One of the interesting things I find about different parts of Germany are their wonderful bakeries that have a wide selection of breads including the famously heavy, rich and fully flavoured dark German bread.
In Hamburg, one of the common breakfast bread/pastries on offer is the Franzbrötchen (translated as French bread). You’ll normally come across a wide variety of them and there’s even a place in the main train station (Hauptbahnhohf) that is called Franz and Friends that sells the widest selection of Franzbrötchen I ever saw – maybe twelve different types.
The most classic variation on offer it the plain Franzbrötchen which is definitely a nod to the classic croissant cross bred with a swedish cinammon scroll. The bread is light, and sweet although slightly more dense and breadlike than you’ll find with a flaky pastry based croissant. The classic one is roleld up on as a scroll, and brushed with a sugar and cinammon mixture that works well as a morning breakfast treat.
Other classic variations you’ll find are the streusel-franzbrötchen (a franzbrötchen topped with a crunchy biscuit mixture).
You can find Jims Burrito’s in the heart of Sternschanze, a lively area of Hamburg. Easily spotted from the street, their icon is the face of a person wearing a mexican wrestling mask. We went here, after a long session at the gym, and we were warned that it would be a significant wait. Wait, we did, for almost forty minutes.
Since we were eating with Maria (who is from Mexico), I was told the food was pretty authentic. They offered tacos, burritos, quesadillas and enchilads, all with different sorts of meats and non-meat options. I went for a seitan equivalent seeing as it was my vegetarian day.
The place is outfitted with some fun signs, including one talking about the wait, some translations about the types of food and ingredients and plenty of bottles of hot sauces dotted around (even spotted a very vietnamese Rooster chilli sauce that seemed a bit of place)
I asked for my quesidilla “ganz scharf” (quite spicy) and they obliged by throwing a few more chillis into the mix. The quesidills arrived with small bowls of sour cream, salsa and the best guacamole I’ve ever eaten. I could probably eat bowls of that stuff. Best I don’t though for my own health. The salsa had a good kick of its own and I was eating everyone elses beacuse I wanted something quite spicy.
I rarely have breakfast in the hotels that I stay in, particularly because mmost of the time they are overpriced and much heavier than what I really wnat to have (normally a bowl of muesli with skim milk and berries). I was booked into a very nice hotel in Hamburg (Steigenberger) and I thought I would at least try their breakfast once.
Though not cheap at €24, the breakfast is a buffet spread with the proper white clothed dining experience. Lead to my table, I was asked about tea and coffee, and I was first offered a pot of tea. The tea arrived in an impressive looking tea pot, complete with tea light caddy to help keep it warm. When I later went to the buffet spread, I could see the dozen or so high quality teas they also had on offer. I later switched to the coffee and the attendants were nice enough to even switch the glasses before bringing a pot of their classic German dark and strong coffee.
On to the buffet.
Though not the biggest selection, everything was pretty high quality. There are the usual cereal spread (a choice of about eight different types of mueslis and cereals), breads, fruit, cheeses and meats, and even a omellette/pancake station. Although tempted, I didn’t really want to wait in line and although I would normally love a pancake, this was more the crepe-style pancakes that do nothing for me.
Our team has had a bit of trapsing around the area near our office, checking out coffee places for the a good coffee place. I suggested we visited Milchglas, a place that touts itself as a coffee and catering place. We walked in and there quite a few people in, eating lunch so I guess it must be okay.
There wasn’t really much room to sit, but that was fine since we either normally have a coffee standing up, or at least take away.
The cakes, muffins and brownies looked pretty tempting.
I stumbled across this Vietnamese place, located just near the main Hamburg train station. I love pho, and after missing the best pho from Monsieur Vuong, thought I’d give this place a try. I went there on after work one evening, but the queuing made me feel like I would go pretty hungry.
I went at an off peak time, figuring I might get a table easier between lunch and dinner, with a late lunch at 3pm. I was seated immediately, but there was plenty of other people eating. Even half an hour later, there were no more tables, and I was even asked to share.
Fortunatly I see why this place is popular. The pho was pretty tasty. Not quite like Monsieur Vuong special, but definitely tasty. It’s a place I’ll definitely come back to at some point.
Name: Quan Do: Vietnamese Street Kitchen Found at: Georgsplatz 16 (Corner of Rosenstraße 3), 20099 Hamburg Website: http://www.quan-do.com/
Germans drink a lot of coffee. Apparently the next most after the Swedish, but they tend to either have it very black, or with a heck of a lot of milk. A quick google for “flat white Hamburg” uncovered a local roastery called Elbgold. On the weekend I was in Hamburg I managed to check out both of their locations to enjoy.
Firstly the flat white was pretty good. I got it to take away. The milk wasn’t too hot, there wasn’t much of it, and they did a very fantastic micro foam. The first location, Mühlenkamp 6 is in a lively, fantastic area thriving with people. The cafe, even on a cold winter days reflects this with no spot empty.
They did a great selection of sandwiches (on that famous dark German bread), pastries and cakes although I managed to hold back from indulging.
Their other location is tucked away near the popular Sternschanze. You have to go up a set of stairs, around the back of a building and you’ll eventually find it. Just walk amongst the other warehouse like buildings and wait to find the crowds of people there.
This location has a tonne more space, and is much better for sitting outside in their courtyard. On a nice day, you’ll still probably battle everyone else who wants to sit outside, but at least you’ll have a better chance of getting one.
Although some believe vegetarian food is hard to find in Germany, the wonderful website, The Happy Cow makes it easy to find places where you don’t really need to think about what you choose.
On starting a new project in Hamburg, I was delighted to find a fully vegan place quite close to the office. When I’m tired, not really wanting to venture very far or think very hard about what I’m going to eat, The Loving Hut is a place I’ll probably end up. The style of this one is all pan-asian foods with inspiration from Thailand, Vietnam, and Chinese cuisines but all done with seitan, tofu or just vegetables.
I really enjoyed this vietnamese pancake. Super crisp, well filled and surprisingly moreish.
I had the “mixed grill” for a main, which arrived with some fried rice. The “meat” was pretty hearty, surprisingly close to the vietnamese style of grilled pork, but done with mock meat or something similar.
Others reported the curry pretty good (although not particularly spicy since they’re catering for German tastes) as was the grilled pork “bun” (vietnamese style) dish below.