Friday, October 30, 2009

Qype: Maria Bonita in Berlin

Berlin - Eating & Drinking - Fastfood & Takeaway - Eating & Drinking - Restaurants - Mexican

So I heard the tacos here are the best in Berlin, and had to give it a try. The atmosphere and food here is much more taqueria than Chipotle. Having perused the menu, I was tempted by the enchiladas and burritos as well as the tacos, but had to go with the latter to see if the hype is true. I got Tacos Carnitas and they were tiny, like silver dollar pancakes but tacos, and had I shelled out 6eur for them alone I would have been mighty pissed. As it was, a substantial helping of guac, rice and beans on the side cost only 2eur extra, and the total price of 8eur for the plate seemed less objectionable, though still somewhat pricy for my (admittedly cheapskate) standards. The carnitas were tender and flavorful, but had no spice. I dumped almost the whole container of salsa from the table onto my plate, and it added only a moderate amount of spiciness. Plus, the guacamole was a bit too creamy and bland for my taste. I can make it 10x better at home. The plate was merely passable. The saving grace of this experience, however, was my friend's chicken-and-pumpkin burrito (the menu's pumpkin burrito, with chicken added for an extra euro). It was scrumptious. My one complaint with it was that it fell apart at any attempt to pick it up--get sturdier tortillas! Nonetheless, we happily grabbed it our of the container with our fingers and gobbled it down. I plan to go back and try the enchiladas sometime, but I wasn't overly impressed.

Check out my review of Maria Bonita - I am insizlane - on Qype

Next supper!

The next supper club is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, November 10th. Email if you'd like to be invited or get on the mailing list!
Our preliminary menu is as follows:

Hor D'ouevres of some sort
Grilled salmon
Mango salsa & California-style guacamole
Roasted dill potatoes
Fresh green salad
Flourless chocolate cake with fruit
and of course, wine & beverages!

Looking forward to it,

Supper the First

1 cut thumb
1 burned finger
1 cracked glass
1 snapped knife
and 5 bottles of wine later, the inaugural meal of CD supper club has been brought off successfully!
CD is for our names, Celia & Diana, as well as Casual Dining and Crazy Delicious and any number of other things :)
Our menu was:
Smoked salmon pinwheels (thanks for the recipe mom!)
Chicken stuffed with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes (thanks for the recipe aunty amy!)
Fruited coucous pilaf
Cucumber salad
Roasted eggplants & zucchini
Grilled red & yellow peppers
& Lemon cheesecake for dessert (Celia's mother's recipe)
We received 4 responses to our ads. 2 couldn't make the date but wanted to get on the mailing list, and 2 were in! To fill the extra spots, we invited friends like mad, and eventually we had 11 attendees: me and Celia, my two roomies, the two strangers, and 5 friends from various places, known of whom knew each other. It was shaping up to be a good night.
We shopped at the Turkish Market on Friday and at Kaufland on Saturday. Saturday evening, we met to make the cheesecake and cucumber salad, which had to marinate overnight.
On Sunday afternoon it was time to hole up in Neukölln and get cookin! We set up my room as the dining room (it really has a lot of space!) with some plates and cutlery borrowed from Celia:

We set out the wine (an essential component):

And the salmon pinwheels:

And then we made the rest of the food, and people started arriving, and it was wonderful!
The strangers turned out to be: Rene, a Danish pilot, and Kate, an economics officer at the US embassy from New Jersey. 3 of our 'friends' didn't show, but everyone ate heartily and we still almost finished the food, not to mention all five bottles of wine. There was lots of laughter, the food was delicious (if I do say so myself), and everyone seemed to have a good time.
My roomie Eric helped out and made a playlist:

Action shot of people beginning to eat:

And everyone posing nicely:

My delicious plate of food (nom nom nom):

The amazing cheesecake!:

And the aftermath. I think we used every dish, cooking pot, and utensil in the kitchen (including the cleaver, which we used to serve the cheesecake, haha):

We had a dishwashing party to some Belle & Sebastian tunes and most of it was done pretty quick.
And that was it! The first supper club.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here's the deal.

The ad we posted on craigslist and toytown for our inaugural supper club:
"We are a couple of friendly expats living in Berlin, who have three things in common--our love for cooking, laughter, and meeting new people. That is why we are starting a casual supper club in Neukölln….and you’re invited!

So here is how it will work:

...we will post our menu, date, and price......and the first 5 people to e-mail to will get an invitation. If you don't reply in time, that's ok, you will be put on the mailing list for the next dinner!

..the supper club will be very small...not because we are elite, but because we don't have that much room, and are still experimenting with logistics. Besides, we value quality over quantity!

Our first dinner will take place next Sunday, the 25th.

Menu will be:

Appetizers: salmon pinwheels

Chicken stuffed with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes
couscous with dried cherries & apricots
cucumber salad
grilled veggies galore

dessert: simply delightful lemon cheesecake

plus various wines

The price will be 15 Euro, and 12 euro if you don't want any wine

Please send us an email if you would like to come. hope to see you there! -C&D"

Stay tuned for more!