sandwich with Mustard (total: €5.10). The fries are a bit sad, undercooked with bit chewy outside, and are tasteless under the far too sweet mayo. The veal croquette is pretty small and not that tasty.
Very mediocre at best.
Cederstraat 2, 2565 JP The Hague, The Netherlands
De Lorenzo is an “Italian ice cream and coffee” place in a shopping street in The Hague, which has been in business, at that location, since 1935. They serve coffee and daily homemade ice cream with biological (organic) milk.
I get a horn with three scoops (€3.00). The lemon and melon are fresh and traditional, although perhaps a bit too sweet, while the strattiatella is a bit untraditional, in that the chocolate is more grounded instead of chunks. Still very tasty.
Very tasty Italian gelato.