Two Nice Yet Unrelated Discoveries

December 3rd, 2009 aimee m. Posted in Around Berlin, Places, Rants and raves, Restaurant reviews | No Comments »

Yam-Yam, on Alte Schönhauser 6, just a stone’s throw from Rosa-Luxembourg U-Bahn (U2), is a nice find for Korean food — although the their Web site makes the place seem much more cafeteria-style than it really is.  Clean if not a bit Spartan, the restaurant (in a former clothing store location) serves up good, if not very good, Korean specialties — bibimbop and the like — and the kim-chi is properly spicy, even if the red pepper paste condiment seems a bit muted for local taste. Drawback: No beer. Bonus: Kids in the north of town don’t have to commute to Nollendorfplatz for bibimbop cravings. Check it out.

And second, completely unrelated to the first. Ever been to Rathaus Charlottenburg?  We certainly hadn’t. A serious need for refreshment after five-plus hours of Wagner at the Deutsche Oper led us around the corner to the Rathaus and its Ratskeller — which from the outside looks a bit touristy — but inside is a nice surprise.  Warm wood, fancy booths and a couple of impressive dining rooms (still with original 1905 sculptures of Pan and Bacchus leering at guests), a whole “Wild” menu and the feeling that you’ve left modern Berlin for a little bit of old Berlin, which can be terribly charming if you’re in the mood. The wait staff is unnervingly friendly, which is almost worth a trip on its own. Seems like it would be an ideal spot for groups; definitely a place for out-of-town guests. Or late-night beers, as it were…

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Now That The Coma Has Passed

November 27th, 2009 aimee m. Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Share the details, if you would. What did you cook for Thanksgiving in Berlin? Recipes from home, new discoveries, creative twists for German ingredients. Inquiring minds would love to know, as they just finished the last of the leftovers. :(

Our discovery: a 1kg thigh, stuffed with pancetta and minced shallots, and tied like a roast = nice boneless “turkey” for two (who prefer dark meat, of course).

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Meditation on Some Dinner Rolls

November 11th, 2009 aimee m. Posted in Around Berlin, People | 2 Comments »

rooools

Oh, where has the time gone.  Or the sun. But anyone who’s lived in the Hauptstadt long enough knows that one doesn’t ask that question out loud after Oct. 1 or thereabouts.  Summer disappeared and then there was something that might have been Autumn, but then Winter kicked it aside without much of a how-do-you-do.  And even though we might still be craving crisp salads with juicy red tomatoes, what we’re going to get is grünkohl and knacker.

But that’s OK. Winter gives good reason to bake and hibernate, and bake some more.  So the HIB team apologizes for being away (making wine, writing books, moving to foreign countries and reporting on penguin-man love) but will now be back with a vengeance, or, at least, with dinner rolls in hand.  See you at the table.

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New Asian Store in Charlottenburg. And Dim Sum, Too.

August 7th, 2009 aimee m. Posted in Around Berlin, Places, Rants and raves, Recommended stores, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The good Ben Perry reminds HIB that us kids have been remiss in passing along some dim-sum skinny.  You can find the new Asia-inspired grocery Amazing Oriental (yes, that really is the name) on the corner of Kantstr. and Friedrichstr. in Charlottenburg, just a few steps away from the Charlottenburg S-Bahn station. The company apparently has its base in the Netherlands, thus what they’re importing is pretty different than the Thai-centric fare you get in most other Asia laden in the east side of town.  There’s more Chinese ingredients (lots of dried stuff and a mega-selection of noodles), a lot of Indonesian spices, a good selection of fresh Asian vegetables, and best of all, a nice (but small) dim sum counter up front, that does char siu baked buns and a bunch of other goodies. Check it out.

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New Mexican Food in Berlin. Tempting…

August 5th, 2009 john borland Posted in Reader responses, Restaurant reviews | 6 Comments »

Anyone who drops by here with any regularity knows we’re more than a little obsessed with Mexican food. So… it is with great pleasure that we read this, from Claudia, in the comments:

I went to a new Mexican food place, and not that I’m an authority on food or anything, but coming from Mexico I can say it is a little piece of home :) I loved the food. They are on Danziger Strasse 33.

The destination is Maria Bonita, and the folks from Toytown seem to be excited too. We haven’t tried it yet, but, um… we’ll be right back…

Thanks for the tip, Claudia! If anyone else has tried this place, let us know in the comments.

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Padrón: The Secret, Best Tapa

July 3rd, 2009 john borland Posted in Fruits and Veggies, Ingredients explained, Recommended stores | 5 Comments »

padron peppers on plateHere’s Hungry’s discovery of the week. While browsing through Mitte Meer and Aqui Espana last weekend (both on Kant Str., though Mitte Meer also has a store behind the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum), we came across bags full of little green peppers that looked and smelled (a bit) like jalapenos. Because we will happily sell our bodies and/or organs for good Mexican food, we got excited, and asked about them, and were told they weren’t jalapenos at all, but Padróns.

We took them home, and researched. Turns out they are the eponymous specialty of the Padrón region in Spain. One eats them lightly fried, in olive oil, sprinkled with a bit of sea salt. There’s a bit of a game of chance with them too, as most are rich and mild, but every 1 in 10 or so is spicy hot. So, fun…

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More Berries For the Picking…

July 1st, 2009 aimee m. Posted in Around Berlin, Events, Fruits and Veggies, Places | No Comments »

A heads-up for more berry picking in the Brandenburg area — blueberries and raspberries are apparently ready to be self-picked, as per the Berliner Beerengarten team. The HIB team really has to get out and do this one of these days…if you have, let us know in the comments below.

And on a random thought, one of the Berliner Beerengarten fields is out in Hoppegarten, which is also a cool old horse racing stadium.  A gaggle of us (led by the very knowledgeable Ms. Bowleserised) had a visit a month or so ago, bet on a couple of ponies, and actually came away richer! Wouldn’t be a terrible double-feature, ponies and berry-pflucking…

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Know Your Neighbors

June 28th, 2009 aimee m. Posted in Around Berlin, Places, Rants and raves | 2 Comments »

Cultural lessons from the menu at Entweder Oder, a lovely cafe on Oderbergerstr. 15. Everything you need to know, without crossing a border.

French breakfast: Croissant, jam, butter and some fruit, a glass of water and a coffee.

Italian breakfast: Espresso with a glass of water, and a cigarette.

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Resistance is Futile: The American Way of Food

June 25th, 2009 aimee m. Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

image via www.lidl.deA kind reminder from Mr. Perry of the BenPerry.Net (via Facebook) tells us that it’s “Amerikanischer Genuss” week at some selected Lidl stores.

Now, every country has its own culinary traditions, but I can’t help but wince (and yes, I’m Am-EER-ik-an) to think that the U.S. “taste” is all bar snacks and barbeque marshmallows. And I’m not sure I even know what to do with a boneless rib burger in a bag.

There’s also a bit of mischef happening with frozen chicken nuggets. What happened to those delicious, across-the-aisle-reaching Obama-Fingers?

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Jerking from Scratch: A Blissful Spice

June 19th, 2009 john borland Posted in Main courses, Spices and flavors | 2 Comments »

peppers1On W 110th in New York, in Harlem, there’s a restaurant called Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too. Peasant Glasses and I have been a few times. More than a few times. It’s a kind of pilgrimage for us whenever we go, with soul food that makes you want to stand up and sing, except your stomach is so full you can barely move. Gravy-drenched chicken, corn bread bread stuffing, sweet potato pie, home-made lemonade.

But my favorite, the thing I keep going back for, is the jerked chicken. Dripping off the bone, encrusted with a fiery mudlike sauce that hurts a little, but is so complex and rich-flavored that the chili heat unfolds into something else entirely. Some kind of bliss. Naturally I’ve always wanted to make it for myself.
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