Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Vegan Berlin - Teil 1

This fox has a favorite city.

Yes, she loves that culture-bejeweled lady, the proud, the Roman, the Dacian Napoca, Madame Université.

She loves too that mad goddess of the desert, that harlot in a diamond-studded dress who loves the world as they love her, Mizz Vegas.

But that beautiful, that sad; that ugly, that joyous – that phoenix, that chameleon.


There’s only one Berlin, and that is my Berlin.

With your ghosts, your futures, your pasts; with your deaths and your rebirths.

Every time I come, you’ve changed, and still you've remained Fritz’s Berlin, Luise’s Berlin – My Berlin.

Herbivore Fox travels far and wide, but she can't help going back to the city on the Spree.

And lest anyone say that Berlin does not love me back – there are more vegan eats than I know what to do with, even if I have four days to do nothing but walk and eat, which is exactly what I did during this [extended] weekend. There are other places I haven't even tried, so more to come when I visit again [very soon].

All you see below is 100% plant, believe it.

Hazelnut ice cream from Tanne B; they always have a couple of vegan flavors on hand and this hazelnut delight did not disappoint.

Eisenbahnstraße 48
10997 Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
+49 30 69567811

While we're on the topic of ice cream, there's an even better place in the student quarter of Friedrichshain (where I suggest going for many other treats as well, or just to look around at the great wall art.)

This is what Friedrichshain thinks of cow milk ice cream, so let's turn our attention to less deadly licks.

Caramello Eis is all organic with at least half of their assortment clearly marked as vegan; most of them are amazing fruit creations sporting inventive names. I chose wildberry, peach, and banana (a.k.a. Mowgli); the taste is top-quality and without a doubt the best sorbet-esque stuff I've ever gotten my tongue on. The peach was delightfully tangy with little bits of fruit just waiting to be discovered, the banana sweet and satsifying, and the wildberries bursting with fresh woodland flavor. Perfect treat for a warm summer afternoon in the park. (Sorry about the photo, I couldn't wait to sit down and had at it.) And that plastic? It's not; it's compostable organic material.

Wühlischstrasse 31
10245 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 50343105

While in the neighborhood, Friedrichshain also features Cupcake, a little spot featuring pretty desserts, mostly cupcakes with the occasional apple pie. They generally have one rotating vegan flavor, though the second time I was there they featured vegan apple pie. I tried a cupcake, the vegan featured flavor being "Pretty in Pink" -- vanilla. My bushy tail is firmly planted on the vanilla side of the chocolate-or-vanilla debate, so this was acceptable, though I had seriously hoped for some peanutbutter action (what canine doesn't like PB?). Well, next time. Verdict?: I'm not much of a cupcake eater, in that American-dessert fashion, they tend to be much, much too sweet. I never got the point of hard diabetes-inducing frosting, but the frosting was exactly what any cupcake frosting should be and once I licked that off, the cake part itself was deliciously vanilla-ish, soft and just the right amount of European sweet.

Krossener Strasse 12
10245 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 25768687

Now, while still in the neighborhood, you can grab lunch at YoYo Foodworld, a great little all-vegan fast-food joint with so many options you'll have a hard time narrowing it down to, like, ten. I met up with the Vegan-Berlin group there, then went again myself. This stuff would fool an omnivore; their burgers are exactly what you'd hope for but won't leave you feeling too-much-fat-ingested ill, if you're feeling adventurous you can have burgers with pineapple, or have other fast-food-type sandwiches, breaded, unbreaded, steak-ish, chicken-ish, fish-ish, schnitzel, gyro, sausage, this, that, those, ice cream sundaes, salads, wraps, you name it!

Oh, and there's pizza. I grew up on European pizza (flatter crust, delicately smooth sauce-on-crust action) and YoYo's spinach pizza is potentially the best pizza I've ever had. I had already eaten more than enough that day so my verdict wasn't swayed by hunger. That was some good-eatin' pizza.

That's the Hawaii burger you see there, with pineapple, "ham", and "cheese" along with the patty. Click on the picture for maximum detail. That's right, you can have your juicy pleasures without the deadly speciesism.

Gärtnerstr. 27
10245 Berlin, Germany
(Open from 12-12, so go! GO!)

Caramello, Cupcake, and YoYo are literally a 20 seconds' relaxed walk away from each other, so your best bet is to go for lunch and dessert(s). If you go during the weekend you might even catch the market around the park for clothes, CDs and disks, gas-masks and other assorted crap you'll love going through. Also if you hate all the above but like cute cobble-stone streets, go here.

The next Berlin post will include, among other goodies, maddeningly yummy curried chickpea polenta, a seitan steak so succulently juicy you'll curse the distance, an all-vegan grocery store you'd blow your paychecks at, and of course, more desserts!

Until then, remember: Don't be like this guy, think about what you put into your body!