Eating in Berlin | The Bird
August 6, 2013
Looking for a good, American-style burger in Germany is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie. All Clueless '90s references aside, any meat-loving American living, or traveling, in Germany might go a little crazy wondering why German burgers more closely resemble a slab of meatloaf on a lackluster bun than that meaty, juicy classic so ubiquitous in the US. So after a few years of so-so burgers (and gorging on In-N-Out whenever we were back in the states), we decided to take our very well-traveled friend's advice and try what he deemed to be 'the best burgers in Europe': The Bird in Berlin.
Our first trip there, we lucked out that a table opened up at the last minute and we greedily jumped on it in anticipation of such highly-praised American fare (reservations are all but required, and well in advance). We didn't have to wait long for our food - which probably had a bit to do with the limited time before the next reservation was to arrive - and when the overflowing plates were set in front of us, our mouths remained agape for a good minute before we snapped out of our trance and got down to the business of stuffing our faces.
The thick-cut, not-quite-steak-fries were rustic and that perfect combination of crisp outside and soft inside. The dill pickle spear was fresh, delicious and appeared to be homemade, with bits of dill stuck to it (note: on our second visit to The Bird months later, the pickle was not-so-fresh and not nearly as good - a big bummer, as I miss good dill pickles something fierce). But it's really the burger that remains the star here. The thick, juicy patties take any American right back to their favorite burger place and immediately put the rest of German burgers clearly in their place: close, but no cigar. The multitude of ways you can get your burger decked out - from a variety of cheeses to bacon to guacamole - are equally impressive, and equally as messy. I've heard a few Americans scoff at the English muffin-style buns and while I don't dislike them, I will admit they have a hard time holding up to such massive, dripping burgers.
The loud, beer hall-meets-cafeteria atmosphere, the assortment of ciders and whiskeys, the English-speaking (if you prefer) waitresses are all reminiscent of your favorite American burger joint, but it's the mouth-watering burgers - a bit pricey, but worth every penny for that imported US beef - that make it required eating for any burger-lover in Berlin.
Oh yeah, and in case you thought this was just another German place trying to masquerade as American fare...
Am Falkplatz 5 Prenzlauerberg
phone: 0305 105 3283