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City Döner (Updated)

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City Döner

Willy-Brandt Platz 5 68161 Mannheim

Four huge döner roasts stand on rotating spits behind the counter.  The sheer amount of poultry meat is enough to feed an entire army.  Orders are taken three, four, even five at a time as the workers cooperate together and form an assembly line to get them taken care of in timely fashion.  Freshly made flatbread gets rolled out in one corner, döner meat is newly shaved from the spit, and crisp vegetables are scooped heavily onto bread – all happening simultaneously in the tight area behind the counter while another worker takes care of the orders.  The place is busy, but the employees don’t miss a beat.  This is the scene at City Döner in Mannheim.

Like any other establishment that sells pizza and döner (or any fast food establishment for that matter), City Döner has a large menu board displaying all the items available.  Aside from the standard döner plates, falafels, Lahmacun, Pide, and calzones, there are also grill specialties, including lamb cutlets and skewers.  Turkish specialties, including Börek and Sigara Böreği, also find their way onto the menu.  Vegetarian döners and plates can also be ordered.  Chilled beverages sit in a refrigerator next to the cashier and include standard sodas and the like.

 

At 4,50 €, the Yufka Döner is a definite must.  Containing essentially the same ingredients as a Döner Kebab, a Yufka Döner makes use of a round, thin flatbread instead of thick flatbread.  This thin flatbread, or Yufka, is similar to a tortilla.  The filling – sliced tomatoes, shredded red cabbage, green lettuce, raw onions, and chicken / turkey döner all topped with yogurt sauce – is placed inside the flatbread and wrapped like a burrito.  What makes the Yufka at City Döner stand out is the amount of filling – the thing almost weighs a pound and is about a foot long!  Eating this Goliath is a tricky task in itself as the seams basically burst open after the first bite.

The flavor inside the yufka is plain solid.  The chicken / turkey meat is juicy and packed with seasonings – exceptional and delicious.  Flatbread is soft and delicate, baked until slightly crisp.  Vegetables provide the right amount of crunch and texture.  The portion size of the meat and vegetables is more than generous.

Despite all of this meat, however, the Yufka suffers from a lack of sauce.  Maybe the meat and veggies soak it all up.   Each bite is dominated by the saltiness of the meat as opposed to a harmonic balance of flavors.  Yet, in spite of this minor setback, the Yufka is certainly worth ordering.  The messiness associated with eating such a huge wrap makes the meal fun and challenging at the same time.

 

You also can’t go wrong with the Dönerteller (Döner Plate).  Here at City Döner, you have the option of ordering a plate with either rice, fries, pasta noodles, or without any of the above starchy foods.  Each döner plate is served with a cool green salad consisting of chopped lettuce, shredded carrots, red cabbage, diced cucumbers, green and red bell peppers, and a slice of tomato.  Parsley is garnished over the vegetables.  Yogurt sauce is squeezed all over the top of the plate.

Each plate is also accompanied by a piece of flat bread served in a basket.  The complete Dönerteller amounts to 7,00 €; without rice, fries, or noodles, 6,50 €.  Clearly, 7 euros is slightly more expensive than a similar plate at other döner places.  However, this price difference is easily made up by the overly generous amount of meat piled high on the plate and the warm piece of bread on the side.

In terms of flavor, the Dönerteller with rice at City Döner is by far the best plate of döner and rice thus far.  The Turkish style rice pilaf consists of white rice and scant amounts of orzo.  Both the rice and döner glisten in the afternoon sun like expensive jewelry.  The pearls of rice are delicate, creamy, and have a distinct, slightly sticky nature.  Combined with the dangerously addicting and succulent pieces of poultry, this plate works like a charm.  It’s sort of reminiscent of a delicious bowl of teriyaki chicken and rice (but, of course, without the teriyaki!).  Include the refreshing side salad and the impressive amount of yogurt sauce on top and you have yourself a completely satisfying meal.  Although presentation is lacking (the dish looks like a colorful snow covered mountain), the flavors work wonderfully on all levels.

Serving up colossal döners at competitor’s prices, City Döner may very well be one of the best in the city.  With essentially round the clock hours, this kebab joint can be relied on for that quick döner fix.  But it also has you wondering – who would want döner or pizza in the morning?  Maybe they should come out with some sort of breakfast Yufka Döner, one with scrambled eggs, döner meat, and cheese in Turkish flatbread – sort of like a breakfast burrito – or a Breakfast Dönerteller with pancakes.  Now that would be something to see!

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Summary:

With its excellent location directly across from the Mannheim main train station, City Döner is a popular fast food joint serving up gigantic portions of delicious döner and pizza.  Practically open day and night.  Only poultry döner available.  Outdoor seating available during the spring and summer.  Extremely quick and efficient service.

Hours: Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 6:00 AM – 4:00 AM
            Friday, Saturday:6:00 AM – 5:00 AM 

 

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Yufka Döner – 4.5/5
  • Dönerteller mit Reis (Döner Plate with Rice) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

May 25th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Chili’s Café & Restaurant

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Chilis Cafe Restaurant

Plöck 93A 69117 Heidelberg

Chili’s – a popular American casual dining restaurant.  Largely associated with tasty baby back ribs, Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurant has made a name for itself dishing up quintessential American Tex-Mex food.  Chili’s Café & Restaurant, having no relation to the American owned chain, mimics this approach.  The Café & Restaurant serves quintessential German fast food – döner kebab, pizza, currywurst, and French fries – and even their own twist on Tex-Mex, including Mexburgers and burritos (including one with döner!).  Even the restaurant’s sign has a chili pepper forming the ‘C’ in Chili!

 

Inside this café & restaurant, located off the main street in Heidelberg, you will immediately recognize the café part, with the restaurant aspect blended in.  The look is rather contemporary – brown cushioned sofa chairs, light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, and clean wooden tables – similar to what you might find in a modern-day coffee shop.  There are also chic bar stools clustered at the counters.  The décor is an odd mixture: a couple of Mexican sombreros hang on the walls and there is a framed picture of an American flag near the television set.  The menu board is quite extensive with over 70 items to choose from.  Alcoholic beverages are available, as well as coffee and assorted café beverages.

 

Order the 3,70 € Lahmacun with salad and sauce and you will get a crispy flatbread wrapped around red cabbage, chopped green lettuce, onions, and some white yogurt based sauce (Tzatziki).  The round, thin flatbread is topped with a red tomato sauce.  From the outside, the Lahmacun essentially looks like a pizza, wrapped like a burrito, with salad as your toppings.  Even without any meat inside, the flavor is satisfactory.  The crunchy vegetables go well with the crispy flatbread.

 

A more appetizing and filling option is the 4,50 € Yufka Special.  Yufka is a thin, round, Turkish flatbread made of wheat flour.  It has soft and delicate consistency.  Yufka is similar in appearance to flour tortillas.  And they are used the same way in preparing the Yufka Special – the flatbread is wrapped like a burrito around slices of döner, chopped red cabbage, green lettuce, raw white onions, and sticks of feta cheese, with white yogurt sauce poured over it all.  Altogether, the wrap is gargantuan in size (roughly half a pound!).  The döner at Chili’s has a distinctive taste compared to other kebab shops – it has a slight kick to it, perhaps from some chili spices.  This makes the Yufka even more special.  Every bite is packed with flavor, with a fairly balanced portion of döner meat and vegetables (although the onions are a tad too much).  Moreover, the texture is extraordinary with the soft doughy flatbread, the crunchy cabbage and onions, creamy feta that melts in your mouth, and the salty, spiced meat.

With good food and a fairly recognizable name, Chili’s Café & Restaurant suffers from poor location.  Had it found a spot along the main street in the Altstadt, Chili’s would be more than a popular place for students looking for a quick, low-cost, and delicious meal – it could become as big as Chili’s Grill & Bar.  Or close to it.

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Summary:

Chili’s Café & Restaurant is a fast food establishment located in the Heidelberg Altstadt serving up a sizable selection of typical quick service dishes, including pizza, döner kebabs, salads, and falafels, as well as some unique variants, such as burritos and Mexburgers.  Free Wireless LAN Access.  Delivery Service after 7 PM.

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 10 AM – 11 PM
            Friday: 10 AMMidnight
            Saturday: 11 AMMidnight
            Sunday: 11 AM – 11 PM

Overall – 3 stars

  • Lahmacun – 2.5/5
  • Yufka Spezial (Yufka Special with Feta Cheese) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.chilis-hd.de

Written by geschmack

January 7th, 2010 at 8:35 pm