Sunday, June 12, 2016

Eisgrün Eis-Café (Berlin, Germany)

Kurfürstendamm 115, 10711 Berlin

Eisgrün Eis-Café is a restaurant that serves various coffees, cakes, and ice creams. It claims to make over 100 different flavors of Italian ice cream. At any time there are some 30 flavors available, most fruity and sweet classics.

M. gets a cone with one scoop of Malaga, while I get a cone with two scoops, Stracciatella and Lemon (my test flavors). I think the two cones together cost some €3.50, which is decent. The Malaga had a strong alcohol flavor, while the Lemon was fruity but not very zesty, the stracciatella not too sweet but also not very flavorable.

VERDICT: 84/100
Very acceptable Italian ice cream, but not remarkable.

Thüringer Grill Stübchen (Frankfurt/Oder, Germany)

Brunnerplatz 1, 15230 Frankfurt/Oder, Germany

Thüringer Grill Stübchen is a classic, run-down Imbiss that serves traditional German snacks and foods, including original Thüringer sausages, schnitzels, potato salad, etc. It caters to an older, local crowd, which seems to mainly appreciate its alcoholic beverages.

I get a Big Thüringer on a Roll (€3). The sausage is reheated but tastes pretty good nevertheless. The roll is a bit old.

VERDICT: 83/100
Basic German Imbiss.

Eiscafé Bellini (Frankfurt/Oder, Germany)

Karl-Marx-Straße 7, 15230 Frankfurt/Oder, Germany

Eiscafé Bellini is a very large restaurant with a terrace on the main square of Frankfurt/Oder, which serves food but is mainly known for its lavish Italian ice cream (gelato) options. Most of the flavors are classic, a combination of sweet and fruity.

I get a cone with two scoops (€2): Walnut and Mandaranetto. The walnut is ok, bit too creamy, the Mandaranetto (mandarins) has a very strong (artificial?) flavor.

VERDICT: 80/100
Quite cheap, but also quite mediocre.

Bus-Stop (Berlin, Germany)

Inside the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Sportpark, Berlin, Germany

I am actually not sure whether this food truck is called “Bus Stop,” but I didn’t see another name. It is in an old US school bus that serve only one type of burger. I visit it during the Berlin Pilsener Pokalfinale, when it is in the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Sportpark.

I get the Hamburger (€4) without cheese. It comes with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and pickles. The meat patty is quite big and prepared on a griddle. The bun is also big and fresh. Overall pretty tasty for a European burger.

VERDICT: 85/100

Very decent burger for European standards.

Curry Rock (Berlin, Germany)

Potsdamer Platz 7, in den Arkaden, Basement, 10785 Berlin, Germany

Curry Rock is a small food shop in the basement of an upscale mall in downtown Berlin that serves sausages, burgers, and fries. It has several homemade sauces for the Currywurst, including one called “crazy,” which costs €0.50 extra.

I get Menu 1: Currywurst, fries and drink (€5.50) and get the sauce “sharf” (spicy). The sausage is not the usual, soft bockwurst, but a bit snappier and hardier. The sauce (and herbs) are really sharp. The fries are basic but salty.

VERDICT: 85/100
Curry Rock mainly stands out for its sharp sauces.

Nazareth Falafel (Berlin, Germany)

Greifswalder Str. 26, 10405 Berlin, Germany


Nazareth Falafel is a small but modern-looking shawarma place that open only a few months ago. It specializes in authentic Middle Eastern sandwiches (including shawarma & halloumi), sides (including Tabouleh & Fatuous), and pizzas (Arab & Italian). It is pretty busy on this Wednesday Eve.

I get a Falafel Sandwich (€2.50). The three falafels are put on Lebanese bread and filled with salad, onion, beats, spcy sauce, and then put on a Panini press. It tastes really good and authentic. I also get a side of French Fries (€2), which are homemade even if they look and taste prefab, but they are perfectly crispy.

A few days later I come back and get a Shawarma Sandwich (€2.50): chicken shawarma with all the above toppings as well as French fries, also put on Panini press. Tasty, but the chicken shawarma has a bit weak taste and is overpowered even by French fries.

VERDICT: 87/100
One of better shawarma places I have eaten at in Europe, but falafel is better than shawarma.

Caffé e Gelato (Berlin, Germany)

Potsdamer Platz Arkaden, Alte Potsdamer Str. 7, 10785 Berlin

Caffé e Gelato is a big café and ice cream place in the upscale mall on Potsdamer Platz. It offers a huge variety of coffees and ice creams, including the classic Italian gelatos (€1.40 each), premium (original creations; €1.70), and organic flavors (€2).

As always, I test gelato places with two flavors: Lemon and Stracciatella. Both are absolutely excellent! The lemon is fresh and zesty, the stracciatella is creamy but not too sweet. A few days later I come back and am more adventurous. I get two premium flavors: Sole Mio and Bacissimo. The Sole Mio is lemon with basil and is simply outrageous! The Bacissimo is nougat ice cream with full hazelnuts and nougat sauce.

VERDICT: 97/100
Some of the best gelato I have ever had.

Schöner Döner Falafel & Grill (Berlin, Germany)

Potsdamer Platz 7, in den Arkaden, Basement, 10785 Berlin, Germany

Schöner Döner (which roughly translates as “Beautiful Kebab”) is a small food shop in the basement of an upscale mall in downtown Berlin. In line with the clientele and quality of the shops, it provides a more upscale “shawarma experience,” offering chicken and calf shawarma as well as falafel, which come in a pita or wrap, or with fries or rice and vegetables.

I get a Regular Döner (€4.50), which is pretty standard – chicken from skewer, salads, sauces – on a bit odd Panini bread that smells a bit funky. Overall it tastes mainly salty.

VERDICT: 78/100
You can get much better Döner Kebab in Berlin.

Curry 36 (Berlin, Germany)

Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin, Germany

Curry 36 is yet another Berlin institution, which has two locations in Berlin: one at Bahnhof Zoo and one just 2 min from Mustafa's. It looks like a big frituur, which actually has two counters and two grills. It is known for its Currywurst and its own ketchup, but it actually serves many other things, including schnitzel and pea soup.

I get the Currywurst with Fries and Mayo as well as a drink. The total costs are very acceptable: €5.20. The sausage (without intestine) is mushy and the ketchup taste too much like tomato paste. The fries are classic German, fried at a too low temperature, which makes them more saggy than crispy.

VERDICT: 80/100
Fine but not worth the hype.

Mustafas Gemüse Kebap (Berlin, D)

Mehringdamm 32, 10961 Berlin, Germany

Mustafas Gemüse Kebap is a small food cart that is a Berlin (Kreuzberg) institution. They serve only three items: veggie kebab, veggie kebab with chicken, and durum. Whenever you go there will be a long line. As they don’t work too far, and many people order for several people, the waiting can be very long. I waited almost 45 minutes!!!

I get the Chicken Döner with Vegetables (€3.20). It is almost unbelievable, given my 45 minute wait, but the kebab is actually worth it. The chicken is very thinly cut (by knife) and is crispy and extremely delicious. The pressed bread is filled with three sauces, various fresh vegetables, and, uniquely, fried vegetables. The chicken is perfectly seasoned and comes straight from the enormous skewer. The exceptional quality makes it all delicious even if I would have appreciated a bit more chicken.

VERDICT: 96/100
As good as chicken kebab gets!