Monday, 26 March 2012

Friedrichshain Tex-Mex

When I hear 'Tex-Mex' I think of supermarket taco shells with minced meat and lettuce – an exotic family dinner in the 90's. Luckily, there's been a bit of a burrito revolution in Berlin with great Mexican food available in every district of the city. I have learned about home made tortilla chips, pico de gallo sauce and fresh guacamole as I've tried Mexican soft tacos at Ta'Cabrón, California style burritos at Dolores, and, last weekend, Tex-Mex at Dirty South.

Dirty South opened at the beginning of 2012 by the people behind successful Cupcake Berlin across the street. As we step into the small restaurant the first thing we see is a bar built in dark wood – the whole decor is very 'spaghetti western saloon'. We pick the table by the window and don't have to wait long until the waiter/bartender came over and, in fluent American accented German, asks if we are ready to order. He's super friendly and talkative, so throughout the meal we chat with him and he tells us that business is great and that he's excited to be making classic cocktails with real ingredients.

We order Bloody Marys (€6) as appetisers, but they take so long to make, that we only had time for a sip before the food starts to arrive. They are good though! But next time when someone asks me if my Bloody Mary should be spicy, I won't be as quick to say 'yes' – these things had a kick to them! But it actually complimented the food really well. A ordered the Deluxe Chili Cheese Nachos (€6) with a side of vegan chili (€2). I ordered a Cajun Tofu Quesadilla (€7) with a side of guacamole (€1). The food was all super delicious, the quesadillas weren't too greasy, the nachos had a lot of toppings – if I had to nitpick; I prefer my guacamole chunky, not smooth.

Next time I want to go to Dirty South for a Sunday cocktail session – I'm dying to try the soft tacos (€2 each) and a Mint Julep cocktail! Word has it that at the beginning of April the menu will be renewed and feature Texan comfort food like mac'n'cheese and biscuit and gravy, too. Can't wait to try it!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

March weather

This weekend the temperature reached +19°C on Saturday and we tried to enjoy the sun as much as we could, although we still didn't open up ice cream season... But we did go sit on a blanket in the park, we did go buy strawberry plants for the balcony and we did have Sunday brunch outside!

Next week will be though at work, so the vitamin D injection was well timed!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Mitte bookshop gem

On Thursday at lunch time my colleague M and I popped by Pro qm bookshop in Mitte. They specialize in design, architecture, fashion... the selection is impressive, also in design magazines, both in English and German. It's a gem among bookstores! I couldn't stay long, luckily, and so this time I only bought one book.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Vegetarian brunch – Sunday with Jesus

We met Jesus!

Jesus was hanging out in a little bar/café called Die Wohngemeinschaft on Bänschstraße where we went for Sunday brunch. Jesus is a six-month-old little rascal who instantly fell in love with our dog and the two of them kept themselves entertained while we helped ourselves to the delicious salads, croissants and crepes (vegetarian brunch buffet, €7).

After such great Sunday for both us and the pup, we'll definitively frequent Die Wohngemeinschaft for more brunches and for evening drinks, too!

The living room restaurant

Walking the dog around Friedrichshain has made us find places in our neighbourhood that we never knew about, like the restaurant Engler's Unikat on Samariterstraße. Looking in through the windows it looks like a grandmother's cosy living room: dimly lit, cluttered with shelves, knickknacks and houseplants. We booked a table for six and test dined there on Thursday. The ambiance was precisely as lovely and peaceful as we had imagined, the waiter polite and professional. Our party of six was seated in sofas and lounge chairs around a table clad with an flower-embroidered white cloth. The long menu  (mains €9-17) is written in Berliner slang to highlight the proletarian, meaty Berliner Küche – the vegetarian might have to settle for a mozzarella and tomato salad here. Among us, the diners who ordered from the page-long Schnitzel menu were happier the rest of us who had fish. When we bring visitors and family to Engler's Unikat I might recommend going for the traditional stews and steaks. All in all I want to go back to Engler's soon, even if only for a drink!

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Can I please, please, please declare spring now?

Yesterday we enjoyed the sun by taking a two hour walk along the river Spree in Rummelsburg, just east of Ostkreuz. It was lovely to be near the water and enjoy the warm sunshine. The dog absolutely loved it and we had a tough time keeping him from running too far ahead of us in all his excitement. We met many dogs, ducks and prams and we were all well exhausted when we got home again.

So, now I'll start talking about how it's getting close to summer now – I'm ever the optimist!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Newly weds

On Saturday we were invited to celebrate M and D getting married! The party at .HBC was an original and fun affair with Irish whiskey, cupcakes and vintage glamour.

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