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DINING OUT: BERLIN

By Culturekiosque Staff

BERLIN, 10 MARCH 2009 - Those craving traditional comfort foods may certainly indulge in roast pork knuckles, calves liver, dumplings or sauerkraut in Berlin. However, 20 years after the fall of the Wall, Berlin's cuisine, much like the city - has reinvented itself, offering up lighter and fresher fare, "öko" (organic) options in addition to star-rated dining.

Boasting three Michelin stars in 2009, the Hotel Adlon for the first time has received the highest distinction for its restaurants the Chinese-inspired Ma Tim Raue, the Italian restaurant Gabriele with chef Björn Alexander Panek, and Lorenz Adlon for chef Thomas Neeser's culinary art à la française. Head chef Christian Lohse of the Fischers Fritz seafood restaurant in the Regent Hotel was again honored with two stars.

It should be noted that only 30 restaurants in Germany have ever achieved two or three Michelin stars. In addition, the restaurants Facil, First Floor, Hûgos, Margaux, Rutz, Vau and Vitrum have retained their star in the current edition of the Michelin Guide. (www.facil.de, www.firstfloor.palace.de, www.hugos-restaurant.de, www.margaux-berlin.de, www.rutz-weinbar.de, www.vau-berlin.de, www.restaurant-vitrum.de).

Meanwhile, with health and environmental consciousness becoming more main stream, the demand for fresh, regional and organic food has arrived in Berlin's fast-food sector. Offering a popular alternative to burgers or sausages, busy Berliners now have a wide range of organic fast food choices.With five locations in Berlin, Gorilla, Natürlich FastFood is Germany's first organic fast food chain. Promoting sustainability, natural foods, and regional products, menu items are 100% organic and include sandwiches on whole wheat bread, salads, and soups.

Even Berlin's popular "curry wurst" can now be enjoyed by health conscious diners. "Witty's Currybude" at Wittenbergplatz serves up a high-quality organic sausage drenched in the typical ketchup-curry sauce made from natural ingredients. Round-off this almost guilt-free snack with an organic beverage.

Yellow Sunshine at 19 Wiener Strasse serves strictly vegan or vegetarian burgers, fries, muffins and other fast-food favorites.

Open 24/7, Fresh 'N' Friends organic supermarkets and boutique restaurants emphasize fresh, regional, and organic ready-to-eat foods, fair trade practices, and sustainability. Foodorama on Bergmansstraße in Kreuzberg goes even one step further, calling itself the first certified "climate-neutral" organic restaurant, using seasonal and regional products, and operating in thermally insulated rooms.

Title image: Hugos Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Hugos Restaurant, Berlin

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