A few weeks ago I met an old friend in Berlin for four days. My official excuse was that I was there to see museums (which I did) and interview a contact (who got sick and had to cancel). Between all that, however, was plenty of time for fun. This particular friend likes food... good food... and LOTS OF IT! (She comes by it naturally, her mother is the stereotypical Chinese mother, all but force-feeding visitors huge amounts of delicious food!) I personally blame this particular friend for causing my freshman 5 to be more like a 10 or 15. She was in Montreal at the time, and when I went down for the weekend from Toronto we'd fill it full of cheese fondue, Dim Sum, Chinese noodles, vegetarian Thai dishes, chocolate, delicious ice cream, bagels and cream cheese...
My visit to Berlin, of course, proved not much different! We started off my first night with wurst from the roadside stand near our hotel - yummy and, as her partner called them, "proletarian." Because of my tomato allergy I couldn't try the local specialty - curry wurst (grilled wurst smothered in curry powder and ketchup), but I did enjoy my wurst in a bun with mustard.
Day one started with a big hotel breakfast of bread and cheese and cold cuts and ended with a beer garden - where I had potato dumplings with cream and mushroom sauce, and even managed to find a beer that I actually like (I'm not a beer drinker, I do however love Japanese ume-shu and similar fruity drinks). The beer is Berliner Weisse, which is drunk with a red (raspberry) or green (woodruff) syrup.
Day two started off the same, and ended with Italian, a delicious tomato-less pizza with goat cheese, spinach, and spicy sausage.
Day three actually included lunch - a hearty lentil soup and selection of salads from the delicious cafeteria of the Jewish Museum - and dinner at a Turkish restaurant - where I had lamb, something just not available much in Japan.
Day four had us again eating lunch at a museum - although the Technology museum's food was somewhat disappointing. In the evening we decided to seek out comfort food - Chinese. We lucked out and discovered what my friend's partner said was "the best Chinese restaurant in continental Europe."
Of course most days also included ice cream in a delicious array of fruit flavours, and a whole lot of chocolate (so much so that I needed to check an extra bag on my way back...)
A truly delicious trip!
(stay tuned - more on my trip coming soon!)