Wednesday morning we started the day off with a breakfast buffet at the hotel (pretty much what you would expect, plus a few little treats; fresh fruit, bread rolls, jam and orange juice. Mr T enjoyed some new potatoes and mushrooms on toast!) and we had a nice swim in the hotels' pool, before starting day two of the holiday; which shall now be known as Food Fest 2009. Honestly I've never felt so full in my life! Or eaten so well!
We walked from our hotel in Alexanderplatz to the Berlin Wall and through to Friedrichstein; my favourite district of Berlin. The wall was amazing; we walked along the longest standing section, and even though the artwork is pretty new, it was an awesome sight.
Friedrichstein was lovely; lots of nice shops, with people relaxing outside cafes in the sunshine, and YoYo was the perfect stop for lunch. Completely vegan, and run by some of the same people who started Yellow Sunshine, the cafe offers a pretty similar menu; fast food, and lots of it! I went for the bacon burger this time, along with fries and Afro-Kola, an independently produced cola from Hamburg. So good! Mr T had a currywurst which was pretty darn dog good! Two main meals with fries and kola came to around €15. We had sweet chilli dips, and amazing avocado mayonnaise, thousand island sauce and regular mayonnaise. Yum!
For dessert we popped over to the best cupcake shop I have ever been to; so inspiring! Cupcake serves vegan options including cupcakes, banana bread and cherry pie, as well as Almdudler (!!!) and other home comfort foods (including beans on toast...!) We both went for a raspberry swirl cupcake, and with a bottle of Almdudler it came to around €5, pretty much the same as the Hummingbird Bakery, except we can actually eat something here! Such a cute cute cute place, and the cupcakes were delicious. We began the walk back, and I nearly had to be rolled home I was so full. We stopped at a corner shop for some water and I made the rooky mistake (AGAIN!) of purchasing carbonated water. Y U C K. So we tucked into a couple of bottles of Fritz- Kola, awesome!
In the evening we went to a lovely neighbourhood, and tried La Mano Verde. A beautiful gourmet restaurant which is 100% vegan, with plenty of raw and gluten free options. We were lucky that the weather allowed us to enjoy our meal outside, and in such a peaceful neighbourhood. To start I had beautiful summer rolls filled to bursting with finely sliced veggies, and with sweet chilli and hoi sin sauce to dip in. Mr T had satay skewers and peanut sauce, which did nothing to impress me (especially after eating this same starter at the Routemaster, and it being brilliant). Soggy cardboard on skewers dipped in a watery sauce. No thanks! However his main course totally made up for this, and in such contrast each flavour seemed to have been hand picked specially. The spinach and mushroom ravioli (something I'm not usually keen on) really was fantastic. I, however, chose something a little dull; Pasta Valentino. Pretty much pasta with salad. It came with a cute small dish of 'parmesan' which turned out to be crushed pine nuts.
The owner came and chatted to us for a while, and it turned out that he was one of the group who opened Saf, in Shoreditch. He plans to open another restaurant in the centre of Berlin by the end of the year. This man was a gem to chat to; he knew so much about food, chefs and restaurants from all over the world- including my absolute favourite, Terre a Terre. He suggested the Mixed Dessert Platter- which was a lovely way of tasting more dessert for your money!- and brought us complimentary liquors. For such a small glass it really packed in flavour; strong ginger with a hint of chilli, and plenty of alcohol. He has one almost every day. Including a bottle of wine and tip, this meal came to almost €100. It was worth it to have such a wonderful conversation with the owner.
Bacon Burger with fries.
Currywurst with fries:
Almdudler is an Austrian soft drink which tastes of energy drink, without the energy kick. It's sugary and sweet and pretty yum.
La Mano Verde:
(Apologies for the poor photos; moonlight and all that.)
Satay skewers and peanut sauce: