Archive for February, 2009

Germany’s immensely popular award winning Internet-TV-Programme ehrensenf, which looks for unusual things on the web, has featured us on their Friday show. Thanks to ehrensenf for the mention! I can proudly report that this blog, despite its meager premise and utter lack of content, reported over 1,000 visitors yesterday. And two even commented.

Folks, love the comments and send your Number 22 and a beer today!


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Number 22 and a beer is catching on, I am happy to proclaim! Close to two thousand visitors in the first week is, in my small blog world, quite a number. Many thanks to all those linking the site!

This Number 22 and a beer comes to us from Nadine Meisinger, of Darmstadt, Germany. Her post is our first non-asian 22, and proof that even in a city named after intestines, a good meal is not that hard to come by. Her professional website can be found here.

For lovers of Persian cuisine Haroun’s seems to be a good bet. (Why do the never call it Iranian food?)

photo :nadine meisinger

photo :nadine meisinger

Arabic and Persian Restaurant
Friedensplatz 6
64293 Darmstadt
phone: 06151/23487

Date eaten: 23. February 2009
Price: 6,90 Euros

This Number 22 is a very savoury, crispy baked, still warm Pide (pita bread) with a delicious and spicy topping of hash, egg, onions, tomatos and parsley. Along with a nice beer brewed from wheat from the local Darmstaedter Brewery. From my description you can already guess: I enjoyed my Number 22 very much!

Here in Darmstadt, the “Haroun´s” is one of my favourite restaurants. It´s very tiny (they have only about 20 seats) and it is recommended that you arrange a table in advance. Haroun Ismael, the owner, will make you feel at home instantly, he´s a very warm and hearty person. The food at Haroun´s is absolutely gorgeous, they offer a big variety of dishes, every one of them a delight for the taste buds. The Falafel is a treat, just like the Hummus! My absolute favourite is Fatteh with Chicken: Roasted pieces of chicken breast on pita bread, with rice, and a generous portion of garlic/mint yoghurt topping. Oh, and if you´re there: Try the Lebanese wine – it´s excellent.

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A big UP! to our first contributor from outside the Number 22 and a beer compound, Claus Haslauer. (Who’s completely un-foodie, but nonetheless admirable website, planetwater.org, can be found here.) Thanks, Claus. I hope you are the first of many and look foward to more contributions in the near future. You have to work on the quality of the photography though. It’s just a little to good!


photo: Claus Haslauer

Goi – Thai Restaurant

Stuttgarter Str. 35
70469 Stuttgart Feuerbach

phone: +49 – 711 – 260000


Date eaten: 21-February-2009, ~6:30pm

Price: 6.5 Euros.

Number 22 is listed under “baked dishes (a little spicy)”. It is done “Shezuan Style with vegetables”. For the type of protein that goes with it you have the choice between pork, chicken, duck, fish, and calamari. There is a small list of beers to choose, I went with a Singha 0.33 bottle, for 2.5 Euros. I could have gotten a Chinese beer, a German wheat beer or a German lager as well.

My order turned out to be a plate full with delicious food: rice, the vegetables with the sauce, and the baked calamari. Now, the menu says “baked”, however, I would say those calamari were battered and fried. For me that didn’t turn things into a bad direction. Those were really good fried calamari. If the chef wanted to improve anything: serve them a bit warmer, and somehow get rid of excess oil. The two other parts of the dish were the vegetables and the sauce. The vegetables consisted mainly of cabbage, bamboo, soy sprouts, peppers, and green onions. The sauce I liked even better than the calamari!  Those vegetables were submersed in the sauce, the “Shezuan sauce”, which I never had before. It reminded me of a “sweet-sour sauce”, but more spicy. It went very well with the fried calamari. There’s not much to say about the beer and the rice. They were good. To conclude, I really liked the dish! As an extra: it was a lot!

“The Goi” is one of my most frequently visited restaurants. From the restaurants I know, it offers the best bang for the buck in the Stuttgart area for Asian-/Thai- food. The dishes are freshly prepared in a kitchen into which the entire restaurant can look through a huge glass facade which I like for that kind of restaurant. The seating possibilities are not endless, so I would recommend to make a reservation during peak hours during lunch and dinner. The restaurant is easily reachable with a short walk from the Feuerbach train station. My girlfriend has one dish that she always has when she eats there (number 31, Thai wok, red curry, crabs), I have been experimenting a little bit in the past, but have usually settled with one dish as well (number 33, Thai wok, peanut sauce, pork). So the imposed variety by ordering number 22 was welcome for me, to break out from the normal! ;-)

I give the shezuan style baked calamari 8 out of 10 possible stars.

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Bok Restaurant
Schanzenstraße 27
20357 Hamburg, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)40 4306780


Date eaten: February 17 9:17 pm

Price: € 6.90

Oh the glory that is satay! Not only one of Thailand’s top 3 exports, the other two being wacky names for their royals (Bhumibol in the house!) and of course, sexually transmitted diseases, satay might be one of the greatest contributions to the global food chain.

When done correctly, its simplicity is as stunning as it is pleasing. Some tender chicken straight off the charcoal grill and a peanut sauce that combines the sweetness of palm sugar or honey with the refreshing heat of ginger and the bite of fresh garlic are all it takes to make for a great meal. Throw in some exhaust fumes from about a million mopeds, and one is immediately transported to a street food stall in Bangkok. If done poorly, satay just might make you wish you had ordered a ham sandwich.

I wish I had ordered a ham sandwich.

Don’t let the zen-like sparseness of the dish pictured fool you. No meditating master chef was at work here. The uniform color made the alarms go off, before I had even tasted the skewered insulating foam on the plate in front of me: where were the grill marks? Where the scent of charcoal? Instead these appeared to have come straight out of the kitchen appliance from hell: the deep-fryer. (The only thing worse than satay out of a deep fryer is Wiener Schnitzel.) The crust did have an amazing ability though. While being cool to the touch, it managed to conceal behind its dry barrier relatively moist chicken, at a core temperatur of what I’d guess to have been around 397°C. The resulting burns on my tongue did manage to make the next course, tom kha gai, more bearable.

But what about the sauce? This I had hoped would be the saving element, the deciding goal in the 90th minute of the World Cup final, turning desaster into delight. But alas, the shot went straight over the cross bar. Thin, uneventful and boring. But strangely enough, I wish there had been a little more of it. Because the last two skewers were rather dry and drab all on their own.

The beer was an Erdinger Weißbier. Light and refreshing.

All in all a pretty lame Number 22. While not inedible it left me pining for the real thing. Minus the mopeds.

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Man Wah Restaurant
Spielbudenplatz 18
20359 Hamburg, Germany
TEl +4940 3192511

Date eaten: February 15 12:27 am

Price € 11.90

Number 22 here was “Chicken with straw mushrooms and ginger.” Served piping hot in a small steel wok-type thing. The chicken was tender, though slightly bland. The sauce was pungent and fruity-spicy, due to copious amounts of fresh ginger. A little odd: the straw mushrooms. They looked like the eyes of an extinct amphibious bi-ped, and shared a similar consistency. Or at least I figure this is how the eyes of an extinct amphibious bi-ped might feel in my mouth. All in all, a fairly tame, but quite tasty Number 22. The beer was Warsteiner, a self-proclaimed “premium beer,” but definitely my least favorite german industrial beer.

Man wah is a Hamburg-institution and offers good quality chinese food and dim sum. I think they are almost always open.

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“Number 22 and a beer” aims to be the most unusual dining guide on the web and needs your contributions to make it a success. After all, how often can a single human go out to eat?

It is simple enough. When dining out in “fine” establishments that use numbers to make the ordering process simpler, no matter what ethnic direction the restaurant might adhere to, do the following:

1. Order a number 22. And a beer, if possible. 

2. Take a photo of your “Number 22 and a beer”.

3. Let the world know about it by submitting your contribution by email to: number22andabeer(@)me.com

You can write as much, or as little about the meal as you wish. For continuity, I ask that contributors adhere to the following, simple guidelines.

If you cant eat it, then don’t post it.

Really, honestly, truly  only submit a Number 22 you have ordered. If that happens to be eel’s head soup in a restaurant in Tajikistan that might be difficult, I understand. But people will use this guide (I hope). They will find out. And you would have to live with the eternal shame that you lied about your Number 22 and are a culinary wimp. This also excludes second-hand accounts: “My dining companion ordered number 22 and it smelled horrible. I went with the sweet and sour.” That just doesn’t cut it.


No picture? No posting. And don’t mess with the meal.

It doesn’t matter if the lighting is a bit off, or the dish looks a tad grey or the peas can’t be seen. Shoot it as is.
(Flash, of course, is allowed) 

Have a beer.

Or, at least a beverage of some sort. That is the only way of guaranteeing a certain visual continuity on this site. 

Your Number 22 is worthless without “the info”.

So you just barely managed to eat the chicken feet and wash it down with the local version of what passes for beer. While fighting the gag reflex, you even took a picture of the fowl smelling offering? Don’t waste that effort by forgetting what’s important! This is a guide, mind you. Guides point the reader in the right direction. Therefore the following information must be included with your submission. (If not, all that work was for naught. Sorry.)

Price of the dish. In local currency, please. It adds to the mystery.

Address of Restaurant. If appliccable please include a phone number. Internet-addresess are appreciated. If no address is used in the place of origin of your Number 22, include easily identifiable landmarks, or the phone number of a savvy riksha driver in your post.

How was it?

Here at Number 22 and a beer, everyone is a critic. So let us know how it was. You can be as brief (“Great” or “sucked royally”) or lengthy (“the fried toad’s ears were paired with a creamy sauce with a faint scent of moshus, reminding me of my childhood in Burma in the late 1940’s where my father had been transferred to over-see the construction of that country’s first pay phone….”) as you wish.

If you want to rate your Number 22  please indicate your system. “I give the parrot’s egg omelette, 4 out of 10 possible stars” would be what I’m thinking here.

So where is the catch?

There is only one. Well two. Your picture becomes property of the site and could one day appear in print. But hey, look at the upside: Your name and work in a book. Right there on the bestseller table at your local book-mega-market, next to “Stuff White People Like, Vol 9”. Huh, sounds cool? I though so.

Ok, three catches. I choose what gets posted on Number 22 and a beer. And I will edit, if neccessary.


And so Number 22 and a beer is born.


Hope you like it.

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