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  1. I've had good results marinading in a mix of (per kilo of lamb) about 4 cloves of garlic, the juice and zest of an unwaxed lemon, 2 roughly broken bay leaves, 2 teaspoons dried greek oregano, a couple of sprigs fresh oregano, a generous amount of black pepper and a good glug of olive oil (and no salt). I tend to leave it overnight, and then to sprinkle with salt while grilling.
  2. I'm flying into Newcastle with some friends next week, and spending the night in Durham before heading to the Pennines for a week. Can anyone recommend anywhere for a good breakfast? I'm thinking primarily of a good fry-up (I've only had one since I moved to Germany two years ago), but preferably somewhere where they take more care than in the average greasy spoon. And other suggestions are also very much appreciated, if the food makes a visit worthwhile. Alternatively, since we're not pushed for time and have use of a relatively well-equipped kitchen, can anyone recommend a good butcher's or other source of good-quality eggs and meat? It's years since I had a good-quality, oatmeal-based black pudding. In both cases, recommendations in easy reach (by foot) of the city centre would be much appreciated.
  3. If I'm buying roasted beans, how should I be storing them? Or does their age by the time it comes to grinding them mean that I need to be roasting at home in order really to taste the benefits?
  4. I'm wondering about how best to improve the coffee I drink regularly. Preferably without either creating huge amounts more work for myself or spending a great deal of money. The latter, combined with the fact that I don't drink milk in coffee, means that I have already ruled out upgrading the moka pot to an espresso machine: it's beyond the budget I'm prepared to spend at the moment, although I don't wish to rule it out for the foreseeable future, which means it would be good if any upgrades I make now were compatible with such a move at a later date. I currently mostly use filtered Berlin tap-water and pre-ground dark-roast espresso from cafe liberdad, a German collective who import coffee from co-operatives in Chiapas and Costa Rica. This makes an acceptable but not exceptionally good drink. For various reasons, I'll probably be sticking with the same suppliers: they also offer roast whole beans (which I have bought on occasion) and raw coffee (which I have not yet bought). I have access to a hand-powered burr-grinder, which I have used on the occasions when I have bought whole beans. The grounds are noticeably coarser (or rather: not so uniformly fine) than the pre-ground stuff. The resulting coffee was slightly but not a huge amount better than than that from the pre-ground beans. It is hard to be certain, but I think that the coffee made shortly after the packet was opened was better than that at the end of the packet (which I stored in an airtight tin). Are the most substantial improvements to the end-product likely to result from home-roasting, getting a better grinder, storing the beans differently, something else I've not thought of, or some combination of the above? I'm assuming that the biggest advantage of home-roasting comes from the freshness with which I will then have access to the roast beans, rather than the quality of the roast per se. And have no idea whether this benefit can be achieved through other methods, or how much a difference a grinder can make, etc.: all advice gratefully appreciated!
  5. and a sceptical comment or two from the Graun: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/200...umenthal.chefs1
  6. Thanks for the recommendation: we arrived in Brussels at 5pm, which gave us time for a quick metro-trip to the Marcolini shop on Avenue Louise, before making our way to La Bonne Humeur a little after 6. A kilo of mussels each (one nature, one with green peppercorns) and a demi of white wine set us up very well for the journey onto London. We had the good fortune that our journey out coincided with the last day of the Marcolini summer collection, which meant I could also make the best of the winter collection on the way back. Which I have to say, I find considerably more impressive.
  7. I'm in Brussels for several hours between trains next week. Certainly long enough for one meal (Eurostar check-in is at 2130), possibly two, depending on whether we take the sleeper from Berlin or the first train of the morning. Thanks for the recommendations above (we may well be going to Comme Chez Soi or the Sea Grill), but I was wondering if anyone can recommend anywhere that's particularly good for moules-frites. Our only other plans as yet involve a trip to Marcolini. Is there anything else people would recommend?
  8. One place that I don't think I've seen mentioned on the thread is Max und Moritz on Oranienburgerstraße in Kreuzberg (nearest U-Bahn is Moritzplatz). Does traditional Berlin/Brandenburg food very well (infinitely better than I've had at generic German-food places in more touristy areas such as Potsdamer Platz and Friedrichstraße), and does a fairly good job of other German traditions as well. Reasonably priced, and the beer's not bad. It's somewhere I tend to take family who are visiting me when they want something traditional and German, and haven't been disappointed yet. You could try Vienna? Alternatively, both the food hall (6th floor) and the cafe (7th floor, very reasonable cake, good views) at KaDeWe are a safe bet. Or for something less traditionally German, there are some places in Kreuzberg that do very good Turkish coffee and baklava.
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