Berlin has been an amazing place to explore culinary delights, from gourmet cafes and bakeries to traditional Vietnamese Pho, to “American Style” Burgers. Everyday I find myself discovering and indulging my various cravings. I can’t seem to get enough of the Asian food which I must have deprived myself of in my time in Paraguay, and of course my newly developed obsession with rocket (aka arugula) has kept me entertained and enticed for the last couple of months. It’s so satisfying to be in a city that rivals my home in delicious temptations and seemingly limitless offerings.
I first discovered Monsier Vuong on Alte Shönhauser Straße while wandering around Mitte after work in search of some food. The restaurant was packed and people were surrounding the streets and at first I decided to pass it by, but soon the temptation was too great, and a giant bowl of delicious hot soup was calling my name. I walked inside and was greeted by a friendly hosted who showed me to a low stool by the bar with today’s menu, consisting of about 5 options, one of which was vegetarian. I made my selection along with a glass of Mango Lassi, and could not have been happier with what came out. A heaping delicious bowl of hot vegetable soup with a strong onion broth and lots of noodles and some liquid mango goodness.
I experienced many similar Pho meals since I arrived. There is plenty of Asian food in New York, but not such an abundance of Vietnamese, (which I have learned has something to do with the Soviet influence on Eastern Berlin and formerly imported Vietnamese workers.) A couple of days ago I wandered into Good Morning Vietnam on Oderberger Straße in Prenzlauer Berg and was delighted for a warm place to sit with the howling rain outside. The hot soup was relaxing, even despite the 2 or 3 Euro water that accompanied it. Note about restaurants in Germany, they are not too keen on giving you water from the tap, there will always be a bottle, and it will always be more expensive than the beer options on the menu!
Then I had the opportunity to explore another new cafe in Prenzlauer Berg called Torten und Kuchen (Pies and Cakes) a coffeehouse type atmosphere on the ever-popular Kollwitzstraße (diagonal from the amazing and delicious Anna Blume). I simply was too exhausted to walk home and even attempt to cook anything, and was in the middle of a fascinating book that I couldn’t wait to pick up again and so I found refuge inside this cafe, where I dined on a delicious arugula salad and a glass of Merlot.
So for now my stomach is satisfied and my palate entertained. And until I get a kitchen I really love to cook in, looks like it’s going to keep up this way for quite a while!