So you're walking down Rosenthalerstrasse in Mitte. You're pretty damn hungry, scratching your head wondering what to eat, and then... you see a blackboard out on the pavement... a beacon in the hunger fog...
"Could you ever be in love with a sandwich?"
The answer is yes. A thousand times over.
Probably one of my favourite cities in the whole world.
Mostly because of a sandwich I had.
And the dance floor that I danced on, that was surrounded by a full curtain of tinsel.
Maybe it was the legal (!) fireworks in the street,
the mouthwatering late-night kebabs with 'secret sauce' and sauerkraut,
or the Crispy DuDu
betterthansushi Roll that changed my sushi-eating life.
The food scene in Berlin is fantastic. After travelling around Germany I was relieved to find a city so wholeheartedly involved with international cuisine. After stuffing ourselves with pretzels and pork knuckle for two weeks in Bavaria and surrounds, we were ready for a change.
While I was there I heard a rumour, a true rumour, that a new restaurant/bar opens up there twice a week. It's the only place in the world where a deli is open all night, and people actually go there at 4am to order a scamorza baguette (goats cheese would have been a better choice?) The city is a minestrone soup full of cultures, influences and youth. A youth that doesn't wait for anybody to give them permission to break the mould of past generations.
This youth culture is working hard to reinvent a city so steeped in a history that is not so easily forgotten. Everywhere you look there is change. Change in the buildings, the shops, the clubs and on the street. The people there aren't afraid of the new, they embrace it. Independent designers, artists and food people run this place and you can't walk a metre without spying something interesting.
A 24hr Italian/Israeli Deli for example,
We literally went to Luigi's six times in the eight days we were there over new year, we thawed out our freezing noses while sipping the ginger, lemon and fresh mint tea and chewing on theout of this world, fresher than fresh, tastier than tasty, baguettes.
They even give you free olives! I'm a sucker for free snacks.
The team bakes their crusty bread in-house, and I'm not sure what they marinate their vegetables in, perhaps fairy dust, because they taste like heaven. If you do end up paying them a visit, try the goats cheese with red pesto, grilled red pepper, zucchini and eggplant antipasti, salad and honey mustard vinaigrette. I also hear the chicken with sweet potato and aioli is a cracker choice.
I'm not sure which love came first, the sandwich or the city.
But I'm counting the days until I can go back!