I spent a few days in Berlin last month trying to eat as much local streetfood as possible. Had a ton of Döner, and some “JFK’s” AKA Berliner. While you can pretty much get döner and jelly donuts anywhere (maybe not as good as Berlin), I was especially blown away by the currywurst in Berlin. I should be of course because Currywurst was invented in Berlin in 1949 when a local named Herta Heuwer obtained packets of ketchup, worchester sauce and curry powder from British Soldiers and served it over grilled wursts with fries.
Currywurst is usually prepared with a grilled sausage (wurst) a side of fries, and topped with the magical curry ketchup sauce. Herta Heuwer, the inventor of Currywurst, actually patented her sauce mix called Chillup.
You can find currwurst all over Berlin, from lowly makeshift streetstands/carts to high end restaurants.
At Tegel Airport there’s a gutted railcar that serves a decent plate of currywurst. (It’s a great place to enjoy a beer as well before your flight)
3 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 pound kielbasa
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch paprika
Curry powder to taste
Currywurst is also pretty easy to make. Broil your sausage, mix the above mix in a saucepan and cook for several minutes and then pour over your grilled wurst. Serve with fries. Enjoy!]]>
Get the joke? No? Remember JFK’s famous speech? “Ich bin ein berliner” – well kind of means that he’s a Berliner which is a jelly donut. What’s kind of confusing is that in Berlin they don’t call them Berliners (who know’s why?) but they are called pfannkuchen – which means pancake everywhere else in Germany. Confused? Yeah, just call it a JFK and maybe it will stick over time.
Found some at a cafe in the Metro near Potsdamer Platz
Considering it was from a metro cafe, it wasn’t all that bad, not as good as say donut plant in NY’s East Village but still great with coffee. Enjoy!!!
So I was out in Berlin a few weeks ago and checked out multiple street döner and currywurst places throughout the city. First of all, I just have to say I love Berlin. Great people, great food, great parks, museums, art and overall quite affordable.
It’s like strolling around the East Village but paying only $3 for great German beer. How can you go wrong with that? You can’t especially when you can get amazing fresh döner for just 1.9 euros or a little under $3.
Döner, schwarma, or gyros are basically sandwiches filled with slices of crispy rotisserie lamb, tomatoes, sliced onions, shredded lettuce, tzatziki sauce and spiced. But unlike in New York, in Germany everything is of the highest quality even at the most hardcore basic street vendor. Fresh non genetically modified tomatoes, fresh bread (not the stale pita pockets), and crispy spiced lamb. It makes a huge difference – I can live off this stuff. Definitely adding Berlin to the list of places to live!!!
If you live in a city that has a lot of street vendors, you’re probably pretty familiar with street pretzels. These are ‘ok’ in my opinion – usually too dry and too chewy. Here in NY the latest addition to bread bakeries are pretzels. They are served warm and you can dip the pretzels in mustard or butter. What a difference! But have you tried to make your own?
A couple years ago I tried to make some homemade bagels but they were an utter disappointment – soggy and too breadlike. What I didn’t know back then was the finishing secret: LYE. Yep, good old sodium hydroxide. It’s pretty dangerous yes but with precautions, there’s nothing to worry about and your pretzels will be amazing. Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. You can buy it online at www.essentialdepot.com or if you are in NY, you can pick up a bottle at the Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg.
|German Style Pretzels Recipe||
For the full German experience, eat pretzels with sweet mustard, butter, and a side of weisswurst and of course some beer. Enjoy!
64 Frost Street
(corner of Meeker and Frost)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Mon – Fri: Open at 5:00 pm
Sat – Sun: Open at 12 noon
Take the L Train to Lorimer/Metropolitan. Walk North on Union Avenue or Lorimer Street until Meeker Avenue. Walk Northeast on Meeker Avenue to 64 Frost St.
If you are going to get drunk during the snowy tundra packed streets of NY, you may as well enjoy some great sausages and pretzels with your beer. From Jan 25 – Sunday Jan 30, you can sample from 12 different sausages including:
-Three sausage platter, $16 | Smoked Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Wiener
-Five sausage platter, $22 | Smoked Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Wiener, Knackwurst, Bratwurst
-Seven sausage platter, $27 | Smoked Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Wiener, Knackwurst, Bratwurst, Nürnberger, Bauernwurst
-Nine sausage platter, $33 | Smoked Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Wiener, Knackwurst, Bratwurst, Nürnberger, Bauernwurst, Bangers, Hungarian Kolbase
-Twelve sausage platter, $38 | Smoked Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Wiener, Knackwurst, Bratwurst, Nürnberger, Bauernwurst, Bangers, Hungarian Kolbase (Schaller & Weber) and Chorizo, Hot Italian, Red Wine & Rosemary (Meat Hook)
All platters are served with mashed potatoes and Loreley’s homemade sauerkraut. If you order the 7,9 or 12 platters you and your friends get a free round of .2 L Kolsch!
Live band on Sat Jan 29th by the Jug Addicts.
Get tickets here:
Five years ago, I blogged about my adventures with Night Train, Alize, Thunderbird, and Brass Monkey. While that post still remains one of my highest trafficked and popular blog posts, I want to talk to you today about some additional hardcore liquors that you may not be aware of from Northern Germany. No, I’m not talking about Jägermeister. While Jäger is a respectable liquor with 35% alcohol content, I am talking about manning up to Heidegeist, Ratzeputz, and Bullenschluck which are all Kräuterlikörs (herbal liqueur or spiced liqueur) distilled with special herbs like your friend Jägermeister, but have 50%, 58% and 43% alcohol percentages respectively.
First off is Heidegeist. It’s 50% alcohol and is distilled with 31 specialty herbs from the Lüneburger Heide region, known for its pastoral fields in northeastern part of the state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany. It’s a mild and flavorful liquor best enjoyed over ice or can also be served as shots.
Next is Ratzeputz. I was first introduced to Ratzeputz two years ago on a trip to Germany to visit my girlfriend’s family. We had just finished a really hearty meal at the local DreiKronen restaurant and her step father was recounting the story of St Hubertus (the original Jägermeister) and ordered a round of Ratzeputz shots as a digestifs. I was blown away by the spicy aftertaste of Ratzeputz and it definitely did the job in helping me digest my meal and warming me up on that cold winter night (58% alcohol content). Distilled with ginger roots, Ratzeputz is known for its strong spicy flavor and is highly regarded for its medicinal benefits for the stomach. If you ever get the chance to try Ratzeputz, definitely don’t let the chance slip by. After you’ve tried Ratzeputz, Jägermeister tastes like soda.
Finally is Bullenschluck which I was just introduced to this Christmas/New Year’s holiday. This stuff is no joke and as far as I know it isn’t really even sold commercially, unless you know the actual guy who makes it. First look at the top of the label of this bottle and you’ll notice the cow, pig, rooster, dog and horse figures. The first line says something about how this liquor can be used to revitalize lameness in horses, cattle and oxen!! The 2nd line says it can also be used for people internally. Goodness! So basically Bullenschluck is a medicine that is applied externally to wounds on farm animals, but for some crazy individuals it can also be ingested. In other words this is seriously hardcore, backwoods, German moonshine. So………………….…..Yep, we did a few shots over New Year’s. It tastes and smells like Chinese medicinal herbs. We had a shot of Bullenschluck, some champagne, Feurerzangenbowle , and then shot off fireworks for New Year’s! Wow I love Germany! Next time you are in Hamburg or Hannover, definitely take a chance to try Ratzeputz or Heidegeist. Now we just need Axl Rose to write a song about them and they’ll soon be popular worldwide.
Happy 2011 New Years!! Have a good holiday and New Year’s? I spent my holidays up in Northern Germany this year with my girlfriend’s family and was introduced to some really interesting German holiday traditions for Christmas and New Year’s. First off is Feurerzangenbowle, a fun way to share a strong warm, mulled wine on a cold winter’s night. Maybe you’ve heard of Glühwein (a spicy hot cider wine), also a German Christmas Holiday drink and although Feurerzangenbowle is similar in some respects, Feurerzangenbowle is just as much about the execution and preparation of the drink as the drink itself. The direct translation of Feurerzangenbowle is fire tong punch which is pretty obvious once you see how this is done.
2 bottles of red wine
3-4 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg to taste
High alcohol content rum (50% or higher so it’s flammable)
Large solid block of sugar (they sell them as cones called Zukerhut in Germany) or can be substituted with sugar cubes.
Combine wine, juices and spices and heat in a large pot (a fondue pot works great). Place a tong or some sort of metal device to hold the chunk of sugar over the bowl (in medieval times, it’s said they used swords to hold the sugar). Add rum to the sugar and allow to soak in for a few minutes, then turn the lights off, strike up a match and light up the rum soaked sugar. Allow the sugar to burn and melt into the wine. Take a ladle to mix the wine, and add more rum to taste (and keep the fire going). Immediately serve in large mugs and enjoy your Feuerzangenbowle! Frohe Weihnachten und Gutes Neues Jahr!]]>
Got your plans set up for Labor Day weekend yet? No!?? Go check out the Parked NY Food Truck Festival on Governer’s Island this weekend on Sunday. It’s free to take the ferry and it’s free to attend the event. The food? Not free, but it’s going to be a stellar food truck line up and well worthwhile!
Some of the food trucks confirmed for the parked food truck festival so far include:
Jamaican Dutchy Food Truck, Rickshaw Dumpling Food Truck, Green Pirate juice Food Truck, Joyride Truck, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Food Truck, Halo Berlin, The Cinnamon Snail, Kelvin Natural Slush Co Food Truck, Hermelinda Mexicana and more!
WHEN : Sunday, September 5th
WHERE : Colonel’s Row @ Governors Island
DOORS : Noon – 5pm
COVER : Free!
RAIN DATE: Sunday, September 26th
Ferry Schedule Link: http://www.govisland.com/html/visit/directions.shtml
I checked out Governer’s Island last week for the Jazz Age Lawn party – it was awesome. If you have a bike, bring it along. It’s a great way to check out the entire island. Governor’s Island is kind of shaped like an ice cream cone. Colonel’s row is runs West East across the island at the upper (bottom of the ice cream scoop) portion of the Island. Enjoy!! These NY Food Trucks won’t disappoint!]]>
108 N 6th St
Last week (Fri Feb 12th) I attended Vendr.TV’s birthday celebration. It was one of those special ‘foodie’ events that you couldn’t quite pass up – cool people: Dan Delaney of Vendr.TV, James Boo from The Eaten Path and Seth Unger from Hamburger America / NYC Food Film Festival) + great food from Schnitzel and Things Food Truck, Calexico Carne Asada Food Cart, and Wafels and Dinges Food Truck. Of course with Dan Delaney and the rest of the Vendr.TV crew, you couldn’t expect anything less but some amazing food truck action and despite the freezing cold weather that night the turnout was quite impressive.
We got there about an hour after it started but at least I got one of the last remaining Schnitzel and Things’ burgers (these are amazing) and bratwurst (they only had chicken schnitzels left). Calexico only had chicken tacos at this point (no pork!). Then there was Wafel and Dinges. The line wrapped around the Calexico cart and almost back into the bar. Smelling the mixture of the smoky grilled chicken from the Calexico Cart and the sweet buttery aromas of Waffels from Wafel and Dinges made for an interesting (chicken and waffels anyone?) yet agonizing wait (approx 30 mins), but I have to say it was well worth it! It’s all about the Liège wafels my friend – and do yourself a favor, just order it plain with a little powdered sugar. It is good enough alone and the endless toppings only distract away from this pure perfection of a wafel. Awesome party Dan – Happy 1 year bday Vendr.TV !]]>
Last Sunday, we got a chance to celebrate three cultural traditions: Chinese Lunar New Year’s, Valentines (Ok, not sure if this really is a cultural tradition or just a commercial ploy), and Karneval (Cologne’s version of Mardi Gras). Thanks to a broken down Amtrak train that stranded my girlfriend for 4 hours in Philly on Sat, we didn’t really make it to Karneval this year. What to do? Make some German food! German Beef Roulade mit Knödel is pretty easy and AWESOME! It’s basically rolled beef with slices of bacon, onions and mustard in a creamy wine meat sauce with a side of potato dumplings. As a warning, pretty much everything in this recipe breaks the rules of the Standard Process Cleanse diet we finished a few weeks ago but hey you got to live a little sometimes.
Beef Roulade Recipe
1 lb Sliced beef (6 x 3 inches in size or longer)- go to the butcher and ask for long slices of beef or I guess you can use flank steak.
1/4 lb of thinly sliced bacon
Gherkins (cut lengthwise)
One small onion
1 tablespoon of tomato puree or paste
2 cups of beef broth
1 tablespoon of sour cream
1/2 cup of red wine
1 scallion – finely diced
Salt & pepper
Long metal or wooden toothpicks
Spread mustard over a slice of beef. Top with onions, salt pepper. Lay down a few slices of bacon, a sliced gherkin and roll the beef. Use a long toothpick to hold the roll together.
Take completed rolls (roulades) and fry over high heat until browned on all sides. Add the tomato puree and 1 cup of beef broth and turn up heat to high and allow to thicken. Turn down to a simmer, add remaining broth and wine. Cover for 30-40 mins. Remove roulades and turn up the heat, add sour cream. If the sauce needs thickening, you can add a tablespoon of corn starch mixed in 1/4 cup of cold water to the sauce. Serve on a warm plate with the sauce, and top with diced scallions.
The Knödel? We cheated and used a prepared box, but here’s a good recipe.]]>