Thursday, July 29, 2010


The last bite of a very fresh, very ripe strawberry tart.

So we've been eating a lot of great food lately, which it seems is one of the perks of living in Europe; go figure. My own (ahem) lack of employment has also been a factor, as I've actually had enough time to rediscover the proverbial joy of cooking. Consider yourself warned: if you're not preoccupied with food and eating, you'll probably find this post boring.

Restaurants that we have discovered in the past week:

  • Katie's, a total dive bar just down the street from our U-Bahn stop. We decided to check it out after the first missed Telekom date on Wednesday night. The menu seems to change based on what the proprietor happens to have in the refrigerator on any given day. After we ordered she literally went into the back and cooked everything up from scratch. Took awhile, but it was delicious...and cheap. We both got giant plates of food - broccoli-parmesan-pinenut pasta and a shrimp primavera-esque dish - and two half litres of hefeweiss for 25 Euro total. We're definitely going to be regulars there.
  • Prinz Myshkin, an all vegetarian restaurant downtown in Marienplatz. This is the only semi-fancy-pants place we've gone since we've been here. Neither Mike nor myself is accustomed to being able to eat everything on a restaurant's menu, so it was pleasantly overwhelming. I got stuffed zucchini blossoms with ricotta-veggie filling, which were delightful, and Mike had a gratin dish with potatoes and summer squash. Even though the food was reasonable, the drinks were overpriced, so we went to find a random bar afterward...and stumbled on some hipster Shangri-La. Lots of suspenders and ironic facial hair - and yay! smoking of whatever the German equivalent of Parliaments is. Good tunes (vinyl, of course) and a very competent bartender though. I don't know if the Aperol Fizz is the official hipster nation drink in the States yet, but if it's not, it probably will be.  Barkeep was knocking them out like six at a time.
  • French-style cafe in Marienplatz, whose name I can't remember. But damn it was good. We stopped for lunch and coffee on Saturday. Mike can't wait to go back for breakfast, and I'm inclined to agree. We both had open faced sandwiches - mine had a ricotta spread with fig, diced tomato, and honey on top - sounds a little weird which is why I tried it. Very nice, especially the acacia honey, which had a delicate flavor and wasn't overwhelmingly sweet. Mike's was the real winner though - warmed, alternating shingles of pear slices and semi-ripe goat cheese. Simple, but the cheese was insane, the pears were perfect, and the bread was really good. Also, I couldn't resist a little strawberry tart for desert.

Awesome food that we've made at home, with the help of our interestingly-stocked local grocery stores:

Cioppino with garlic bruscetta:
Made with a package of frozen seafood medley that was maybe 20% octopus, plus some fresh herbs and a tiny hot pepper from my balcony gardening project.

French toast with macadamia nut yogurt(!) and blueberry sauce:

Currant tart:
The first baked good to brave the inside of our oven.  Totally improvised, as we had neither the internet nor measuring devices yet - but pretty tasty nonetheless.

...along with many additional delicious meals that have escaped photography.  Thank you, local grocery stores, for carrying super-fresh, local produce, by far the most inventive and delectable yogurt flavors I've ever seen, and expanding my definition of sandwich cheese to include blue brie.  Oh, and this:
If you're thinking, "Wow - is that a CAN of Prosecco? [Did Amanda drink that on the subway, just because she could?]"

Um...Yes and yes.


  1. Your post made me very hungry. If I hadn't just used up 2/3 of my vacation time, I'd be on the next plane to Germany.

    Chris has been bugging me to make a fig tart, and the NYC street vendors have finally started to carry fresh figs. If you want to make your own, I suggest sprinkling it with some anise seeds - it really brings out the fig flavor.

    --Amy P

    PS: Gotta love the phrase "20% octopus"

  2. Sounds so delic, Amanda! It's hard to believe Europeans are slim with the wonderful booze and cheese everywhere, LOL! What exactly is a Aperol Fizz? Macadamia Nut yogurt? It also sounds yummy. Love the photos, too! Tell Mike Happy Belated Birthday.
    Love you,