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BY TOM STEPHENSON

Unlike most meals over the weekend this was unplanned. There had been no scouring of Time Out, or Trip Advisor trawling, but rather a snap decision made under a bridge in Berlin. Minutes later I’d found myself perched on a high seat next to a well, in what can only be described as a fairytale forest with a garnish of burger bar.

 

The menu read well, still following the theme rigidly with scrawling writing and fairytale drawings, and with an impressive fourteen burgers to choose from. But it wasn’t the choice that delayed my decision; no there was something else. I felt like I was sitting on a simple torture device. No electric shocks, or water boarding, but just a mild discomfort. A creeping irritation. We moved seats.

 

I ordered the ‘Wilder Westen’, which came with BBQ sauce, cheese and crispy onion, while my accomplice opted for the ‘Hans im Glück’; a Parma ham, Parmesan and balsamic beef burger. We ordered a side of fries too and added a guacamole dip.

 

Admittedly the service wasn’t speedy, but it came with a smile and the understanding that my German is about as good as Kanye West’s people skills. This, combined with a buzzy lunchtime crowd and about one hundred floor to ceiling birch trees, gave the place a comfortable but energetic atmosphere.

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The burgers arrived and looked good. The meat itself perhaps a little thin compared to Byron, or Honest Burgers, or one of the other three thousand London burger joints that have sprung up in the past two years, but other than that good. The quantity of guacamole accompanying the fries was impressive too. I often feel restaurants treat guacamole like some sort of semi-precious material, which clearly it is not. Although I regularly pay an extra 70p for the stuff in a burrito, it doesn’t mean I don’t do it without quietly cursing the innocent staff member serving me, or considering some kind of boycott before realising how much I’d miss it.

 

All in all it was a tasty burger. But that was all. With all the fairytale features surrounding me I guess I had expected some kind of magic, a story to tell, but instead got a pub anecdote that I might recount if I remembered it the next day.

 

Perhaps the interior of Hans im Glück, with all it’s bare bark and fantasy charm, had inadvertently stolen the show from the food. Would the same burger have shone if served in a garage in Grantham? Possibly.

 

The Berlin restaurant, one of 20 across Germany, is on Friedrichstraße and admittedly I wouldn’t hesitate to go again. Yes it might not have led me on a journey to an enchanted land but it was a good lunch.

 

I’d make sure I sat in the right seat next time though.

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Friedrichstraße 101, 10117 Berlin, Germany

+49 30 20679063

 

 

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.