Covid has thrown up a new set of problems for the already struggling food & beverage scene, one of those being the inability to house people tightly packed in restaurants or outdoor seating areas for the time being. Take-away has been an increasingly practical way for food outlets to still cover their bottom line, and provide their regulars with the tastes they have come to crave.
Burgermeister was poised to skateboard through the pandemic having already been fully established as a take-away spot housed in an old public restroom. Yes, you heard me correctly, a toilet trader.
Naturally, certain precautions had to be implemented, consisting of very patchy looking swathes of yellow and black tape to designate areas of extra care. Lines on the ground reminding the perpetually day-drunk Berlin crowd to fight the natural tendency to stand directly behind the previous punter.
Orders were taken from the usual window, you were handed a small receipt and told to take a few steps in the direction of least human interaction and wait your turn.
With the sun beating down I took an exaggerated vantage point almost 20 meters from the hatch and studied the movements of those who ordered before me to perfectly time my approach.
With burger loaded in it's paper carrying vessel I hastened towards the river, because if there's one thing that brings anxiety shuffling through the weeds, it's the blasphemy of cold food.
On the odd occasion I do venture into the realm of fast food, it bloody well better be piping hot, and not a limp, congealed mess reminding me of my bad decision making abilities. Having not eaten a burger in over 2 months, I accepted that I was fully entitled to this dangerous romp, and plodded to the river, saw a drug deal in action, decided to keep walking, got stressed by the time it was taking, and ended up standing by a trash can and scoffing my burger down with my hoodie up trying to conceal some of the shame, though I was in a city where the chances of anyone seeing me that knew me, was slim to zero.
With the sunkissed face of a shameful cherub, I stood munching down on a perfectly respectable slice of Berlin folklore. It wasn't the best burger in Berlin, for me personally, that's Schiller, but it is definitely an above average bite, and more than sufficient if you are passing by Kreuz on your way to Friedrichshain.
With meat and cheese and condiments wrestling in my stomach, I walked the bridge, turning back to see a couple cops sniffing around where the drug deal was happening earlier, walked straight into the blinding sun of April in Berlin, when the world was hidden in masked silence and monotonous routines, and I headed back to the apartment to sit in the kitchen, windows wide open, bird song erupting, and thought to myself.... Life isn't too shabby is it.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored by the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"