Rosenthaler Grill & Schlemmerbuffet
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Overall Döner Score: 7/10
Notes: 5 is the baseline in this rating system. That means anything above 5 is above average and everything below is below average.
Ratings Adjustment: Hakiki downgraded from an 8 to a 7.5
Torstraße 125, 10119 Berlin (Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg)
There is a certain category of fast food (Imbiss) joint in Berlin that doesn’t really specialize in any one thing or set of things and instead offers almost every conceivable cheaply-produced fast food item. From Döner to pizza to chow mein, these places often do it all but rarely any of it well. Rosenthaler Grill & Schlemmerbuffet in Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg certainly doesn’t stray from this cast-a-wide-net model, but they do rise above their peers in terms of product quality.
One of the first things I look at when approaching a Dönerbude for the first time, is their #Dönerstack. There are four different tiers in quality among Dönerstacks, but for the sake of brevity— and because I want to do a deep dive into the topic in a later post— I will only discuss the middle tier, into which the Döner at Rosenthaler Grill seemingly falls. Middle tier Döner is comprised of Rind- (beef), Kalb- (veal) or Lammfleisch (lamb) that has been pre-seasoned, stacked, and formed by a restaurant’s supplier. When meat is cut from the stack, you should be able to see the cross sections of the individual layers of meat and, sometimes, still in tact, whole pieces of meat at the top of the stack. You can think of this tier as your higher end, plug-n-play Döner kebab. Flavor-wise it didn’t offer much.
Their bread, which is verifiably baked in house, is certainly unique among Döner kebabs I have eaten, and more closely resembles a pide ekmek than your standard Döner bread. This is not a complaint, however—the soft, buttery pide was a welcomed departure from the normal crispy flat bread. The toppings they offered were mostly standard, though the Dönermann did throw us a curveball at the end when he asked if we wanted cheese and, after we said yes, laid a large white puck on the pide alongside our other toppings. It turned out to be a very soft, mild (presumably) sheep’s cheese that lent a very nice light flavor to the sandwich but dominated in terms of texture. The sauces, which, according to the folks of Rosenthaler Grill, are homemade, were not that different from your standard sauces. The Kräuter (herbs) sauce basically amounted to sweet mayonnaise, as this sauce option often does, while the scharf (spicy) sauce was almost completely absent of the extreme sweetness that I have come to expect in Döner shop scharf sauces. It was very tangy and had a more balanced sweetness that I appreciated a great deal.
While I cannot speak to their rotisserie chicken, pasta, pizza or other menu items, I can say that Rosenthaler Grill remains a standout among its specific category of Döner shop. The restaurant was clean, the food was good and the gentleman taking our order was unusually friendly and helpful. If you happen to be in the area and are craving a Döner kebab, I would say it is a good bet.