Pink Lady at Spreegold (Berlin, Germany)


And here another cute breakfast & brunch spot - Spreegold. I really enjoy the atmosphere of this place. It's not the usual "trashy" Berlin style, rather modern and clean. They do serve breakfast all day, but also lunch/dinner (mainly burgers, salads, and pasta). However, you can also just drink a cup of tea and enjoy the atmosphere.

While dinner is served, breakfast and lunch are self-service. You order at the open counter, drinks will be made immediately, but for food you get a little beeper. When it starts to blink and vibrate, then you can go and pick up your food at the food counter.

There are several locations, my favorite is the one in Prenzlauer Berg (Stargarder Street) because it has a very nice outdoor area. The one at the Alexander Platz (Rosa-Luxemburg-Street) is also nice because you can see the Berlin Television Tower (Fernsehturm) from the windows.

My Favorites - Pink Lady and Shakshuka

I really liked their porridge and pancakes, but I was blown away by their poached eggs on bread, especially the "Pink Lady". It is a little unusual (with pumpkin hummus spread and beetroot hollandaise) and it looks really cute! And then it comes with a sea-salt/pepper oil, that is drizzled around the plate. Just delicious! I guess it's a play on the commonly known Eggs Benedicts, just a vegetarian version and country bread instead of a muffin.

I also enjoyed there Shakshuka dishes... I have never tried a Shakshuka before. It is a dish of eggs, tomatoes and Middle Eastern and North African spices (cumin, paprika, nutmeg, cayenne pepper). It's likely of Tunisian or Yemini origin. They serve it hot in a small cast iron skillet, which is also really cute.

Brunch Highlights

Porridge 

Prepared with oat flakes, coconut milk, almond milk and vanilla, try with a side of their homemade granola 
  • Wild-berry & Fruit (served with fresh berries, strawberry purée and mint)
  • Porridge of the Gods (served with dark chocolate sauce, banana, berries and mint)

Poached Eggs on Bread 

The sea salt-oil is drizzeled around the plate so that you can dip the bread in it
  • Pink Lady (pumpkin hummus on country bread, two poached eggs, topped with beetroot-hollandaise, wild herbs and a drizzle of sea salt-pepper-oil around it - looks very cute!)
  • Avocado Stack Bread (avocado salso on Italian bread with two poached eggs, cherry tomatoes, herbs, and a sea salt-sesame-oil)

Shakshuka 

Spreegold serves a red (tomato sugo base) and a green (kale base) shakshuka, but so far I have only tried the red one. The shakshuka is prepared and served hot in a cast iron skilled and is topped with the poached eggs that will continue to simmer in the hot sugo/ kale.
  • Red Shakshuka (hot oriental tomato sugo, topped off with cooked beetroot slices, chickpeas, quinoa, roasted tomatoes, salad leaves and herbs, and two poached eggs, served with a slice of country bread)

Pancakes 

Also good with a side of the homemade granola
  • Berries & Fruit (pancakes served with maple syrup, butter, fresh berries, strawberry purée, mint)

Drinks 

They have a nice variety of standard coffee and tea drinks, smoothies, fruit juices, fresh lemonades (served in cute mason jar mugs), milk shakes, etc.
  • Melting Milkshake (raspberry-vanilla)
  • Sunshine Paleo Smoothie (berries, orange juice, bananas)
  • Sweet Kiss Smoothie (raspberry, apple, ginger)
  • Raspberry Lime Lemonade (lemonade with fresh raspberries, lime, sparkling water, mint)
  • Orange Lemonade (lemonade with fresh oranges, filled up with sparkling water)















My Mom's "Grüner Salat mit Kartoffeln" (Green salad with potatoes)

A green salad? Whats's so special about it?

This is a no ordinary green side salad. Three ingredients make it stand out:
  • thinly sliced boiled potatoes
  • lots of garlic
  • dark and nutty pumpkin seed oil
My Mom uses a mix of different greens and slices in small pieces of boiled potatoes, adds lots of minced garlic and a special kind of oil - pumpkin seed oil. It has a slighly nutty flavor. We used to call it "Dunkel-Öl" (dark oil) because it is almost black.

I love my Mom's green salad with garlic. I have always had a taste for vinegar in general (such as in pickles). As a child, I really was crazy about this garlic vinegraitte/ dressing, however, I only "ate" (or drunk) the vinegraitte with the small pieces of potatoes in it. I did not really care for the green stuff ;) My Mom sometimes gave me a separate bowl in which she added some of the vinegraitte and she also picked out small pieces of potatoes for me :)

The right kind of Mixed Greens

  • Add some TEXTURES: tender (e.g., loose leaf lettuces), crispy (e.g., romaine, iceberg, chicory), curly (e.g., coral lettuce, frisée)
  • Add some COLOR (e.g., red romaine, red leaf lettuce, red lollo rosso)
  • Add some BITTERNESS (e.g., lollo rosso, radichio)

There are different kind of lettuces:
  • Loose leaf lettuce are large, loosely packed leaves joined at the stem. They don't form a head. They have a mild delicate taste and can be smooth or ruffled. The ruffled ones, e.g. coral lettuce like green lollo bionda and red lollo rosso, are slightly more bitter.
  • Romaine lettuce are long leaves that form a loaf-shaped head. They are more crisp in texture and have a strong but not bitter flavor.
  • Chicory family (e.g., radicchio, escarole, frisée, endive) are crisp in texture with a sweet nutty flavor and a mild bitterness.
  • Iceberg lettuce have a tight cabbage like head, are crisp but very mild in flavor. They are high on B vitamine folate.

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200g mixed greens (I used some ruffled red loose leaf lettuce and some crispy green romaine)
  • 2 small potatoes, waxy (e.g., Yukon gold or baby potatoes)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegeta salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
  • 3 tablespoons water (cold)
optional: add some sweet corn

Preparation:

  1. Boil the potatoe skin on in saltwater till soft. They need to almost slide off a fork. Drain the poataoes and let cool down. 
  2. Cut the greens. Wash and dry them. Add to a bowl. Mince the garlic on top of the greens. Slice the potatoes in small thin pieces over the greens. Sprinkle the seasoning over everything. You can add some corn or thinly sliced tomatoe, but I do like to keep it simple and natural.
  3. Pour first the vinegar evenly over the greens, then the different kinds of oils including the dark pumpkin seed oil, and last the water. As you do not prepare and mix the vinaigrette separately, it is important that you now thouroughly mix everything. Use some big salad spoons and slash them together from both sides with the greens several times. This will not only help to mix the dressing of vinegar and oil, but also break down a bit more the potatoes, thickening up the dressing just slightly.
  4. Serve as a side salad. I like to eat it with my Mom's Spagetthie Bolognese that also contains lots of garlic :)





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    My Mom's "Knoblauch Toast" (savory garlic french toast)


    My mom makes those garlic toasts as a snack for supper. It's like a savory french toast but without the use of milk. They are easy to prepare and taste really good. And don't underestimate your appetite. It's easy to eat several slices... I eat about four :)

    Ingredients:

    • 8 slices of white toast bread
    • 6-7 cloves of garlic
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 3-4 tablesspoons oil (for frying)

    Preparation:

    1. Mince the garlic. Brush the garlic on both sides of each slice of toast.
    2. Beat the eggs in a container wide enough for the toast. Add some salt and pepper. Heat up the oil in a frying pan. 
    3. Wait till the oil in the frying pan is hot enough. Then drag the slices of toast through the beaten eggs, not before. The toasts would get soggy if you don't fry them immediately. Fry the toast for about 3 minutes on each side. Both sides should be slightly dark brown and crispy.
    4. Pour the leftover beaten eggs in the fying pan and fry for a couple of minutes.
    5. Serve with a some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.






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        Maple Street Biscuits (Tallahassee, Fl)


        Maple Street Biscuits is not your usual biscuit & gravy place. They do serve traditonal biscuit & gravy, but they have so much more. The place is really cute and it feels like they have a lot of dishes with a southern twist.

        I am not a big fan of the traditional American biscuit & gravy breakfast. However, as I saw this little place at the FSU campus in downtown Tallahassee, I just had to give it a try. Their biscuits are served with traditional sausage gravy or a vegetarian shiitake gravy. They also have biscuits with fried chicken breast and a flavorful jam or jelly. Even though there is a lot of fried items, these options - having a tasty vegetarian gravy or some jam/ jellys - were much more up my alley :) The biscuits as well as the gravys, jams, and jellys are fresh and homemade from scratch.

        The Squawking Goat

        One of their famous items is the "The Squawking Goat" - a biscuit with a fried chicken breast and a fried goat cheese medallion with a sweet but spicy pepper jelly. This dish was supposedly even featured at the Foodnetwork. Of course I had to try it :) It did taste delicious. Maybe the chicken as well as the goat cheese could have been a little thinner as it is a lot.

        The Sides

        I also ordered some of their sides - a Hash Brown Cake and some Fried Green Tomatoes. The has browns tasted really good with the spicy pepper jelly from my squawking goat biscuit :) Also, I was especially blown away by those fried green tomatoes, a typical southern dish. I always was hesitant to order them, because they are fried and I did not think they would taste so much different then red tomatoes. But they are slightly more tarte which complements the fried crust. I thought they were really good.











        Brunch at Keke's Breakfast Café (Tallahassee, FL)


        Well, I love brunch. However, usually, for the good brunch places there are always long waiting times on weekends which makes the experience a little tiresome... I was more than happy as it worked out during my vacation in Tallahassee. My friends chose Keke's Breakfast Café. Wait time was ok and it was a very nice place with fresh and tasty food :)

        Stuffed French Toast and Hash Browns - My Highlights:

        Keke's Breakfast Café is known for the exquisite stuffed french toasts. They have different excotic versions including one that is called a "Pina colada stuffed french toast" (pineapple, coconut and cream cheese) and a "Turtle stuffed french toast" (pecans, caramel, chocolate and cream cheese). They also have an apple-cinamon stuffed french toast, a banana, nut & caramel stuffed french toast, and several fruit stuffed french toast versions for people who love it a bit more traditional. They cut the stuffed french toast in four triangles which looks really cute and then, the portions are not so overwhelming. As we were exactly four people, it was perfect as a table dish to share :)

        They also have very nice and freshly cooked home fries as a side dish. I do not like the shredded hash browns or the potato cubes that have been precooked and reheated. I like my potatoes like a skillet dish and this hit the spot :)

        Our Food:

        • Pina Colada stuffed french toast (with pineaplle, coconut and cream cheese)
        • Breakfast Fruit Salad (fresh fruits with yoghurt, granola and honey)
        • Eggs Florentine (two poached eggs with tomatoes, spinach, and sauce hollondaise on an English muffin) with a side of home fries
        • Southwest Omlette (with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, petal sauce, salsa) and a side of home fries and wheat toast
        • Silver Dollar pancakes (the cute tiny little ones)

         

        St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

        Afterwards, we enjoyed the rest of the day at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Unexpectedly, we arrived when they actually had a so called "controlled burn" or "prescribed burn". The fire is used to clear brush, control invasive weeds, fell old and sickly trees, restore natural nesting habitats, and open the forest floor for new growth. It shall improve the health of plant and animal communities and return nutrients to the soil. Besides that, we enjoyed the lighthouse with its little beach, lots of wildlife and a two hour hike around the Bayou Pools :)




















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