Thursday, January 12, 2012

Berlin - Fast Food to Die For

We arrived in Berlin right around lunch time.  There was no question as to what we were going to have for our first meal (and maybe every other meal after this one too...)  It may be due to the effects of his German education but my husband is always looking for a good knockwurst.  So when our friend picked us up from our hotel we immediately inquired as to where we can have the best knockwurst in the city.  After looking at us with uncomprehending eyes, he told us he was going to take us to 'the' place in Berlin for fast-food and we would have our choice between a currywurst or a chicken doner. We told him that in no uncertain terms were we going to have doner, having just left Istanbul, nothing could compare to what we had already had there. Were we ever wrong?

We got out of the taxi at a busy city street right by the Mehringdamn U-Bahn (subway) station, we noticed two very long lines almost right next to each other. Our friend pointed us in the direction of Curry 36, saying this was Berlin's very popular and famous currywurst before adding he would be waiting in the other (longer) line for Mustafa's Gemuse Kebap.  When it comes to waiting in a long line for street food, there seems to be an undeniable appeal and a strange curiosity to what the big deal is all about.  So, we separated into two groups and three of us went to wait in line for Curry 36 while the other two went to get in line for Mustafa's Gemuse.

Here is what I learned from our first lunch experience in Berlin-

1.  Currywurst is a specialty of Berlin and I did not appreciate it too much. But, luckily they also has knockwursts which were excellent plus the potato salad they served with their wursts was 'just perfect' according to my husband. I realized the reason for their potato salad being so perfect was the mayonnaise they used. German mayonnaise is a lighter, more delicious version of what we are used to in the States.

2. Mustafa's Gemuse Kebap is something out of this world, that is worth going to Berlin for.
Gemuse means vegetable in German; the reason this kebap is called gemuse kebap is due to having vegetables within the layers of chicken that is stacked up on top of each other to make the doner kebap. But the secret is not only in the vegetables but also the sauces they put on top of the sandwich.  This is something that should not be explained but just experienced.  All I can say is that I highly recommend it and would go back to Berlin, if not for anything else, just for this Kebap.

While searching to see if I could find information on this phenomenon, I found Mustafa's very original and amusing website and YouTube video.  

Both Curry 36 and Mustafa's Gemusekebap are both exceptional street food worthy of any self respecting foodie's attention.

Curry 36
Mehringdamn 36
10961 Berlin

Mustafa's Gemuse Kebap
Mehringdamn 32
10961 Berlin

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