Sunday 16th April 2017
Sunday in Berlin meant only one thing: Mauer Park. Unfortunately, unlike last weekend, the weather today was not so nice. Instead of heat and sun, it actually started hailing as I got the U Bahn with my family to Eberswalder Straße. I was pretty sure the weekly karaoke would not be on in this weather and was dubious that visiting the flea market was a good idea but my Dad was pretty set on going there so off we went.
Thankfully, the weather perked up as we arrived. It may not have been hot and sunny but it had stopped raining. And we weren’t the only people to have braved the storm. Mauer Park’s flea market was pretty busy considering the gross weather. Although I was right – no bearpit karaoke today.
We spent a while rummaging through boxes piled high with old crockery and other bits and pieces. I came away with some stainless steel stud earrings (I have the worst luck with earrings – I always lose one and indeed I’ve already lost one and I am gutted – I loved them). My parents came away with a vintage door handle. We have different interests.
Whilst there, we grabbed some lunch from some of the street food stands in the market. My Mum went for a falafel-filled pita, my Dad went for a German hot dog and my brother and I had to do multiple laps of all the stalls before we decided on one. Eventually we picked a place that did Argentinian beef sandwiches. We decided to go to the same stall to avoid food envy. And they were damn good. My only complaint was that I wanted it to be bigger. I wanted more.
Fed and shopped out, we left Mauer Park – past some graffiti artists working on patches of the old Berlin wall in the park – and we headed back to our flat. After chilling for a while (and by chilling, I mean we all napped), we headed back out, this time in the direction of the restaurant Schnitzelei in Charlottenburg. My Dad is a big fan of wiener schnitzel and found this place by googling the best places for schnitzel in Berlin. Schnitzelei was on the list. He must agree with that description because this was not his first trip to the restaurant. Or even his second.
We arrived to find a very busy restaurant (thankfully we’d reserved a table, otherwise we wouldn’t have been eating here). I immediately liked the vibe. The restaurant was in a quiet, residential area so it felt like a local favourite. We began by ordering some of the German tapas on the menu. We chose the six-dish option between the four of us but weren’t really sure which dishes to pick. My Dad voiced our wonderment to our waiter before starting by ordering the salad. To which the waiter simply responded: no. My Dad told him to pick a mix for us.
Then we ordered our mains. My Dad and brother went for the wiener schnitzel but my Mum and I didn’t want veal so went for the pork schnitzel (flavoured with horseradish and mustard). Our waiter asked if we wanted potato salad or fried/roasted potatoes (I’m not quite sure which of the latter he said). My Dad ordered roasted. To which our waiter simply responded: the potato salad is better. So we went for that. This guy was great.
After a short while, our waiter brought over our tapas: baked potatoes with soured cream, trout mousse with rye crackers, meatballs with a mustardy sauce, plums wrapped in bacon, little pretzels with obazda cheese and currywurst. He had made some great choices for us: it was all so delicious. But my absolute favourite thing was the currywurst. I’ve eaten a lot of currywurst in my time but this was probably my favourite. Ever.
Next up was our main courses. The wiener schnitzels were absolutely enormous – they could barely fit on the plates. And they weren’t small plates. They came with a small-ish side of potato salad. The pork schnitzel was the other way around. The schnitzel came in three small pieces on a really big bed of potato salad.
I have to say, I think I’d prefer the boys’ meat to potato ratio. My meal was nice but there was just too much cold potato salad and between the flavours of that and the horseradish and mustard flavouring of the meat, there was just too much going on for me. Next time, I’ll go for the lamb schnitzel. Because there will definitely be a next time. The atmosphere in the restaurant was so good and the tapas so delicious. In fact, we spotted people just having meals of tapas. That would not be a bad idea at all.
Once we’d eaten, we were too full for desserts so just ordered some coffee. After we’d paid, my Dad popped to the bathroom as our waiter came to pick up the monies. He saw me sitting with one arm on the table and the other on the back of my chair and shook his head, telling me not to go anywhere. I assumed he was telling me off for being impatient while my Dad was still gone. I took my arms down before absentmindedly putting them back up again. I turned to see him shaking his head at me. My Dad came back and we all stood up to go as our waiter reappeared with some complimentary shots. That’s why he’d been telling me not to go anywhere – it wasn’t over yet. This guy really did make our meal.