...they just lie on the floor til we sweep them away.
- Neil Diamond
God dammit, culinary consistency would be nice. I don’t mean in the giant-chain-Mickey D’s-same-damn-garbage-from-Muskogee-to-Moscow sort of consistency. I would just like to have the same decent food from the same restaurant more than 3 times. In a row. That’s what makes me an American, I suppose. I like to bitch when something just ain’t right. I never could understand when one of my Limey cousins, after consuming a four course curry meal, could smile and say, ‘That was a bit crap.’ To me, not the staff. Bit of the old stiff upper lip, I suppose. Mustn’t grumble.
Bollox. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and I intend to do my fair share of squeaking, yessiree. If you don’t bitch and complain, you wind up shoveling the same shit into your face for all of eternity. And that there is the real bitch.
We can’t expect much from the fast food circuit. A different relative every other day can’t learn the menu, yada yada yada. I used to think it was kind of okay when my kebab was slightly different each time. But that there is a slippery slope, my friends. The next thing you know, you’ve gone from a sandwich with nicely-roasted meat, fresh sauce and vegetables wrapped in a crispy bread crust—to a soggy mush of flavorless, watery sauce, boiled meat and dry bread. The kind that falls apart all over your nice bowling shirt. Fuckers. I’ve killed for less. In one of the wars. I can’t remember which.
Don’t go to Babel on Kastanienallee. They used to be The Shizzle; now they’re not.
Don’t go to Dolores (American style burritos) on Rosa-Lux. Same story. I was a regular for my first year in Berlin. I would tell the manager each and every time I visited that I was more than happy with everything, and not to change a thing.
Fuckers changed a thing. Or two. One of them was the product. It used to be good. It used to be fanfuckingtastic. I used to cross town to pick up a couple of giant burritos stuffed with the works and bring them home or sit by the fountain at Alex and watch people plummet from the tall building behind the Burger King. Suddenly the Perfect Burrito became the perfect door stop. The quality of the ingredients went down; they started putting stupid shit inside, like fajita vegetables instead of the usual perfecto mix. Then they reduced the size of the thing by nearly half. For the same price (around 7 EUR for the deluxe burrito). It’s like Woody Allen said, “The food here is so bad. And in such small portions.” I gave them the benefit of the doubt three times. I brought people there and I was embarrassed by how bad the food was. These people probably think I’m some kind of fucking earthworm which sucks up any and all dirt into my gullet. My Berlin gourmet card has been revoked and I’ll never be invited to the gala regatta yacht race and wear a crested smoking jacket with matching Captain’s cap. Fuck.
Yesterday the schwarma at Babel was so bad that I had to throw it in the garbage can uneaten. I had just had more than my fill of beer at Prater, so any port in storm would normally do a hungry drunk. But the shit they served yesterday was suitable only for the bin rats. On the way home we stopped by our old favorite, the tried and true, trusty standby kebab joint called Tayfun’s Bistro. I’m rarely disappointed there. I always get a reasonably good sandwich for a reasonably good price. Last night I saw a new face behind the counter, one I’d never seen before. I almost ordered only a bottled beer. Out of fear.