I’ve been following a blog called Stil in Berlin for a few months now. It provides insight into Berlin food, arts, and culture in a fresh format, so I was so glad to have the chance to follow up on its recommendations. One evening, I found myself in the mood for some hummus after seeing photos of its creamy, olive oil laced yumminess on the blog earlier that day.
A group of three of us went to Zula Hummus Café in Prenzlauer Berg, where we ordered the ful hummus (with pureed fava beans and lots of tahini) and hummus con carne topped with cinnamon and spice-marinated ground beef. The hummuses were both topped with whole chickpeas and ringed with rich, full-flavored olive oil. For good measure, we also ordered grilled aubergine with tahini sauce, and schakshuka, or poached egg in a tomato/pepper stew. Housemade bread provided the perfect crusty-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside vehicle to transfer the goods to our hungry mouths. Extra garlic, hot peppers, and olives were an added bonus.
Boy, was that a fabulous meal. The hummus con carne offered so many complementary takes on the word “savory,” my mind shut down. All I could do was keep eating. My girlfriend loved the ful, where the fava beans added an extra dimension to the already silky, nourishing chickpea hummus. I was a little less taken with the schakshuka, but maybe because I was expecting more of a smooth sauce accompaniment than chunky. The smoky, grilled eggplant was wonderfully crisp at the edges.
We walked away stuffed, and we hadn’t even finished all of the hummus. The owner jokingly chided us two gals for “barely touching our food.”
Somehow, my ears perked up at the idea of dessert when my girlfriend said that her favorite cheesecake in Berlin could be found around the corner, at Anna Blume Café/Florist. I was ready to find some extra belly room for a cheesecake—totally for research purposes.
We ambled on over to Anna Blume, where I chose a cheesecake with a chocolate crust and topping. Bite. And—I see why she likes this place. It’s just like New York style cheesecake, that is to say dense, very sweet, and dense again. Somehow, I willed myself to finish that enormous slice.
This café is one of the most popular in the neighborhood, and for those who are looking for that kind of cheesecake, this is definitely the place for it. I prefer the lighter, less sweet European style, but this city is big enough for cakes of all kinds! Also, for the record, Anna Blume has MANY cakes for your perusal and enjoyment.