Month: June 2015

The view from Amanda’s phone

Our past few days.

Chris and Beer

Chris and beer. They are BFFs. At Vagabund Braurai.

Proverb

Vagabund Braurai knows what’s up.

 

 

Potsdamer

Potsdamer Platz in the rain. We were on our way to the movies.

Mockernbrucke

Crossing over the Landwehr Kanal near Mockernbrucke.

Hands

Street Art in Kreuzberg

View from the SBahn at Warschauer Brucke.

View from the SBahn at Warschauer Brucke.

Chilly day in June

After school this morning, it got cloudy,rainy, and progressively cooler (only in the mid-60s).


Not a good afternoon for a biergarten, so we grabbed our books and headed to Wilhelm Hoeck, one of our favorite kneipe. (Kneipe is German for a neighborhood-style pub popular in Berlin; not to be confused with a lokal, wirtschaft, or schenke.)

I tried my first Berliner Weisse rot (sour beer with red syrup). It’s a big summer thing in Berlin and I can see why. It’s light and tastes like the frambois/raspberry beers I’ve had before. In other words, not like beer at all.

Chris kept it traditional with a Berliner Kindl Pils.


Then we grabbed an early dinner at Lon Men’s Noodle House. One of our favorite cheap eats in Berlin.

Currywurst: Ziervogel’s Kult Curry

Location

Ziervogel’s Kult Curry is located in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood of Berlin just up the street from Senefelderplatz. Mario Ziervogel is the grandson of the founder of the famous Konnopke Imbiss where, in 1960, currywurst was introduced to East Berlin.

Ziervogel’s features a currywurst menu with increasing levels of spicy heat; but, as we do with all our reviews, we went for the “regular” to keep our comparisons as fair as possible. However, we were both pleased with the taste and quality of the currywurst here so we will definitely be going back to try the more spicy fare.

Also, this is a sit-down restaurant with a full menu of sausages and sandwiches. The currywurst was served on fancy little ceramic plates made to look like the more common paper rectangles that you get at an imbiss.

What Did We Have?

We each had regular currywurst with casing and we shared a large fries with mayo. Currywurst is 2.90 euro a piece and a large order of fries is 3 euro. Mayo is 20 cents extra.

Amanda’s Review

The currywurst here was much like Fritz and Co, in my opinion.  A high quality but not super seasoned sausage with a very basic but delicious curry sauce. I do think they throw the sausages on the grill for a final run just before serving as there was a nice crispiness to the skin. There was no real spice even with a generous sprinkle of powder, but I have no complaints.

The fries are some of my favorite ones yet. I think they were cooked about 30-40 seconds longer than most. The outsides had a bit more crunch while retaining the fluffy inside. And the mayo wasn’t quite as sweet as some of the ones we get here in Berlin.

Overall rating: Currywurst:   4 out of 5 | Fries:   4.5 out of 5

Chris’s Review

The sausage here is good if a little bland and the curry sauce of their standard menu item is very mild. I didn’t really discern much flavor from the curry powder. However, the ketchupy sauce was tasty; just a little sweet but not too sweet and the quality of everything was top notch.

The fries were really good and included a sprinkle of the curry powder. I would prefer them to be cut a little wider (like at Fritz & co.); but overall they were well made and fresh.

I look forward to visiting again to try out their spicier currywurst.

Overall rating: Currywurst: 4 out of 5 | Fries: 4 out of 5

Great #currywurst at #ziervogelskultcurry #berlin #prenzlauerberg

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09L

Prague

Last weekend we went to Prague; we left on Friday afternoon and returned late Sunday night. We both loved it. Despite it being summer and, thus, high tourist season, there was plenty to do and see without being inundated with throngs of tour groups.

The two big highlights for us were the beer and the castle (Prazsky hrad).

The Beer

Prague has a well deserved reputation for serving some of the freshest pilsner in the world. This is due not only to Prague’s close proximity to such breweries as Pilsner Urqell, Budvar, and others, but also to many bars serving these popular beers unfiltered and unpasteurized straight from the tank.  Additionally, the city itself has a centuries-long tradition of monastery breweries and, in recent years, more and more microbreweries.

Our beer sampling centered around the old city in Husova street. The highlight for both of us was Pivovar U Tri Ruzi, a microbrewery that serves excellent beer and delicious food. We liked it so much we visited twice.

Microbrew in old town prague. #utriruzi #prague

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The Castle and Environs

Prague survived the wars of the 20th Century relatively unscathed and the city center has countless well preserved buildings. The castle sits atop a high hill on the left bank of the Vlatva, overlooking the Mala Strana neighborhood. Its origins date back to the ninth century and it is one of the largest castle complexes in Europe, containing the palace, St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica, several museums, and pieces of the old city wall and fortifications. We spend the better part of Sunday in and around the castle, including climbing up the hill from near the river.  The views alone are worth the hike.

#prague #praha #prazkyhrad

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Just beyond the castle complex is the Strahov Monastary which includes yet another great microbrewery. The further uphill we went beyond the castle grounds the fewer people we encountered until it was just us and the locals in Petrinsky park.

Miscellany

We crossed the famous Charles Bridge, it was absolutely packed with tourist and we found it best admired from up river on the Most Legii Bridge. Next time, we’ll be sure to get up extra early before the tourists, touts, pickpockets, and kiosk vendors show up for the day.

The Old Town Square was also lovely but heaving with tourists. The astronomical clock was a bit of a snoozer. We appreciate it’s the oldest working clock of it’s kind left in the world but perhaps large medieval timepieces just aren’t our thing. Also in the Old Town Square, the Jan Hus memorial and the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn are definitely worth the visit.

The Czech language (both written and spoken) was completely inscrutable to us both. However, most people working in and around the old town know at least a bit of English. The post-Communist generations in Prague seem to have embraced English as their secondary language of choice.

Currywurst: Fritz & Co

Location

Fritz & Co. is located across the street from the Wittenburgplatz U-Bahn station and just a block down from the KaDeWe department store. This is a ritzy/touristy part of town and the prices here are significantly higher that other stands we have been to.

However, Fritz & Co make a good currywurst and even better fries. They cut their own fries and everything is made to order. Both the sausage and potatoes are organic.

What Did We Have?

We each had currywurst with casing and fries with mayo. Currywurst is 3.20 euro a piece and fries are 2.60 euro per serving. Mayo is 50 cents extra.

Amanda’s Review

This is my kind of currywurst. A thinner, sweeter (but not cloying) sauce. It’s almost ketchup-like, but the sprinkle of spice elevates it to a very satisfying flavor. It also blended well with some mayo for my fries. The sausages were more like a hotdog from the US in regards to their texture, but the flavor is mild and they are a good partner for the sauce.

The fries are great. Wider cut than some other places we’ve been and double cooked for that crispy outside and fluffy inside.

Overall rating: Currywurst:  4 out of 5 | Fries:  4.5 out of 5

Chris’s Review

The sausage here is good. It’s milder and more reminiscent to me of an American frankfurter in taste; although the sausage itself is still plump like a bratwurst. The sauce is pretty ketchup-like in consistency and the curry powder is mild. This results in an overall sweeter taste but the curry powder provided a bit of warmth with the addition of what I think is cumin.

The fries are some of the best I’ve had. They cut them a little wider and the result is a nice crispy outside while the insides are light and pillowy.

Overall rating: Currywurst: 3.5 out of 5 | Fries: 4 out of 5

Currywurst at Fritz & Co #currywurst #fritzandco

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