I almost don't want to write about Berkis, because it's already hard enough to get a seat in this place. But I like it so much that I can't keep it a secret. The first time I went to Berkis, just off of Winterfeldtplatz, we actually stopped in late for a sandwich after a movie at its little take-out corner, next to the main room of the restaurant. We had simple gyros sandwiches, but they were really exceptional. The meat was so delicious, the fries were fresh and snappy, the tzatziki was thick and gorgeous. For three euros a pop, the sandwiches were a steal (the meat is all organic and humanely raised).
Ever since that evening, I've only been back to the actual restaurant, which is so good I may never eat another one of their gyros sandwiches again (though that would be a shame). Berkis makes authentic home-cooked Greek food, simple grilled fish, lovely meze. It's a good, reliable neighborhood spot that makes me curse not living in the neighborhood every time I pass it.
I almost always just order off the daily specials menu, because I've had such roaring successes from there over the past year (long-stewed lamb in tomato sauce, falling off the bone; veal and artichokes braised in a lemony sauce; tender grilled octopus; you get the picture).
The last time I went, I ordered these long roasted peppers to start. Slightly peppery and slicked with good oil, lemon juice and little slivers of garlic and chopped parsley, they were delicious. I could have eaten a whole plate only of these, mopping up the juices with bread.
Next was a simple grilled orata that was one of the best pieces of fish I'd ever eaten. Almost sweet with freshness, cooked exactly right, with just the right amount of charred flavor, it almost melted off the bones.
The fish came with a side of simple vegetables: long-cooked Swiss chard, boiled potatoes, drab-looking squash and carrots. But the Greeks are like the Italians in this respect. They know how to cook the ever-loving daylight out of vegetables in just the right way, leaving you with intensely flavored, sweet vegetables so wonderful you would - once again - be happy with only these for dinner.
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