The best thing about starting to work in a place completely different than your own is that there are a lot of new places you add on your to do and to taste list. Alt Moabit is a place I visited the last summer intensively too, but this time, I can observe it early in the morning when the streets are waking up - my favourite moment of the day to check places - and late in the afternoon when everyone is coming back home. The foodie offer around seems to be richer than expected to stay tunned for a lot of tasty reviews in the next days and weeks. As for the beginning, I decided to start with Arminius Markthalle, situated very close to the Tiergarten City Hall. An old red bricked construction opened officially in 1891, it was destroyed during the WWII bombings and completely reintroduced in the local circuit only after 2010. It was named after a Germanic hero from old tales.
What I see first here is not an exposure of German traditional food, but a mix of various styles and influences. As a way to celebrate the Royal visit of Queen Elisabeth in Berlin, I order a small portion of fish&chips. The best is to come on the plate with coffee mugs filled with various sauces. The Chinese sour sweet is the best for me, but cooking-wise the ketchup and mayo are also well done and suit better the content of my plate. Did not try the season's malt vinegar as I did not feel it is really what my digestive system needs to. Talking about the food as such, the French fries were good, well done, fresh and not very oily. The fish, although much better than anything I tried in Germany till now, were a bit too crumby and too hot, maybe the result of being too frozen before preparation. The menu includes various fish-based sandwiches and burgers, at moderate prices - but high for a market - so maybe will be back to try something else one of the next days.
Moving on the next counter, I find myself in the middle of various Italian wines, with colourful etiquettes.
From a British-looking - and talking - counter, last autumn pickles are starring from the jar.
The place is not that busy, almost empty in some areas, but blame it the cold weather and the cheap competition of the many cheap Turkish shops nearby. Every weekend there are many events organised here, many on foodie-related topics.
Besides the impressive wine choices that are calling my expert name from the four corners of the hall, there are also a couple of beer options, just in the middle of the hall.
Many are brought from all over the world, inviting the expert Berliner tasters to experience the multi-kulti in their glasses.
Unexpecteldy for a food hall, there is a fancy designed corner where you can rest in a vintage glamour ambiance. There is also a theatre inside the hall, and a couple of stands away, a local politician is waiting for its supporters to ask him questions. As long as I was around, there were not too many offers.
This big table, with a candelabra is the best way to get people together. If you are now in the area, you can easily make new friends.
Besides these fancy options, one can find at the market some usual offers too, especially for Berlin: fruits and vegetables, some fresh smoothies and various Turkish delights, various sorts of cheeses - did not see any difference compared to the usual offer in a Kaiser's shop - many meat and a supermarket-like offer of fish. There are also nice flowers and some fast food - imbiss - with take away Asian foods. The restaurants are usually open only after 12 o'clock during the week.
The markets in Berlin, and the one in Arminius Markthalle is no different, are very quiet, lacking the human touch and sound of the similar places in France or Italy. Don't expect to see fish alive in the plastic pond or vendors that will call your name to buy their products. Visiting a market in Berlin is a different experience and as for now, I take it as such.