Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Martinique: Ich wusste es schon (aber wirklich)

I've walked or biked past the Martinique Restaurant & Cafe many times and never had any desire whatsoever to eat there. Actually, I never thought it had anything to do with the Caribbean island other than a shared name. I was quite surprised to find out that the restaurant offers a "surprising and refreshing" mix of the cuisines from Germany's Baden region and the island of Martinique. Well, that's what the website says anyway. Martinique the Restaurant looks like (and basically is) your standard Eckkneipe or corner bar, which in Germany usually means a smoky establishment serving mostly beer, frequented by locals. These kinds of places are never trendy or fancy, they're often on the dingy or tacky side (blinky gambling machines and bad lighting), and for the most part, the only decent thing you can count on getting is beer. Sometimes, as in the case of Martinique, basic food is on offer - it's usually not homemade or very good (at least in these parts). So, I have to give Martinique credit for doing something a little different (apparently the owner has family in Martinique). Still, the menu has three supposedly Martinique items: a salad with pineapple, mango, and shrimp; fried potato wedges with Caribbean dipping sauces; and a wrap that sounded a lot like a burrito with ground beef and corn. The wrap wasn't available on the night we visited - alas. Mein Mann's meal came with potato wedges and dipping sauces - maybe you only get the Caribbean dips if you order them a la carte, but glooey red sauce from the Asian foods store (Germans LOVE this glop) and some frightening mayonaisey substance do not scream Caribbean to me. Nor are they homemade as the menus claims. Details....I tried to order something from Martinque, I really did. But potato wedges (from the freezer I might add) do not a dinner make and I am squeamish about cheap frozen shrimp, which was definitely going to be the case in the Martinque salad. I ordered Maultaschen Suppe (a brothy soup with German ravioli), which is most definitely from Baden. It was about as bad as I had expected. As fun as a Baden-Martinique restaurant sounds (and I'm guessing this is probably the only one in existence?).....nothing on the menu would be remotely recognizable as typical to someone from Martinique. If the Baden dishes were any good, I might be able to let the Martinique food slide (a little), but they are pretty awful. In keeping with standard Eckkneipe food, but that help much in my book. Sad, sad, sad. Martinique Restaurant & Cafe Monumentenstrasse 29

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