The weather was amazing today, finally! With the temperature hitting a balmy 30ºC today in Berlin, it was high time that I enjoyed a beer outside in the sun. After a long-relaxing bike ride through the Tiergarten, I desperately wanted to have a drink with a friend outside in one of the Tiergarten’s many biergartens on its periphery. Alas, each of my favored options were overrun with summer tourists on city bike tours. I ended up meeting up with my roommate at the Prater Garten in Prenzlauer Berg and once we were hungry, walked up and down Kastanienallee until we ended up at Hot Dog’s & Burger* near Zionskirchplatz. And yes, that horribly misplaced apostrophe unfortunately belongs to the proper name of the Imbiss. (*Really, you have no idea how much it pains me to write this out improperly.) They also had a mildly terrifying statue of creepy fries in front:
Like so many places in Berlin, the stand was super proud that it served Neulandfleisch (meat from farmers that adhere to specific animal welfare guidelines, read more about it here). In addition to burgers, the stand offers a large array of hot dogs, including vegetarian options. I opted for the standard cheeseburger menu, which came with standard pommes and a 200mL non-alcoholic beverage (6,40€). The cheeseburger (arrived directly to our table, dressed with shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, onions, along with a mixture of ketchup, mustard, and remoulade.
As a reminder: Quantitatively gauging quality is not how I operate; for now I’ll just give vague American-style school grades: A for outstanding/phenomenal, B for above average/good, C for mediocre/okay, D for barely acceptable, and F for something completely unacceptable. Los geht’s (let’s go!):
Burger patty – C: Sure, it’s Neulandfleisch, but it still isn’t appetizing if it’s cooked through and through. There wasn’t enough satisfying meaty-ness for me to think, wow, it was fine. I’m not sure if the patties were frozen beforehand, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The quality just seemed substandard to me.
Bun – D: Basically tasted like cardboard, and was strangely considerably larger than the patty itself. The weirdest thing too: the bun seemed to be more toasted along the edge of the bun, as opposed to a nice, even toast across the entire surface area. This made the entire first-bite experience completely unsatisfying.
Cheese – C: Nothing to write home about. Standard bland Schmelzkäse that was disappointingly not melted throughout its entire volume over the patty:
Sauces – C: Fine, I guess. Standard mustard and ketchup, but the remoulade was an interesting touch. I can’t really say it was something I liked though.
Assorted vegetables – C: Everything was just standard here. Although it was very noticeable that they chose to use sweet-sour pickles to put on top here. I almost exclusively associate these pickles with Danish-style hot dogs (which I have also had on another occasion at this Imbiss), so I think the first time I had one in the burger…I thought about a hot dog instead.
Summary: It’s your run of the mill burger Imbiss on a busy street. Echoing the sentiment earlier — it’s nothing to write home about. It’s just okay Imbiss food that would be AMAZING after a looong night of Kicker (table football) at the bar with the biers to go with it. For those late-night junk food cravings, this place would definitely fit the bill. It is one of the very few stands on Kastanienallee that is open very late (Konnopke’s, the local currywurst, closes at 8pm and isn’t even open at all on Sundays), and can easily cater to the late-night crowd. Perhaps it would work for me at 5am bumbling around after a night of drinks and dancing — but for a proper Mahlzeit (meal)? Not really.
Hot Dog’s & Burger
(Eberswalder Straße U2/M1/12 or Rosenthaler Platz U8/M1/M8)
10119 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
Open: Sunday-Thursday 10:30h-4h; Friday-Saturday 10:30h-6:30h