It may be easy to write Roamers off as yet another on-trend cafe on Pannierstraße, but the labors of Flore Schmidt and Chris Schiefner make this place stand out.
“How did you hear about this place?” one Roamers customer asked. The answer: “Instagram.” Of course. With its interior of polished cement and recycled wood, garnished with succulents and topped off with an eclectic Wunderkammer installation, it’s easy to write this place off as yet another on-trend cafe on Pannierstraße.
But thanks to the enthusiasm and kitchen panache of owners Flore Schmidt and Chris Schiefner, who opened their doors in January as the culmination of a lifelong dream, it’s a cut above its Kreuzkölln brethren.
Flore and Chris offer two main dishes daily. The choices tend toward comfort food basics that exceed their reputations, like a tasty pear, Gorgonzola and ham focaccia grilled sandwich (€4.40) or their house Welsh Rarebit (cheddar fried in beer with Worcestershire sauce and cornichons served on sourdough, €3.50).
There’s always a salad; we tried one with beetroot, blue cheese, avocado and a poached egg, all tossed in homemade vinaigrette (€7) – it was definitely nice.
But what beat it all was the duo’s most requested (and most-Instagrammed) dish: their take on the popular North African shakshuka (€5.50). This is a poached egg in a sauce of tomato, peppers, garlic and cumin to which they add a dash of coffee (or sometimes chocolate), a pinch of cinnamon and a dollop of crème fraiche. It’s spicy yet balanced, the cumin-cinnamon blend adding an interesting depth of flavour – our tip: ask for bread for dipping!
Wash it down with an outstanding avocado-banana smoothie (ingredients secret, €3.10), or, if it’s later in the day, a craft beer or the signature Roamers cocktail of thyme-infused vodka (€7 for a quarter-litre jar).
Originally published in issue #126 April, 2014.