Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab Mehringdamm

Hello, Döner Fans. Well, what a week it’s been! I am freshly returned from seven days of overindulgence in Berlin, and am feeling all the better for it. As you know, I have been to Berlin many times before. However, this time I decided to do something for the first time. One is never too old and jaded to try new things, Döner Fans! In all these years it has not escaped my attention that there is one döner shop in Berlin which is more famous than most. A fabled place, a mythical place… Its name is whispered from the breathy lips of one döner-lover to another. It has reached international acclaim, and tourists flock to its siren call, ready to be inducted into the circles of those kebab ‘connoisseurs’ who have deemed it the best döner in Berlin. As I am not one to blindly follow a trend, however, it is a place I have hitherto always avoided. And yet, with the inevitability of the daily rotation of Earth and Moon, it came to be that on Tuesday 30 August 2016, I queued up to order a kebab from none other than Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab at Mehringdamm!

Mehringdamm: a kebab pilgrimage site at the junction of the U6 and U7.

I had of course heard the fearsome rumours about the queues of eager kebab-hopefuls that snaked away from Mustafa’s hallowed hut of meaty treats. And so I thought I’d delay my visit until about 3:45pm, to avoid the lunchtime rush. But when I alighted at Mehringdamm U-Bahn station, shock horror! The queue that I saw, upon scaling the steps up to street level, was every bit as formidable as I had been led to believe. Eyes bloodshot, feet shuffling, teeth clenched, fists convulsing, the line of hungry hipsters stretched out before me. Wordlessly I took my place at the back of the procession. Over the heads of the people in front of me, I could see the focal point of our attentions: there, rising above the dusty pavement, was the off-white wall of Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab, in which three men slaved tirelessly. They slathered sauce, they sliced up meat, they scooped up salad. It was like watching ballet dancers performing a well-rehearsed routine. I wondered, suddenly, if one of them was Mustafa himself. But no, impossible. Surely that great man had no need any more to dirty his hands with meat and sauces? Surely he sat in some vast office overlooking Berlin, clad in a sharp suit and smoking a fat cigar, and laughing over the rooftops of his empire? Or, perhaps, the necessities of his fame and fortune had forced him to devote his life to marketing and commerce, and had dragged him reluctantly away from his true passion: the art of making kebabs. Alas, indeed, I know not.

A lot of c*nnoisseurs out today.

The anticipation was mounting as we approached the hut. It was a hot day; the sun was up. Traffic thundered by on the main road, and the dust rose. A group of three youths stood before me. Clearly one of them was an aficionado. He drooled and gibbered to his companions that this was going to be ‘der beste Döner der Welt’ – the best döner in the world. High praise indeed! But this was nothing that I had not heard before. Yes, upon revealing my profession to people in the past, I had often been asked in awed tones whether I had tried Mustafa’s on Mehringdamm. And I had always felt something of a fraud by telling them that no, I had not. ‘Oh you simply must!’ they would trill. ‘It’s the best döner in Berlin!’ Well, I was about to find out.

Drawing ever, ever nearer. Mustafa's log of glistening meat beckons out of the gloom.

The immediate downside of so much fame is that you have to wait a long time to get your gratification. I stood in that queue in front of Mustafa’s hut for more than half an hour before I got to order, with the result that I was almost doubled over bursting for a p155. But by the time I was finally summoned to approach the hallowed opening, I was pleased to see that everything looked very promising inside. There was no red cabbage on display (red cabbage in a kebab is an abomination) and the salad looked fresh and classy. There were three sauces: spicy, garlic and herb. I ordered a dürüm. It did not take long to make. The efforts of their constant dance from sauce to salad to meat had evidently taken its toll on the kebab purveyors, however. They seemed weary and glazed-over as they took my order. They had been here too long, they had seen it all before. My dürüm was handed over, but without the love that one sometimes appreciates from one’s döner seller. I bought a bottle of Berliner from the nearby Späti, and leaned on one of Mustafa’s metal Stehtische to eat my meal. ‘Well, Mustafa,’ I thought to myself as I peeled back the tinfoil foliage of my dürüm, ‘you and I have had this date with one another from the beginning!’

Mustafa's and a Berliner. Das ist so Berlin.

As I’ve said before, people every bit as qualified as me have claimed that Mustafa’s is the best döner in Berlin. Döner Fans, I hope you will forgive me, for I am about to commit an act of kebab heresy in saying that I do not think that it is. No. It was a fine meal, I’ll give you that, and I would definitely place it in the top 5 of the kebab shops I’ve tried in Berlin. And yet, and yet. Was it better than Mısır Çarşısı on Kottbusser Tor? Was it better than the Gemüse Kebab at Bilakis on Schönhauser Allee? I would say, probably not. Mustafa’s dürüm was plump and juicy, and the sauces blended well with the finely-flavoured meat and the soft and succulent vegetables from which it gets its name, and the crumbled feta and squeeze of lemon juice added a special squirt of je ne sais quoi and joie de vivre. But having waited about 35 minutes for it, and paying 4,30 EUR (which is a lot in Berlin), I was not as blown away as I had expected to be. Furthermore, I did feel something of a poser as I washed it down with my Berliner Pilsner in full view of the lengthening queue. I was left slightly with the impression that the whole thing was a harmless but veritable case of the emperor’s new clothes.

And so, Döner Fans, I will leave you with the following advice: by all means go to Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab on Mehringdamm. Queue up and enjoy the thrill of the anticipation. Do it so you can say that you’ve been there, to prove that you’ve had the ‘authentic’ Berliner experience. Eat it, and enjoy, but do not expect to feel the earth move beneath you. And, perhaps most importantly, remember to take a tactical whizz first.

Results

Service: 3/5 (fast and efficient but not friendly)

Atmosphere: 3/5 (throbbing anticipation and an equally throbbing bladder)

Price: 2/5 (pricey for Berlin)

Taste: 4/5 (very tasty)

Photographs taken by Dr. Döner

Berlin Kebab Update – Kottbusser Tor

Greetings, Döner Fans. This is not really a proper post, just a quick update. As some of you may know, Dr Döner is on another one of his regular junkets to Berlin, just to keep an eye on things and check that kebab standards haven’t slipped. It was with a throb of glee that I alighted today at Kottbusser Tor – that well-known Mecca of meaty goodness. I made for Efi’s Deli. But alas! Alack! For Efi’s Deli is no more. It has been replaced by something called a “BurgerMeister”. And yet, importuned but unperturbed, I walked a mere five paces further and came to a welcome old favourite: Mısır Çarşısı.

And there I ordered a dürüm and an ayran. And both of them were delicious. Thus, whereas before you would have had the choice between that and Efi’s Deli, now I able to recommend only Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Market in English). To sum up, my brief survey of Kottbusser Tor’s kebab situation is as follows: Mısır is good, Efi’s is gone, Kottiwood is still naff. That’s all for now, Döner Fans!

Kebab Huis Baran – Hoofddorpplein

This post is originally from October 2015, and is being posted for the first time today.

Hello again Döner Fans. Are things finally starting to look up? I don’t want to speak too soon, but it seems like they just might be. On a dark, autumnal evening this week I went to pick up the keys to my new abode – a glamorous apartment in the Zuid area – meaning that my sentence in purgatory at Amsterdam’s most affordable hotel might soon be over. Dr Döner is homeless no more! And yet, as if that were not good news enough, the trek back from the new apartment to the hotel was fortuitously punctuated by a delicious culinary detour. Alighting from the number 15 bus at Hoofddorpplein, I espied the glowing sign of Kebab Huis Baran. There were several people waiting inside – surely a good sign? I barged in and, on seeing that the place seemed to specialise in lahmacun, I ordered a lahmacun with Döner meat and salad.

Kebab Huis Baran: Exterior Shot

While waiting, I noticed that the menu boasted a number of rather questionable options. What, I ask you, is the justification for a dürüm with tuna and cheese? It certainly is not a dish I have ever seen served in the kebab houses of Istanbul. I started to wonder if I had made a wise choice in visiting this place. Happily though, the döner meat was in fact on display and looked fairly fresh as it stood erect in front of its heating plate. A quick glance showed that they served only chicken in this establishment. Only one young, burly man was working behind the counter, and he was jolly and efficient as he chatted to the customers, serving up huge portions of kapsalon to the people waiting in front of me. He had a hairy beard and a pony tail and gave off an air of good-naturedness. He cheerfully exchanged pleasantries with one customer in Turkish.

Dürüm with tuna and cheese? Surely a typo!

When it came to my turn to be served, we bantered in Dutch as he asked me which toppings I wanted. At least, I think we bantered. My Dutch is still rusty, so I did not really know what he was saying. But it was all cheery enough. He handed over the lahmacun, and then – I don’t quite know why, perhaps it was the good mood I was in – I also bought an Ayran just for the sheer thrill of it. I almost never drink Ayran. But today I fancied it. Altogether, the lahmacun and the drink cost 5,50 Euros. He offered me a separate carrier bag for the Ayran. I declined. Then I hurried off to my hotel to devour it all.

Life need not be depressing at the West Side Inn. No! You can bring in food from outside.

I don’t know quite what he did to it – I didn’t see all the toppings, as I was surreptitiously trying to photograph the menu at the time – but I have to say, and I do not say this lightly, that the kebab was absolutely scrumptious. It tingled on the tongue. The lahmacun was a delightful mix of soft and oven-fired crunchy, and the meat, sauces and salad were all moist, juicy and full of flavour. I was quite surprised at just how good it all was. Even the Ayran was delicious and helped to wash it all down in an authentic fashion. The upshot of this is that I would thoroughly recommend Kebab Huis Baran to anyone lurking in the vicinity of Hoofddorpplein. It is well worth a visit. So, as I lick the sauces off my fingers, I shall sign off and wish you a good week! Until we meet again, Döner Fans, take care!

Results

Service: 5/5 (nice and jolly)

Atmosphere: 4/5 (welcoming)

Price: 3/5 (fine)

Taste: 5/5 (delicious!)

Photography provided by Dr. Döner

Efem Delflandplein

The following is a post from October 2015 which, alas, I have only now got around to posting.

Greetings Döner Fans. If you’ve ever been to Delflandplein, after exhausting the delights of Albert Heijn and Lidl, you will no doubt have felt a little peckish and started looking around for something saucy to eat. And to your unmitigated delight, there on a corner of the square, you would no doubt spot the red neon sign of Efem Pizza en Döner, an establishment that does what it says. This, at least, has been my experience. Thus it was that on an unusually bright Sunday in October (i.e. today) I found myself drawn into the welcoming clutches of Delflandplein’s biggest culinary attraction.

What was Dr Döner doing on Delflandplein, I hear you ask? Well, things are in a continuous state of flux, and for one reason or another I am currently lodging at one of Amsterdam’s more affordable hotels, which finds itself a mere stone’s throw away from the famous square. Having nothing to do this Sunday other than drift between cafes and sniff out kebabs, I recalled having seen the lights of Efem glowing eerily the previous evening when I had been gathering my purchases at the nearby Albert Heijn. True, but not interesting. So today I went for lunch, forgetting that the clocks had gone back an hour during the night, with the result that it was only about 11am when I entered Efem and ordered a Broodje Döner and a Coke. Never mind. Anyway, the man behind the counter gave me a rather shifty grin as I placed my order, and asked me for 5 Euros for the whole meal. He then piled on the kebab meat, slathered on the sauces, and garnished it all with some diced tomato and cucumber, and a sprinkling of red onion. Red onion is always a good sign, Döner Fans. However, he did all this with a rather unpleasant sideways sneer towards me, which made me feel that I was in some way being royally shafted. I took my döner and coke over to a table and ate it, while the latest Turkish pop hits trilled in the background.

Note the red onion, Döner Fans. Red onion is a mark of class.

The döner was actually surprisingly good. For all that it was sandwiched within a rather plain bun, the meat was flavourful and the salad was fresh. The red onions certainly made a difference. The interior seemed fairly clean, despite a few rough-looking customers who eyed me over the top of their kebabs, and on glancing over at the counter I saw that the place also served more traditional Turkish fare such as Adana kebabs, lahmacun, and mercimek soup. All in all it was quite a pleasant meal. It was only when I left the shop and stepped back out onto Delflandplein that I noticed the sign outside the entrance which declared that, as a special Combi-Deal, a broodje döner and a coke cost only a mere 4,75. It was with mounting horror that I realised I had been screwed out of 25 cents. The infamy! No wonder the man had grinned at me, knowing that today he would be 25 cents the richer. No matter how good the kebab, this grim realisation left a bad taste in my mouth. No doubt I could have bartered him down. But it was too late now. Disgruntled, I stalked off into the depths of the Hoofddorppleinbuurt in the hope that a few strong coffees would allay my distress. Until next time, Döner Fans! Stay safe!

Photographic evidence which I will be using to press my case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Results

Service: 3/5 (performed with a sneer)

Atmosphere: 3/5 (clean and relaxed)

Price: 2/5 (twenty-five cents too many)

Taste: 4/5 (quite nice)

Photography provided by Dr. Döner

Döner Oostelijke Handelskade

Greetings Döner Fans. I hope this post finds you well on this wet Dutch weekend. Perhaps you have been enjoying the Amsterdam Dance Event / ADE. Perhaps you have not. Dr Döner, for instance, has had bigger fish to fry, namely the serious business of eating kebabs and finding a permanent place of residence. As it happens, I was out and about running my various errands near the Oostelijke Handelskade today in pursuit of both these goals, when a sign made out of neon yellow paper caught my wandering eyes. On it were written two of my favourite words in the English language: Döner Kebab. And it was stuck onto the side of a likely looking mobile wagon. What further encouragement did I need than this! I approached the hatch to place my order.

The irresistible siren call of the kebab

There was a man inside the wagon. A large man. A gentle giant, if you will. It had clearly been a slow day for he had his head ducked down and was reading the paper. And he seemed very pleased to see me. I ordered a dürüm from him and he cheerily set about putting it together. One pleasant surprise was the way he prepared the bread. A flat pide was placed in an oven, and a minute later it had inflated like a chapatti. He then piled on the meat, salad and sauces and wrapped it all up. It was only a hunch, but I had a feeling that it was going to be a rather good dürüm. I paid 3,75 EUR for it (a decent price in these parts) and took it back to my cave to eat it.

The wagon, viewed from the tram stop

Back in my temporary Döner HQ, I peeled back the tinfoil to reveal what looked likely to be a fine meal. And in many ways it was. The bread, which had been so interestingly prepared, lent the whole ensemble an extra layer of flavour. The meat was ok, though the salad felt as if it had been soaking in its own juices for perhaps a little too long. Still, it didn’t detract too badly from the overall taste. All in all it was a good meal. Perhaps the friendliness of the man who made it, combined with the modest price, caused me to look upon it more favourably than it deserved. But I have to say, for Amsterdam, it was very very all right. Worth a try if you’re ever passing by the Oostelijke Handelskade. That’s all for now Döner Fans! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

The kebab is opened and begins to spill its secrets

Results

Service: 4/5 (nice and jolly)

Atmosphere: 3/5 (a halo of warmth on a wet day)

Price: 3/5 (good for Amsterdam)

Taste: 3/5 (nice bread)

Photography provided by Dr. Döner

Snackbar Nieuwe Vijzelstraat

Hello again Döner Fans. I hope this post finds you well. Last week, I was given the opportunity to enjoy two days of team-building activities at work. We built towers out of paper cups and straws, and acted out short skits depicting the company’s main values. I just about got through it without stabbing myself in the eye with one of the company pens. When Friday evening arrived, I took the first opportunity to rid myself of my new ‘team’, and went out to find a kebab. As luck would have it, I was in luck. Cruising down the Nieuwe Vijzelstraat towards Weteringcircuit, and still buoyed by my sudden freedom, I espied what looked like the perfect candidate lurking next to Café Mulder. Yes, hunched behind a skip was an establishment that felt no need to call itself anything grander than Snackbar. No family name, no allusion to any form of backstory or history – presumably the reputation of this establishment was such that one could simply say ‘Snackbar’ and others would know precisely where you meant. So, in anticipation of great things, I crossed the threshold and ordered a dürüm.

Snackbar! What do you mean "which" Snackbar?

The dürüm in fact turned out to be a lahmacun instead. An oversight I’m sure – the staff were speaking Arabic to each other and not Turkish. I sat on a plastic chair and waited for my food to be made. I was kept amused by an altercation that erupted between one of the staff and a group of irate and immaculately dressed Italian tourists who had been given the wrong sauce. My Italian is not what it used to be, but I believe there was some swearing. It all seemed good-natured though. Anyway, I was brought my lahmacun, stuffed with chicken meat, lettuce, herb sauce and samba (chilli sauce), and I unpeeled it from its tinfoil sheath and ate it. To be honest, it was not particularly good. The chicken was weird and flabby. The samba was spicy enough to distract me from the rest of the meal, but each mouthful which didn’t have enough samba on it tasted rather bland. So I ate it, paid my 4 Euros, and left. 4 Euros is probably OK for a stuffed lahmacun, I suppose, especially when the Snackbar was also selling a Broodje Döner for the same price. Confident that I had not been screwed financially this time (unlike in the neighbouring Lunchroom Etenstijd where I ate the previous Friday) I went back out into the bustling streets of Amsterdam ready for anything the weekend might throw at me. So do try the Snackbar if you dare, but do not expect great things. Until next time, Döner Fans! Have a good weekend!

A sneak peek inside the lahmacun, with a stray copy of De Telegraaf in the background.

Results

Service: 3/5 (fine, as long as you’re not Italian)

Atmosphere: 2/5 (plasticky)

Price: 3/5 (fine for Amsterdam)

Taste: 2/5 (not the best)

Photography provided by Dr. Döner

Lunchroom Etenstijd Nieuwe Vijzelstraat

Hello Döner Fans. Apologies for the despondent tone of my previous post. With any luck, things will be looking up soon. For instance, I find that eating a döner always helps. Unless, that is, the döner is bad. Today as I left my office after a hard day of kebab journalism, I strolled down the bustling thoroughfare that is Vijzelstraat, which runs from Muntplein down to Weteringcircuit. For those of you who aren’t au fait with Amsterdam’s geography, and who can recollect it only through a haze of brown smoke and red lights, the Weteringcircuit lies at a spitting distance from the Heineken Experience – which, I am told, is only an ‘experience’ in the same way that a colonoscopy is an experience. It was right at this bottom end of the Nieuwe Vijzelstraat that I espied something calling itself Lunchroom Etenstijd. This would seem to translate as Lunch Room Food Time (we all know Lunchroom should be two words). Which goes to show you that you can achieve a suitable name for a kebab shop without much thought, simply by shoving a bunch of semi-related nouns together.

Lunchroom Etenstijd proclaims its lack of imagination to the world.

Those of you who have been following the blog over the past months and years will know that I have not been overly impressed by Amsterdam’s assortment of kebab outlets. Therefore it was with no great expectation that I strode into the orange interior of the Lunchroom and ordered a Broodje Döner. ‘Alles erop?’ replied the man. ‘Ja,’ I said. And then I went to sit outside and wait for it to be brought to me. (These details are all true.) Anyway, I sat outside and he brought me the kebab on a plate with a fork, as well as two tubes of sauce, one creamy and one spicy, presumably because he’d forgotten to ask me what sauces I wanted. I suppose it showed a degree of trust on his part that I wouldn’t run off with his tubes (and I admit I was tempted). The plate was too small for the kebab on it, with the result that some of the meat fell off onto the table and went uneaten. I should make clear that this was the fault of the plate, and not due to my piggish eating habits.

The kebab writhes on its plate, while two tubes of sauce loom behind it.

The kebab was passable, I suppose, and by no means bad by Amsterdam standards. I chomped it down while watching the trams and then went inside to pay. The price for a Broodje Döner was 3,95 as clearly shown on the wall behind the counter; however, the serving man asked for 4 Euros. Being polite, I didn’t quibble. But I did hope that the 5 cents he screwed me out of would one day weigh heavily on his conscience. For 4 Euros, it was not the best kebab in the world. But then, I had not anticipated great things. Anyway, having satisfied my post-work hunger, I left the Lunchroom Etenstijd in no great hurry to return. The only thing that might draw me back to the Lunchroom is its propinquity to my work, meaning that it may manage to lure me in again in the future. We shall see. That’s all for now, Döner Fans! Enjoy your weekend!

Man overboard! Some excess meat went over the side.

Results

Service: 3/5 (fine)

Atmosphere: 2/5 (plasticky)

Price: 1/5 (I was robbed of 5 cents)

Taste: 2/5 (not the best)

Photography provided by Dr. Döner

Caland Döner and Snacks, Pieter Calandlaan

Hello Döner Fans. Please excuse the bitter tone of this post. Dr Döner is navigating one of those troughs in life which lend the human experience such spice. To put it another way, Dr Döner currently has no fixed address! Nothing gives you a better feel for a city’s myriad districts than tramping about it going to dismal flat viewings. And so, on his exciting quest to find an abode, Dr Döner has been tearing Amsterdam a new one while maxing out his public transport OV-Chipcard. That, I hope, explains why, yesterday evening, I was to be found lurking about near Amsterdam Lelylaan train station, trying to find an obscure address. I will not go into details, but the flat viewing did not work out. So it was that after disengaging myself I went out in search of a hearty dose of fat, calories and protein to get me back up on my perch. To my delight I happened upon: Caland Döner and Snacks!

A surreptitious shot of Caland Döner and Snacks which Dr Döner pap'ed from behind the safety of a tree.

This particular kebab emporium is called Caland Döner and Snacks presumably because it faces onto Pieter Calandlaan – but also, as the sharp-eyed among you might see from the photograph, onto Jan Smitstraat. Seemingly Pieter Caland trumps Jan Smit in this neck of the woods. Anyway…I went inside and ordered a Broodje Döner with all the salads and sauces (they only had creamy and spicy anyway). I was pleased to see that the döner meat was actually on display in this shop, as it rotated seductively against its rotisserie grill – something of a rarity in many Amsterdam establishments. However, the meat I received did not come from the rotating log, but rather from a container somewhere out of view. Nonetheless, I still ate it.

Saucy meat, fresh from 'the container'.

Exhausted as I was, the kebab was actually quite palatable. It was spicy and creamy in the right places, and the bread felt surprisingly fresh. I had paid a princely 4 Euros for it; however, a 4-euro-kebab it was not. Especially when places like Bakkerij Kara Fırın will make you a delicious dürüm for only 3,50 euros. Anyway, thus fortified, I went back out into the mean streets of Lelylaan and made a brisk exit via the metro (which was delayed). And so, Döner Fans, that is how Dr Döner disappeared once more into the moist clutches of the Dutch night, doomed to prowl the streets alone once more in search of accommodation. A shadow in the gloaming; a diamond in the rough. Until next time, take care of yourselves Döner Fans!

A close-up shot taken after working out how to use the zoom.

Results

Service: 3/5 (fine)

Atmosphere: 2/5 (nope)

Price: 2/5 (too expensive)

Taste: 3/5 (fine)

Photography provided by Dr. Döner.

Meraklı Köfteci Hermannstraße 174

Greetings, Döner Fans! Dr Döner has been eating kebabs with reckless abandon this week; so far thankfully without ill effects. Today the surfeit of meat continued. One particular kebab establishment near Leinestraße had been catching my attention over the past few days. A big, red sign had been announcing the presence of the ‘Meşhur’ Meraklı Köfteci shop – meşhur meaning ‘famous’ and meraklı meaning ‘curious’. Though you’ll find that most kebab restaurants seem to think themselves famous. Anyway, my cravings drove me into the Köfteci’s meaty embrace and I ordered an Adana Kebap Ekmek Arası, or an Adana Kebab (minced lamb) in bread.

The famous Meraklı Köfteci shop. What do you mean you haven't heard of it??

The interior was sort of standard and plasticky, though the display beneath the counter looked very fresh with its assortment of meats and salads. Rather than your standard döner shop, this was a specialty kebab, köfte and soup establishment along the lines of Baba Sultan in Wedding (which incidentally also considers itself famous – rightly so!) Waiting at a table before the counter, I was kept entertained by a Turkish music channel on the main TV in the corner. Meanwhile, the Adana Kebab was cooked before my eyes and a fresh dollop of yoghurt was slopped into the bread, followed by some spicy sauce. Lettuce and red onion were sprinkled on, followed by a row of tomatoes carefully arranged on top, and garnished with a pinch of red sumac. It looked and smelled very promising.

The piles of mince and veg beneath the counter bathe in an appetising pink glow.

Handing over my 4,50 I took the kebab back to the flat and ate it. It was very good. The yoghurt and the spicy sauce mingled deliciously, each trying to overcome the other. The salad was fresh and the meat was finely spiced. All in all, its quality approached the heady heights of Baba Sultan standards, and its popularity was attested by the large number of customers dining at the tables outside on this warm August day. If you are ever on Hermannstraße, then Meraklı Köfteci comes highly recommended. Afiyet olsun!

The Adana Kebab. Very tasty!

Results

Service: 4/5 (good)

Atmosphere: 4/5 (popular and relaxed)

Price: 4/5 (good)

Taste: 5/5 (very nice)

To Recap: What Have We Learned?

“meşhur” [mesh-hoor] (famous)

“meraklı” [mer-ack-luh] (curious)

Photography by Dr. Döner

Döner Box Weißenseer Weg

Night-time kebab

Greetings, Döner Fans! Dr Döner has wasted no time in sampling new and evermore far-flung kebab haunts on his August 2015 tour of Berlin. The other night saw a nocturnal outing to the Döner Box on the corner of Hohenschönhauser Straße and Weißenseer Weg. If you know your Berlin geography, then you’ll know that that’s well outside the Ring! Just what was Dr Döner doing out in this wasteland of civilization? Well let me elucidate. Some friends and I had headed out to this peaceful corner of the city to do the Berliner-Kindl-Schultheiss brewery tour. And we were eager to learn new things.

The tour was a jolly event. We were whisked round the brewery by a chummy German chap – let’s call him Hans. Hans was very keen on numbers and figures, and delighted in telling us precisely how many litres of beer were in each cask, lorry and storage drum. He laughed a lot, and it was not always clear why. At one point he invited us to guess how many litres of beer were in one of the drums. ’70 thousand litres?’ suggested an English guy on the tour. But at this, Hans seemed to sour. ‘Oh,’ said Hans, ‘you think you’re pretty clever do you? You have done the calculations, have you?’ ‘It was just a guess,’ mumbled the English guy. ‘Well you were wrong. It holds 540 thousand litres,’ said Hans, almost with a sneer. When at one point we passed an overflowing bucket of foam, whose contents were beginning to trickle out into the carpark, Hans said that he had never seen that happen before, and asked us not to take pictures of it. I’m sure it’s all been cleared away now.

The tour concluded with beer-tasting and schnitzel in the brewery restaurant. We were allowed to have as much beer as we could stomach in two hours, fresh from the brewery’s taps. It was a convivial occasion. Hans toured the restaurant, cheerfully handing out new beers and making humorous observations. At 9:30pm the restaurant closed and we stumbled out into the sultry summer night.

But wait, what's this? A new super offer?

It was while looking for a tram that we espied the lambent glow of the Döner Box on a street corner. Its only customers that night appeared to be a man and a dog. There was really no need to eat a döner. We had just had schnitzel. But something about the big sign saying NEU SUPER ANGEBOT was just too hard to resist. With the tram coming in 4 minutes, it was a race against time to purchase a chicken gemüsedöner without missing our ride. Thankfully, the man inside the Döner Box was a paragon of efficiency. Rarely has a döner been made so fast! Chicken, salad, spicy sauce, garlic sauce – all were slapped into a wedge of bread in double-quick time. And all for the NEU SUPER ANGEBOT price of 2,50.

A man and his dog: customers of the Döner Box.

We ate it on the tram. I’m not sure if this is allowed. We tried not to make a mess. The döner itself was very passable. A rogue piece of red cabbage had strayed into my salad, but I overlooked it as it did not impair the flavours. It was a standard Berlin chicken döner and is surely a welcome treat to anyone waiting at Weißenseer Weg for a tram back to the city. I suspect Hans visits it with some frequency. In any case, I would urge readers to head out there quickly and try it before the NEU SUPER ANGEBOT ends, since there was no indication of how long this spectacular and vague offer would last. Enjoy!

A piece of red cabbage. It seemed like a bigger deal at the time. Perhaps you had to be there.

Results

Service: 4/5 (lightning speed)

Atmosphere: 3/5 (fine)

Price: 4/5 (NEU SUPER ANGEBOT)

Taste: 3/5 (average)

Photographs by Dr. Döner and Ms. S. Clarke