Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Der Libanon: lecker und deftig

There are countless Middle Eastern restaurants in Berlin - most of them would, however, be described as an Imbiss - usually a bit of a hole in the wall, with a few tables and only counter service. For the most part, all of these places serve the same menu - falafel, schawarmas, hummus, and baba ghanoush in sandwich or platter form. Similarly, there's very little price range - sandwiches usually cost around 3 Euros and platters between 7 or so Euros. So where to go for my Lebanese meal? I have had good schawarmas at Babel on Kastanienalle, though it's been a while as I no longer live around the corner. For a time I liked Habibi with two locations in Schoeneberg (on Akazienstrasse and a few blocks north at Winterfeldplatz), but they microwave the bread and the last schawarma I had there (a few months back) tasted of nothing. Nothing. How a sandwich doused with tahini and garlic sauce can taste of nothing, I do not know, but I won't be back. So this time around, I did a simple google search for "best schawarma Berlin" and came across another blog, listing one person's opinions on the best hummus, falafel, and schawarma in town. It seemed a good a tip as any and so I set out with a fellow schwarma-lover to see what Maroush near Kottbusser Tor had to offer. We were not disappointed. It may have helped that we arrived just before the lunch rush, but our chicken schawarmas were as good as any I've had in Berlin. The sandwiches were stuffed to capacity, doused with delicious garicky tahini sauce, and in my case extra pickled turnips in place of French fries (I know lots of people like this, but I can't seem to get behind potatoes in my schawarma). Maroush's schawarma's are a little greasy, but as my friend pointed out, this isn't out of the ordinary. Still, I've had lighter and, in my opinion, better schawarmas in the past, albeit not in Berlin. Having somewhat limited capacity these days (growing fetus, etc.) I couldn't quite finish my lunch, but was still full hours later. Maroush's chicken schawarma would make an ideal late night, alcohol-absorbing snack. My main issue with Maroush? The place could use a thorough cleaning. The bathroom wasn't so bad - I was actually pretty excited to see that they have one as many Imbiss-type places do not. A peek into the kitchen on my way back from the bathroom didn't send me running, but it wasn't all that pretty either. Mostly though, the dining area is just dingy - washing the walls and removing the thick layer of dust from the jars of preserved vegetables that line the walls and make up most of the place's decor would do wonders. Maroush Adalbertstrasse 93

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