Sunday, January 30, 2011

Altes Europa

Altes Europa came at the suggestion of a friend who met us at the Hackescher Markt S-bahn station and proceeded to navigate us through the corridors of this pedestrian yet somewhat posh neighborhood of Berlin, Mitte. Mid afternoon, on a Sunday, the area was alive with residents and tourists milling about, enjoying a crisp and sunny winter January day.

"Raucher Salon"
The smoking room

According to an image on its' website, Altes Europa cafe might have definitely chosen it's name as a humorous slam against a certain American politician's snarky comments about "Old Europe." Regardless, the sense of what might have been a salon or cafe in "Old Europe" can perhaps be imagined in the decor, in the "smoking salon" located within the cafe and the general hardwood floor ambiance and candlelit sessions of delicious food, libations and dialogue.

It's completely unfortunate that I didn't get any photos of the food. My dedication as a food blogger is, to date, a bit half baked and there are certainly dining moments that seem more critical to remember than to document. That said, I do have some regret that I did not snap some quick images of the dishes. Whatever chicken dish I had was outstanding and the other diners were sated and pleased as well. Atmosphere + delicious food= Altes Europa, I will return.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More than a Morsel in Munich

I am decidedly not the world's biggest fan of German food. In fact, I probably cannot even be found on the list of fans of German food.

But, at a traditional German restaurant I can usually find something to whet my appetite, and enjoy it in the process. And on our first visit to Munich, after a couple of hours of navigating the streets, I was more than happy to stumble upon Utzinger, in the University District.

My happiness was threefold in nature.

1- Hunger. I was hungry. Just plain hungry
2- Space. This first adventure of ours to Munich took place on the last day of 2010. The downtown area was sort of a pleasant, very crowded madness and we passed by many a good looking restaurant that just looked simply too crowded to deal with. Utzinger had a nice sort of busy relaxedness to it, and a handful of cozy tables to choose from.
3- Quality. While we chose the place sort of haphazardly and by default of being ready to eat then and there, I was glad to find that the menu looked great.

Good prices, good food, good atmosphere, good company. Who could ask for anything more?

Rosenkohl suppe

Oh my was this lovely.
After some investigation, found out that Rosenkohl is brussel sprouts.
I love brussel sprouts.
And now I know I love brussel sprout soup.

Just a burger and fries.
A really good burger and fries.

The other diner had this dish, named the "Nurnberger," consisting of Weiss sausages, sauerkraut and mustard. Seemed to hit the spot.

All in all, a simply lovely place to have stumbled upon. I am both adventurous but also a creature of habit, so may find myself popping in here for a morsel or a Hefeweizen on future excursions.