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McDonald’s

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Willy-Brandt-Platz 4 69115 Heidelberg

‘Ich liebe es’ – ‘I’m loving it’ in German.  If you’re a big fan of McDonald’s, you will certainly be saying this catch phrase in whatever language while you’re here.  After all, the food at a German McDonald’s tastes quite similar to its equivalent in the United States.  Sure, some of the items have different names and there are a few discrepancies in terms of service and restaurant layout.  But the most important aspect – the food – is markedly similar in sight, aroma, and taste.

Starting off with the appearance of the restaurant, the exterior looks exactly like any McDonald’s would in America.  Of course, there aren’t any drive-thru windows or a huge children’s playground due to the size of the building and given the location near the main train station in Heidelberg.  Step inside through the doors and the place is remarkable in the eyes of an American.  Clean, modern, stylish, and posh.  The walls are artsy and a sight to see.  There are different styles of tables and chairs.  The bar stools aren’t your typical type – they are artistic and unique.  The main color scheme in the restaurant is the traditional McDonald’s yellow and red, but also a touch of brown reflecting the McCafé influence.  Surprisingly, there are two counters at this Heidelberg McDonald’s location – one for the McCafé and another for the actual McDonald’s fast food.  Two different menus, two separate cashier areas.  McCafé is itself a café, serving up coffee and hot drinks, along with scrumptious cakes and cookies.  It’s as if there are two eateries in one.

 

 

As stated above, there aren’t any surprises when it comes to the food.  Well, maybe a couple, but the American menu has, for the most part, made it to Germany.  German McDonald’s restaurants have value menus called ‘McMenus,’ in which you can choose from a number of items to make up your meal.  As an example, you could get a Big Mac, a Filet-O-Fish, a McRib, 9 pieces of Chicken Nuggets, or a Hamburger Royal TS (similar to a quarter pounder with cheese), an order of fries or a side garden salad, and a soft drink.  The large portion costs 5,59 Euros, which is a tad expensive.  Even the concept of the dollar menu has traveled over the Atlantic, albeit it is of course termed the Euro menu.  On this inexpensive menu, you can find cheeseburgers, hamburgers, chicken burgers, a garden salad, McSundaes (with chocolate or caramel), a small soft drink, small cappuccino, or an apple turnover.  Notable items missing from the German menu are the Angus burgers and Chicken Selects chicken strips.  For breakfast, biscuits are nowhere to be found.  Some unique items found here in Germany are curry chicken sandwiches, a burger called the Big Rosti (Rosti being a large hash brown patty), and curry dipping sauces.

The McRib features a pork patty, slathered in a thick, delicious BBQ sauce, topped with white onions and a couple of pickles, and sandwiched between two sandwich rolls.  Although it’s easy to tell that it has been previously frozen, the McRib sandwich tastes pretty good.  Again, it’s what you would find in America.  The French Fries at McDonald’s are also characteristic.  Unfortunately, though, you are only given one condiment packet (usually ketchup or mayonnaise with fries) – each extra one costs money.  Although the packet is larger than American ones, it’s still not enough.

 

The Chicken Nuggets taste slightly different than those found in the United States.  Maybe it’s due to the chicken or the breading, but there is a minor difference in taste and texture.  Regardless, the breading is crisp and the chicken is juicy inside.  Again, you are only given one dipping sauce with your nuggets, which can be problematic for those heavy dippers.  Even the BBQ sauce, with its sweet and tangy flavor, tastes American.  A six pack of nuggets will set you back 3,29 euros, so it’s nothing to laugh about.

 

A new item on the German menu is the Veggie Burger.  Priced at 1,10 euros, it’s a great value for vegetarians or health conscious individuals.  The patty appears to be made up of potatoes and carrots, bound together by egg.  There are also some corn kernels inside as well.  By itself, the veggie patty has an unusual taste.  However, topped with a slice of cheese, shredded lettuce, and a good amount of mayo, the veggie burger is good overall.  Not spectacular, but decent for the price.

 

Unexpectedly, the apple turnover (Apfeltasche) is ten times better than the American McDonald’s apple pie.  The German version has a crisp, flaky crust and is freshly baked with a warm apple filling.  Think Kentucky Fried Chicken apple turnovers, but larger.  Clearly, it tastes a lot better than the cardboard abomination of an apple pie found at an American McDonald’s.

If you’re looking for American tasting fast food in Germany, McDonald’s is the place to go.  Essentially all of the menu items taste more or less like the American counterpart.  While you may have to pay more than you normally would for a McDonald’s meal, it is enough to satisfy that one month long craving.  ‘I’m loving it!’  Or better yet – ‘Ich liebe es!’

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Summary:

McDonald’s is an internationally recognizable American fast food chain serving up burgers, fries, salads, chicken products, and desserts.  McCafé coffee and sweets also served inside, with a separate cashier and counter.  Stylish, modern dining area.  A bit expensive in comparison to American McDonald’s restaurant chains, but tastes similar (with a few exceptions).  Free drink refills at this location.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • McRib – 4.5/5
  • Chicken Nuggets – 4.5/5
  • Veggie Burger – 4/5
  • French Fries – 4/5
  • Apple Pie (Apfeltasche) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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www.mcdonalds.de/

Written by geschmack

February 18th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Dunkin’ Donuts

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Dunkin Donuts Düsseldorf

Konrad Adenauer Platz 14 40210 Düsseldorf (im Hauptbahnhof)

The holiday season has come and gone, with many people overfilling on sweets during the time spent with family and friends.  Cakes, cookies, and candies – typical holiday treats.  This isn’t just limited to the United States: in Germany, for example, traditional German spiced cakes and cookies (Spekulatius), fruitcakes (Stollen), and various confections and chocolates turn up only during the winter holidays.  But why stick to tradition?  A year-round deep-fried delight that fulfills the duty of sweet treats should be equally associated with holiday cheer.  The sugary, colorful glaze on top and the scent of a freshly fried donut is oftentimes enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face (especially Homer Simpson!).

Although the location is towards the back of the main train station in Düsseldorf (near platforms 16/17), the bright orange and pink lights of the Dunkin’ Donuts stand will easily catch your attention from a distance.  A simple glance at the vivid, artistic doughy creations is enough to attract interest and curiosity.  Moreover, some the names associated with these fried fritters – Blue Sky, Lemon Spirit, and Apple Lifting – are quite creative.

 

The Blue Sky donut has a bright calming blue hue on top of the lightly glazed doughnut.  Enough to make you sing Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies”?  Fat chance.   The frosting makes you think it tastes like blueberries, or something fresh and sunny, but it’s just eye candy – sweet frosting with added color.  For winter, Dunkin’ Donuts sells a red glazed donut called Balthasar.  The frosting tastes sort of like cherries – definitely tastier and a sweeter than the Blue Sky donut.  A single donut costs 1,30 €.

 

Like most donut stores, Dunkin’ Donuts sells doughnut holes – small doughnuts in the shape of spheres.  Rather than the generic name “doughnut holes”, they are given the cute name “Munchkins” at Dunkin’ Donuts.  At this location, they have a variety of Munchkins to choose from – glazed, chocolate glazed, sugared with a chocolate and peanut butter filling, powdered with Bavarian crème inside, among others.  The glazed Munchkin is like a normal glazed doughnut, not too sweet as you might expect.  The sugared one, with the chocolate and peanut butter mixture, is a bit gooey – reminds me of a dog eating peanut butter.  Personal favorites are the powdered ones and the glazed chocolate – both are delicious.  The custard glaze within the powdered Munchkin is a tad sweet, but complements the dough extremely well.  Each one has a good amount of filling.  The glazed chocolate is sort of like a mini chocolate muffin – with the glaze, it has the sweetness of a brownie.  A truly yummy dessert.  And, at 1,99 € for a bag of six Munchkins, it’s not too bad for a quick snack.

 

Grab a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate with your doughnuts and you are set for breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or dessert.  Or a quick snack in between meals.  You can never go wrong with donuts, especially Dunkin’ Donuts!

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Summary:

An American donut chain with various locations in Germany, Dunkin’ Donuts offers delectable donuts and hot and cold drinks that will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth!  A must stop for travelers and residents alike yearning for something American.

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Munchkins – 4.5/5
  • Blue Sky Donut – 4/5
  • Balthasar Donut – 4.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.dunkin-donuts.de

Written by geschmack

January 3rd, 2010 at 6:20 pm

China Restaurant Dschunke

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China Restaurant Dschunke

Charlottenstr. 59 40210 Düsseldorf

Located near the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, this place has a great ambiance.  After passing through the double doors, you immediately sense that you’re in for a Chinese experience with all of the elegant statues and dining furniture.

I stopped by this Chinese restaurant for lunch after coming back from the Hauptbahnhof and the AquaZoo on the 27th of August with my aunt.

 

As a long time lover of dim sum, I was really looking forward to trying it here in Germany.  To my surprise the restaurant menu features many well known types of dim sum, from siu mai to sao pao to choung fun.  However, they don’t have the push carts commonly found in LA dim sum joints.  Instead, you have to order them from the menu and they aren’t cheap at all (don’t worry, the menu is in English too!).  Many dim sum items cost around 3 € with the same portion sizes back home.  We ordered the siu mai (pork steamed dumplings), har gau (shrimp dumpling), shrimp cheong fun (noodle roll), and cha shu cheong fun (BBQ pork noodle roll).

 

I also ordered the chicken chow fun (thick noodles with gravy) and my aunt ordered the Chinese green vegetables with oyster sauce.   The shu mai was just decent (I’ve had better) and the shrimp dumpling was just a tad better.  The shrimp cheong fun was simply okay, nothing to get excited about.  The BBQ pork cheong fun was really good, almost like the ones I love.  The sauce they use, however, was too thick for my liking.  Had they used the kind as in LA, it would be excellent.

 

The Chinese green vegetables were pretty standard fair.  The chicken chow fun had a different type of vegetable than what I was used to.  Overall, though, it was better than average.  I just couldn’t eat a lot of it because I was already full eating all of the dim sum.

Cost was around 39 € including 2 green teas and a bitter lemon soda for my aunt.

Summary:

Great, elegant seating.  No outdoor seating available.  Bathrooom is located downstairs, fairly clean but somewhat dark.  Service was just okay (another table complained about the long wait, even though it was for lunch and there were only two tables taken – one waiter).

Overall – 3 ½ stars

  • Shu Mai: 2.5/5
  • Hargow: 3/5
  • Shrimp Cheong Fun: 3/5
  • BBQ pork Cheong Fun: 4/5
  • Chicken Chow Fun: 3.5/5
  • Service: 4/5

 

27. August 2009

Written by geschmack

August 27th, 2009 at 6:00 pm