80 – Germany – Part 4 – Gugelhof – Alsace

The region of Alsace (“Elsass” auf Deutsch) borders France and Germany and much of the border here between the two countries has been regularly redrawn especially over the last few centuries following the Franco-Prussian and First and Second World Wars. The majority of the area of Alsace is now on the French side of the border, however it is culturally still very strongly German whilst also being uniquely French. This all makes for an interesting and rich culture, history and cuisine.

Gugelhof in Prenzlauerberg is a perfect representation of this French-German melange offering German cuisine from the Elsass region with a French flair. We visited on a Saturday evening in May and we pleased to have reserved a table as it was almost full at 7pm. Unfortunately we soon realised that its popularity at this early hour was due to its family friendly nature. This is not a negative for all but was less than ideal for a childless couple wanting an intimate meal without shrieking toddlers in stereo. We asked to move tables and were given a slightly better spot but could still hear one particularly loud young chap from the other side of the restaurant.

The menu is heavy on flammkuchen which are an alsacienne speciality but also features other Franco/German staples such as schnitzel and coq au vin. For starters we chose a duck liver creme brulee and a bacon wrapped goats cheese parcel, and for mains (which we were supposed to fully share) we had a classic alsacienne flammkuche with creme fraiche, bacon and onions plus a pork knuckle with black beer sauce.

Everything was super tasty but there was a ridiculously long wait between the starter and the main and Richard ended up hogging the pork knuckle. We also tried some of the fresh white wines from the open list and enjoyed a Grauburgunder and a Riesling.

As the evening went on the families left and they were replaced by locals who seemed to be a but older than the average Berlin demographic and the atmosphere became more intimate with candles flickering on wooden tables. It was on the whole a nice experience and I would recommend to those living on that side of town but not to go out of your way to visit.

Price for two course meal with drinks for two persons: 60-80 euros

Rating: 7/10

Address: Knaackstraße 37, 10435 Berlin, Deutschland

Website: http://gugelhof.de/

 

80 – Germany – Part 3 – Black Forest – Schwarzwaldstuben

Schwartzwaldstuben is an authentic restaurant representing the Black Forest region of Germany with its Schwabische-Badischer cuisine. The restaurant is situated near Rosenthaler Platz in Mitte and is extremely popular and busy as it offers slow food in a homely and cosy environment.

The beer on tap is the extremely tasty Rothaus Tannenzäpfle Pilsner from the Schwarzwald which is famous for its happy, smiling lady on the logo. They also offer a great selection of wines by the glass as this area borders on the Rheinland which is famous for its white wines.

For food we chose to share the regional platter which featured Black Forest ham, Tête-de-Moine caramelized goat’s cheese, chutney, herb butter, lentil salad with suckling pig and smoked trout.  For a main Richard ordered “Badisches Schäufele mit Sauerkraut und Bratkartoffeln” which was a huge-old, smoked pig knuckle with roast potatoes and I had the venison maultaschen (filled dumplings) from the specials board with salad. We washed everything down with several Rothaus vom Fass.

The food was fresh and tasty and we enjoyed it, however it was pretty standard German fare and offered no suprises. I was jealous of Richard’s food as my maultaschen were quite small and not very filling. Other people were eating Flammkuchen which looked good and maybe we would try these if we went back again. I would recommend this to people as a good standard of German regional food with nice surroundings however we won’t be making a special detour to return.

Price for two course meal with drinks for two persons: 50-70 euros

Rating: 7/10

Address: Tucholskystraße 48, 10117 Berlin

Website: www.schwarzwaldstuben-berlin.com/