Last weekend I took a break. I decided I’d had enough of grey London and would head to grey Berlin instead. A combination of school and social pressures were pushing down on me and I just needed to get put. Plus, my friend S is working there until the 30th of November, so I figured I had a good excuse.
When I finally traipsed up the stairs to her temporary Berlin home, I was greeted by the most beautiful sight – a full Saturday brunch. Because S’s job was only a temporary gig, she has been living with her friend U (it pays to have friends all over the world!), for whom apparently this Saturday brunch is a tradition. Boy did I feel lucky to be included! And I will definitely be on the lookout for how to be invited back. This was obviously a flat for one, but that was not going to stop U! She had filled her small dining table with freshly sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, various cheeses (sliced and creamy), multiple bowls of fruit, coffee, juice, and a delicious-perfectly-almost-undercooked-omelette, with more spilling over onto the coffee table next to us: fresh croissants, rolls, olive bread, and brioche. Somehow she had even managed to fit plates and mugs for all six of us girls. Having been up since 4:15am and eaten only a flaxseed energy bar and clementine, boy was this cornucopia a sight for sore eyes! I undoubtedly ate more than my fair share, but S graciously matched me.
I should apologise now for the fact that, in an effort to be in the moment and not be hampered by my desire to take photos every five minutes, I left my camera in my suitcase almost the entire three days I was there. This means, that I have no photos of food, other than those taken on my phone, which are far too low quality to be shared. I can hear you all gasping in disbelief, and I know, I’m sorry! Won’t happen again, I promise.
Saturday afternoon we ambled around Neukölln, wandering in and out of cute galleries, cafes, and second-hand shops, working off brunch. Naturally, we soon got hungry, so decided to take a snack break at Pizza a Pezzi, which we had noted in the Berlin Superguide. We shared two pieces, though as each piece comes on its own breadboard it’s much more than a standard slice! Pretty good value for money too, at under €5 each. I got the aubergine pizza and S got one topped with rocket. I must say she made the better choice. Supposedly the pizza there is made in the thin-crusted Neapolitan style. The rocket pizza most definitely was, and was delicious. It was crispy and the dough had a nice flavour to it. Best of all, it was simple. Just tomatoes, cheese, and rocket. The dough on mine was more like a flatbread, which is fine if that’s what you’re wanting, but when expecting crispy pizza dough, I wasn’t too thrilled. The aubergine itself was nicely roasted and had a good flavour, but I found myself drizzling olive oil over the pizza to make it tastier; something I almost never do. As S concluded, if you’re in Berlin and craving pizza, go to Italy! But, when that’s not an option 😉 Pizza a Pezzi is could be a good halfway point to quench your craving.
Suffice it to say that, as usual, I had a deliciously food oriented weekend, that included roasted chestnuts and Moroccan lentil soup at the Mauerpark Flohmarkt, multiple indulgences in Ritter Sport (mmmm I still have some left and this is making me crave chocolate, might have to go indulge), popcorn with paprika sprinkled on top (if this is not a thing, it really should be!), topped off with a lovely last dinner at Toca Rouge in Mitte. Good food, good company. I couldn’t have asked for a better last night!
A quick note on Toca Rouge, since I’m sure you’re wondering. Asian fusion is probably one of my favourite types of food. Though, I will admit to saying that about a lot of cuisines… Although Toca Rouge is not the most inspired of the fusion restaurants I’ve been to, the food was perfectly executed and not too saucy. I had the Crazy Orange Chicken, which I would highly recommend. As my friends know, “clean food” is my favourite food. Toca Rouge manages to invoke the delicious flavours of Chinese food, without the artery-clogging effects of too much MSG and sauce, thus being satisfactorily clean! The ambience is soothing (though a bit annoying to sit on stools all night) and despite being very modern is quite cozy, due to its small size. Yes, cozy, not cramped.
Off to find that leftover Ritter…