In an era when even currywurst shops get a designer makeover, Ruhland & Ruhland, a small deli-café on Knesebeckstraße, gets the look right. The interior could be classed as ‘designer Heimat’: a curly 19th century style logo, lots of white paint, old-fashioned shelves containing precious gourmet foodstuffs. The sign promises “custom-made food and fine groceries”. But what of the actual grub?
Well, as this is a kind of deli, sandwiches are of existential significance. These ones, made on a decent baguette – though slightly on the small side – are delicious. We devoured a pastrami and Weinkraut (a fancy word for sauerkraut) one in a few delightful bites. One suggestion, though: why not offer a real pastrami sammy – a huge pile of meat on rye bread, served with a pickle? We’d love that! Another tip: how about truly ‘customised’ made-to-order sandwiches, to please customers’ each and every whim?
Moving on, the warm food menu is comprised of soups, savoury strudels and Knödel (€6.50-7) plates, which are composed of three homemade dumplings served with a delicate salad (apple and beet, for example) and a medley of cooked regional organic veggies. And these aren’t just any old German dumplings. Ruhland & Ruhland’s come in three unusual varieties: chard (Mangold) and parmesan; tomato and olive (Mediterranean!); Laugen-parmesan (made with pretzel dough!). The desserts are baked goods, care of Frau Barcomi, the grande dame of American coffee bars in Berlin. The triangular scones, cheesecake, muffins, lemon bars and apple pies are all up to scratch. After the loss of the wonderful American-run Kitchen a couple of years ago, and the more recent closure of Gorilla Bio Fast Food, Ruhland & Ruhland is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood lunch scene.