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When André Sander sent in this Number 22 and a beer, his e-mail started off by simply stating: A real recommendation this time! As if the previous ones had been some sort of cruel hoax!

On my next visit to Berlin I will surely follow his advice. 

This could well be the most “exotic” Number 22 and a beer so far, seeing as how more peaople have probably sampled sushi, than a real Wiener Schnitzel, or  that great Austrian dish known as Tafelspitz, in essence boiled beef, but oh, what a beef it is! Austria may be small but its contributions to the gourmet world are endless.

Here we are served a Brettl-Jaus’n or board lunch. A decidedly rustic dish served in all alpine german-speaking regions, but elevated to its culinary peak in Austria. 

photo by andré sander for: Number 22 and a beer

photo by andré sander for: Number 22 and a beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

„Heuriger in Berlin“

Schivelbeiner Straße 27
10439 Berlin

heuriger-in-berlin.de

Dark Hefe-Weizen   3,40€
Brettljaus’n                8,50€

If you dare to follow the Schievelbeiner Strasse in Berlin’s district Prenzlauer Berg down to almost its end you will come to an Austrian restaurant owned by Gerhard Masopust, who is an enthusiastic Austrian. His assignment is to bring original Wiener Schnitzel to Berlin, and that’s what his restaurant is famous for. And of course that was the reason we went there. But once we had arrived I remembered that nice “#22 and a beer”

tradition and so I skipped all the alternatives on the menu and ordered the #22. The place itself is not too crowded and the atmosphere is typically Austrian with a wooden interior and some kind of Austrian “Volksmusik”, which is not too annoying, since it is only audible in the very background.

Although I felt very hungry, it knocked me off my feet when the Brettljaus’n was brought by the waiter. It was an overloaded wooden plate with lots of meat on it. Salami, boiled ham, lyoner, gammon and Edamer. Ten or more pieces of each. So I probably got half a kilo of toppings. It came with mustard and fresh kren (Austrian horse radish) and some really good sour dough bread. I especially appreciated the bread, since it is hard to find tasty bread nowadays. All of the meat was very good and fresh. Try out the gammon with kren. It’s really yummy! Of course I couldn’t eat all – I ate about a third and even that was too much – but the friendly stuff saved the rest for us.

The price was really fair!

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So there I was, trapped in Bremen Main Station, with only 22 minutes to spare before my train left and an amazing hunger which had me dizzy and confused after a full day of meetings. (Dear Spirit, let the economy recover, hallelujah!)

Now, I am an optimist but also a realist and figured there was only one way to go: choose the dead industrially-raised cattle with the funky flame taste from the BK-Lounge. Quick, and probably germ-free.

But lo and behold a vision for my weary eyes. Directly across from Burger King was a pearl in the rough: Mai-Mai. A quick glance at the illuminated menu and everything was clear. Numbers! And the 22 actually sounded (and looked) good!

The only question on my mind- can they get in done in time?

The answer was reassuring: Only take three minute!  Spicy or sweet and sour? Rice or noodle? When train leave? Hamburg? Oh, lot of time!

But I was skeptical.

4 Minutes later I have my meal. The rice is good, the vegetables are all fresh, cooked crunchy but not raw, and the duck, despite the appearance that brings to mind a certain rare type of avian acne, is still moist and pleasantly crunchy. (The fact that it probably was shipped here that way from China and just thawed, is conveniently pushed aside.) Only weak point: the sauce is not spicy, but a bit salty. A genorous helping of sriracha helps.

photo by number 22 and a beer

photo by number 22 and a beer

Mai-Mai

Bremen Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) East Wing 
across from Burger King

Opening hours from around 8 am till 10 pm

Number 22 Crispy Duck: € 7,00

Becks Beer: € 2,00

 

A lot better than I had expected. I was happily filled with 5 minutes to spare.

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Holger Boerner sent us another Number 22 and a beer from Berlin, thanks Holger. (Sorry it took so long to go up, but the bills have to get paid!)

And keeping with the general stress around here I will be brief. I have only one question: Do people actually enjoy “Berliner Weisse” beer? 

photo by holger boerner for 22 and a beer

photo by holger boerner for 22 and a beer

Vivo 
Wittenbergplatz 1
U-Bahn Wittenbergplatz
across from KaDeWe

Opening hours from around 10 am till 7 pm

Number 22 Pizza Greca: € 7,50

Weisse mit Schuss: € 2,60

Pizzeria Vivo is directly across from from Berlin’s largest Department store KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) and a fairly open-air location which makes a visit in nicer weather much more bearable than during rainfall (although there are a few pavillions to stand under.) The pizza is a decent average, although the mini pizza mista is better than the pictured Number 22.  All in all Vivo is a decent place for a snack while shopping.

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Baluchistan. A little like India. Only less delicious.

A quick glance in wikipedia will tell you where it is, but having some of the food from there, just might make you want to never go.

Admittedly, generalizing a region’s cuisine based on a sole visit to a restaurant thousands of miles away from the actual place is wrong. For all I know, the local specialties may well be delightful, a mixture of Indian and Persian influenced cooking, with nuanced spices, tender meats and refreshing exotic ingredients.

The version of Baluchi cooking to be found in this Hamburg restaurant used only one spice. And I am not really sure it even is a spice. Salt. And lots of it. The meat was fish, but remarkably dry as a bone. The only exotic ingredient to be found: a few pomegranate seeds strewn over the iceberg lettuce, (but trying to blend in by hiding under a heavy layer of dilled dressing.) Ok, here is my point: It stunk. This clearly might have been the worst of all possible Number 22s to be found. It was only the appetizer, so I ordered a main course to round off the evening as well and give the kitchen a second try. I will say this much: the chefs working here are at the least, erm, consistent.

photo: by number 22 and a beer

photo: by number 22 and a beer


Balutschistan
Grindelalle 91
20146 Hamburg
Tel +4940 41280246

Date eaten March 31, 2009
Price € 4,20

This number 22, “Lahori Machli,” was a fillet of fish, presumably pollock, fried in chick-pea flour and served with a side of two chutneys and a mixed salad. I think Lahori machli translates to “abhorrently mushy,” the deep-fried fish fillet was by no means crispy as the menu proclaimed but soft and fibrous. The concealed fish was dry and bland. The chutneys would have been great on toast, but were just very sweet and a total visit to the chutney shithouse. Terrible. And a mixed salad to go with it is just a lame way of filling up the plate. Guys, you really need to work on this one.

The beer was a refreshing König Ludwig Weissbier which is brewed in Castle Kaltenberg. The brewery is still owned by the descendants of bavarian King Ludwig III.

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Our 11th Number 22 and a beer is again from André Sander and Jill Koglatis of Berlin. Thanks! Not only is the restaurant something new for us, this contribution is proof that simply by adhering to the Number 22 and a beer strategy of ordering, you can still get a table at a full restaurant, even without knowing the maitre d’! But read on dear visitor:

This time André and Jill have found a truly exotic restaurant and take us on a culinary excursion to Ethiopia.

And what an optical event it is!

I have never been to Ethiopa, and only once ate an ethiopian meal, in that well-known capital of Ethiopian ex-pats, Minneapolis, Minnesota. And it was truly memorable.

It left me filled for days, which I ascribe to the traditional ethiopian bread, known as injera. Made from flour of an ethiopan grass called teff, which is mixed with water and left to ferment for several days. But I guess the baking of the bread doesn’t stop the fermantation process completely, and about two hours after the meal, the belly puffs up and a slight, let me call it, “discomfort” sets in. But the stuff on the teff bread was purely magical and extremely spicy.

photo: andré sander for number 22 and a beer

photo: andré sander for number 22 and a beer

Bejte-Ethiopia
Zietenstrasse 8
10783 Berlin
TEL: 004930 / 2625933

http://www.bejte-ethiopia.de/

Our advice: call for reservations!

Price of meal: 17 Euros, Beer 3 Euros, Maxi-Malz (Malt beer) 2,10 Euros

Number 22: Vegetarian selection for two

The place was quite packed, we nearly did not get a table. But knowing in advance what we would eat, really reduces the time spent staring into menus, so we could assure the owner that we would be out in an hour.

The food looked as if it had expected the photo shoot. Different delicious lentil stuff, some of it spicy, some of it with horseradish, something containing potatoes, dollops of kale, tomato salad. Served with ethiopian sourdough bread, and to be eaten without cutlery, so wash your hands! It all tasted very good, and it was very filling.

The photo does not do the interior design justice, it is really really, erm, colourful and the place smells of incense. If you cannot stand the smell of incense, wait for warmer temperatures and sit outside, where as an added bonus you can see people sneaking into the swinger club on the other side of the road.

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I just poured myself a glass of wine and am doing a little shimmy, because here at Number 22 and a beer it’s time to celebrate our 10th Number 22 and a beer!

But there is no time to rest on our laurels. The past 36 days have brought a lot of visitors to the site. Many more than I would have guessed, given the slim premise of the site and amateurish administration of your’s truly. (It’s actually around 7,000 visitors! Wow, that surprised me a bit.)

But it could be so much more! Together we can get this movement to go global, starting a world-wide revolution, a quest for the elusive magical Number 22 which may bring world peace and prosperity to all. YES WE CAN! Oh sorry it’s just all so exciting!

Regrettably our 10th Number 22 isn’t. Exciting, I mean.

That is by no means criticism of the contributor Heimo Tscherne who has two blogs worth visiting (if you speak german, all the better) schwarzthoughts.wordpress.com/ and bretterderwelt, which is brand-spanking new and, dare I say, no less bizarre than my little project here. But heck, champiñones con patates isn’t what I would consider rocking gastronomy. But here at Number 22 and a beer we play the ball where it lies. So without further adue, a less than spectacular plate of stuff the cat brought in. (Heimo, I commend you.) Oh and be sure to follow the link to Olé Madrid’s website. Web 0.3 in the house!

One more thing: Spread the word folks, please! Have you got good business contacts abroad? Then let them know about this site. Travelling to distant lands? Drop me a line, like everybody, I love a souvenir with a bit of heart put into it. And keep reading and commenting!

photo: heimo tscherne for Number 22 and a beer

photo: heimo tscherne for Number 22 and a beer

OLÉ MADRID
Häberlstraße 15
80337 München
http://www.ole-madrid.com/

Price : 2,50 Euro, 3,00 Euro the beer.

This number 22 comes from the Spanish restaurant Olé Madrid in Munich.

The restaurant is next to Goetheplatz, I had never been there before this visit. The room is big and tries to create a certain southern flair. The service is fast and the list of tapas is long. Number 22 here is regrettably only champiñones con patatas a tapas of mushrooms and potatoes. Keeping with the idea of taking a number 22 without thinking about the consequences, I nevertheless ordered it. The cook apparently was NOT having his best day. I have never heard about this restaurant again.

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Kudos to our first mutliple contributor, Holger Börner! ¡Ay, Caramba!

Not only is Holger apparently a true believer in the “Number 22 and a beer” idea he really, really must like to eat.

I am a lover of true mexican food, and yes I do also mean pickled pigs ears and nopales, a delightfully spicy-sour condiment made of marinated cactus. Fortunate enough to have lived in the USA for many years, I have been able to sample many fine mexican meals, including a wonderful home cooked Pollo en Mole from the salad lady at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Chicago. (Over fifteen years ago, but not forgotten!) Regrettably (at least as far as mexican food is concerned) I moved to Germany. And there is only one place where mexican food tasted worse than in Germany: a chain I would consider hell in form of a restaurant, Chi-Chi’s. Which incidentally had to close all of its restaurants in 1994, after an outbreak of hepatitis in a restaurant in Pennsylvania (Oy, the irony!) With all respect to Holger, I do urge any and all readers to take caution when choosing mexican food in Germany. Although hepatitis is probably unlikely, bad food is probable.
It’s sad. But true.

Here then is Holger’s report. (In the background when can discern Holger’s companion’s meal (number 23): a steak with a side order of bleeding fingers, it seems.)

photo: Holger Börner for Number 22 and a beer

photo: Holger Börner for Number 22 and a beer

Paydos
Wittenbergplatz 3
10787 Berlin/Germany
U-Bahn Wittenbergplatz
http://www.paydos-berlin.de

Opening hours:
su-th 9:00-24:00
fr-sa 9:00-2:00

Date eaten: March 18 2009

Price: € 11,50, Beer € 3,50

¡hola ricura! el número 22 y una cerveza, por favor

Pollo a la piña
Strips of chicken breast together with pineapple, vegetables, rice and salad

A large portion with lots of salad, it was a filling meal- for me at least. This dish is listed under “specialties” and tastes very good.

Paydos belongs to a series of three restaurants next to each other on the north side of the Wittenbergplatz, with a view of KaDeWe, (Berlin’s big department store). The interior is very nice, and one might be tempted to think of oneself in Mexico.
The service was friendly and pretty, at least at lunch when I visited. Because of the central location in Berlin’s West Center I presume reservations are recommended in the evening, when the place could be rather full.

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