I picked Glashaus out of the many, many Croatian restaurants in Berlin mostly because it was a good halfway point between our apartment and that of the friends we were meeting for dinner. Croatian restaurants aren't trendy, and I couldn't find any reviews of them in any local press. There are lots of reviews of Croatian places on Qype, but they all sound about the same: big portions!, low price! Like the pseudo-Argentine steak houses, Croatian restaurants in Berlin are frequented by a certain type of German who likes to eat a serious lot of meat, but doesn't much care about the quality, and doesn't want to pay a lot. I am quite certain low-quality meat doesn't define all Croatian food. Even the Wikipedia entry on Croatian food (once again, my Croatian cookbook is on the other side of the Atlantic) describes a diverse cuisine full of regional specialties. I did try to find one that distinguished itself from the others -- an organic Croatian restaurant or one that was slightly upscale or trendy -- with no luck.
So, Glashaus it was and really, there isn't much to say about it. It was fine. All of our meals came with a salad, which was, in all fairness, a little better than it had to be. A trio of grated carrots, fresh sauerkraut, and lightly pickled cucumbers on a bed of iceberg lettuce. Nothing to get all that excited about, but I have had worse salads here and the dressing was a nice oil and vinaigrette, not at all sweet as it frequently is. The meat, however, was pretty bad across the board: the "small" trio plate came with a pork steak, a turkey steak, and a couple cevapcici (it seems every letter of the alphabet offers an opportunity to enjoy these sausage-shaped patties), rice and french fries. My spicy pork stew (similar to a goulash) was full of mushy frozen peas and carrots, not to mention that it was way over salted. Next to the massive pool of stew were two servings of rice: one plain that tasted of bouillon cubes and one that was vaguely tomato-based and full of the same mushy frozen vegetables. The best dish of the night, ordered by our friend who has spent time in the Balkans and is a professed fan of Croatian restaurants (in their Berlin form), was a giant beef patty stuffed with a feta-like cheese and served with French fries. Not a great dish - better meat would help, as would homemade fries, and maybe a few spices, but the concept wasn't bad. While Glashaus doesn't offer any Croatian beer, they do have several Croatian wines on the menu. I tried two and neither was particularly good as they were both one-note wines (one of them could easily have been manischewitz), but I always like it when an "ethnic" restaurant makes an effort to showcase the wines (or beverages) of the country. The only Croatian desserts were Palatschinken (crepes) with ice cream. Not very exciting, and after a disappointing meal, we passed on them. Berlin-style Croatian restaurants are not the sort of place I started this "project" to discover, but because I'm so very dedicated, I slogged through Croatia. Now I'm just glad it's over. Cuba here I come.......