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Feb 19, 2013 05:50 PM

Berlin: Rogacki Redux

The wife and I visited Rogacki last year and enjoyed what we had. However we wanted to take some food away but frankly were overwhelmed by the selection; and the staff's almost complete lack of English didn't help the matter.
I've done my research and viewed the Rogacki website (which doesn't appear to be a full listing of their offerings) and don't feel prepared for our revisit next month. So I'd like to request about a dozen or so items (we have no dietary restrictions) that would make for a proper hotel picnic for two. Ideally I'd like to just walk in w/ a list (in German) and hand it to a staff member.

Thanks in advance

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  1. I am guessing you are mostly interested in the various fish / seafood offerings in the main dining hall, since the cheese, sausage and meat stations (doubting you'll sear up a steak in your hotel room :-)) are fairly self-explanatory?

    If so, are there particular fish preps you like more than others? Smoked more than pickled?

    My man and I will sometimes pick up some herring salad and a variety of smoked fish (although that can get *really* expensive), but we mostly go there for lunch and indulge in the ridiculously cheap fried fish filets and potato salad paid for according to weight....

    I'd be more than happy to make some suggestions, but my favorite things may not be yours, so please -- enlighten me :-)

    12 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Thanks as usual for your enthusiastic response. Wow we like everything but to be more specific: roe, liver, eel, smoked fish (not pickled), fish salad, potato salad, etc. I think our issue was that there's a variety of many of these items; which ones are choice?
      So lets make it simple: if you walked in w/ €60 what would you bring back to your room?

      1. re: Chinon00

        Ok, this is going to be a bit difficult, as I am not au courant with the many delights on display these days.

        Sometimes just pointing can help -- you'd likely want at least 100-150g (3-5 oz.) of each, depending on your appetite.

        They have a variety of smoked salmon (Lachs), hot & cold smoked, from various countries, which you'll likely be able to figure out.

        I love smoked halibut (Heilbutt) and butterfish (Butterfisch. whodatunkit!), and the so-called "Schillerlocken" which are smoked filets of spiked dogfish aka mud shark. I think they also have a few varieties of smoked eel (Aal).

        As for roe, I've seen them sometimes to have shad roe, but it may be too early in the year for that (?).

        If you're talking caviar, you probably have the usual choices plus trout (Forelle) and salmon. That said, most of the upper scale supermarkets like Kaiser's will sell you trout caviar (a personal fave) in a glass for much less than Rogacki.

        Liver... are you talking fish liver? If so, I don't remember seeing any there (not to say they don't have it), but that would be Leber.

        I like the red herring salad (it's red b/c of the beets) & Dillhappen (herring with dill, onions, sometimes apples in a cream sauce).

        As for potato salad, you'll generally have the choice between Swabian-style (cooked in broth and dressed with oil & vinegar) or with mayo/yogurt. Pointing should do the trick here as well.

        With all that smoked fish, you'd likely want some prepared horseradish (Meerrettichsahne).

        I hope this is helpful at all, if not -- well, you know where to find me :-)

        Guten Appetit!!

        1. re: linguafood

          Wow, lingua, you're totally inspiring me to expand my tastes in smoked fish! I just wanted to chime in and recommend the green pepper salami and the cherry-water salami. We brought home a bunch of each, which made for very happy snacking the next few days.

          My first visit to Rogacki brought out the real inner nerd and I ended up taking a bunch of pictures of the things we ate and took home - so you can see below! It was an impressively good standing lunch - and maybe the best smoked salmon on toast I've ever had. (I think I ate the salmon too fast to photograph it though...)

          I was wondering if it was possible to take away any of the hot food they make? The hot potato salad that is pictured below (served at the same kiosk as the fish soup and smoked salmon and toast) was incredible too. There was just something perfectly balanced about the saltiness of the speck meeting the occasional green crunch of the chives, and the crisped edges of those potatoes - something I'd love to get for take away (though I doubt that's possible).

          The next time I go back I am hoping to try some of the pates and mousses they have, and grab a couple of those little meatballs.

          BTW, after we ate there, we went a couple doors down to an old bar on the same side of the street (Wilhelm Hoeck since 1892, Wilmersdorfer Strasse 149) for some beer and schnapps. The adorably brassy woman who had commandeered the griddle at our kiosk (and prepared those heavenly potatoes) showed up at the bar a half hour later and was treated like a queen. She literally went over to every table, cheers-ing and cheek-kissing the other bar patrons, who clearly knew and loved her. Her beau had claimed the center table beforehand, and she took her rightful place in the middle of the whole crowd. Rogacki is truly beloved.

          1. re: breakfastsandwich

            It definitely is a 'hood place for old Charlottenburgers :-)

            The potato dish you had was home fries, not a salad. It looks delish, tho. Might have to get a portion of that next time we're there for fried fish instead of the salad.

            The bar you mention sounds like a riot. Ch'burg is not really my kiez, but it's always an interesting place to visit -- the characters alone, just like the lady you mentioned, make it worthwhile.

            1. re: linguafood

              Ha, yes, I totally agree - the potatoes weren't a salad. I don't know how my brain sublimated that dish into something remotely healthy (beyond good mood food...)!

              The bar had the usual great German pils and an interesting array of schnapps, if one cares to partake in that kind of thing. I liked the apricot!

              1. re: breakfastsandwich

                One summer I stayed in an area between Kreuzberg and Schöneberg, on the 4th floor of a building that housed a liqueur manufactory/bar ( The owner of the bar had a rooster in the backyard that woke me up for a few mornings until I gave in and kept the bedroom window shut. A rooster! In the middle of the city!!

                Not being a huge liqueur fan, I didn't check it out until the night before I was to fly back to the States. Stumbling in after quite a farewell celebration with friends, I tried walnut, lemon, and something else that escapes me now.

                Needless to say, I had the hangover to show for it the next day. Not the most fun flight home. Tasty liqueurs, tho.

                Henne has a really nice selection of traditional liköre and schnäpse, too. Besides their awesome fried chicken :-)

                1. re: linguafood

                  Wow, I love that story! Not the first time I've heard of a very hungover transatlantic flight from Berlin! Farewell parties are always tempting. :)
                  I didn't realize Henne had so much to offer as far as liqueur goes... Sounds like fun!

                  1. re: breakfastsandwich

                    OK, the schnaps menu isn't nearly as expansive as others, but they have some regional specialties like Mampe, Persico, and 'crazy' things like ginger or cinnamon liqueur.

                    Plus the chicken of course. Dammit I can't believe I have to wait another 2 months... gaaaaah.

                2. re: breakfastsandwich

                  I fell in love w/ Killepitsch here in Philly at a local beer garden. Wonderful schnapps.

            2. re: linguafood

              That's perfect! Thank you so much!

              1. re: Chinon00

                Aber immer!

                That said, nothing's free in life, so I expect a full report on your Berlin food outings -- and not just on Rogacki :-)

                1. re: linguafood

                  Reservations for Katz Orange already made. And headed to Marjellchen immediately after we unpack.

        2. I'm gonna get greedy and ask are there better options for cheeses and baked goods/pastries in Berlin other than Rogacki? If so do tell.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Chinon00

            The obvious answer is KaDeWe for both. Then there's Maître Philippe ( for cheese.

            Fabulous pastries and desserts can be found at Werkstatt der Süsse in Prenzlauer Berg.

            Bon appetit!

            1. re: linguafood

              Agreed on KaDeWe (of course)! I would also recommend the pastries and baguettes on the bottom floor of the Galeries Lafayette. They fly the baguettes in from Paris (for whatever that's worth), they're still really reasonably priced and have always been superbly fresh.

              In addition to a nice array of pates and mousses, GF also stocks La Fermiere yogurt (not carried at KaDeWe, shockingly!). La Fermiere produces the most heavenly vanilla yogurt I have ever tried, sold in little ceramic crocks. Those could easily pass for a dream picnic dessert. So so so well-done!

              1. re: breakfastsandwich

                Ah, totally blanked on Galeries Lafayette -- another luxury temple of culinary delights, sadly a bit out of our league '-(

                1. re: linguafood

                  Yeah, I try to keep tunnel-visioned on the yogurt and baguettes! It is so hard to resist the chocolate, the tea, the little French morsels everywhere...

                  1. re: breakfastsandwich

                    I'll have to give the baguettes a shot when I'm back in town.

                    I really never had baguette as good outside of France. And I know this sounds ridiculously snobby (I'm not even a breadhead), but whether it's the water or who knows what, I'm willing to try those imported baguettes!

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Well, clearly there are lots of people who like to contend about their baguettes being as good or better than baguettes in France, but I heartily agree with you on this matter and don't find it snobby at all. For me, French baguettes are the best, others are very good, and still others are middling or inedible. I don't refuse to eat baguettes outside of France either, hoping (so far in vain) that I'll strike gold somewhere near my house!

                      1. re: breakfastsandwich

                        I had an uncle stationed in Germany (Karlruhe) over 30 years ago who came home raving about the great diversity of German bread. I never forget that. Anything unique to look out for?

          2. Ok trip over so here's our full dining report:

            Currywurst w/ fries and Bratwurst were both fine but the highlight was the bottle of Weissenoher Klosterbräu beer. Hoppy and spicy w/ a nice malt backbone. Favorite beer I had in Berlin.

            I had "Masurian Jugged Game" stag and wild-boar, with bacon and mushrooms w/ potato dumplings, stewed cabbage and cranberries. Wife had saddle of lamb in rosemary sauce and Lyonnaise potatoes. Ordered Spätburgunder Alde Gott, Sasbachwalden 2011. Wine was a bit too light for the meal but was good on its own (and I wanted red wine from Germany no matter what as it is rare in the states). Wine had loads of green tart flavor. Food was well done, rich and satisfying. Quaint atmosphere.

            Rogacki (takeaway)
            From the smoked fish section: smoked halibut, butterfish (fantastic) roe sack (decadent) and salmon. From the cured meats section: truffled salami (great), head cheese, this really soft spreadable sausage (didn't like) and liver pâté w/ apples (nice). Fried fish and potato salad w/ eel and Blood and liver wurst for lunch again. As good as before.

            Katz Orange
            Sad to say but we found the this spot to be lots of sizzle and little steak. Beautiful decor, hip music, an attractive staff and crowd. Started w/ fries and cucumber dip. Fine. For a main we ordered the Duroc pork and found it to be dry. The sauce for the pork however was delicious along w/the potatoes. Dessert was disappointing too. Nougat Creme Brûlée. Not much on the plate and no custard just three small cookie sized sweets and some toppings.

            Brewbaker Brewpub
            After a bit of confusion we found this place. It was formerly located under S Bahn station (Bellevue) but w/in the passed couple years had moved to Arminiusstrasse. Also we wanted to take some beer as away; as it was indicated on their website and by a display of bottles w/ price tags at the brewpub that you could purchase. However we were told they had no bottles for sale. However the beer was fresh and outstanding. Pils was malty sweet but balanced and the pale ale was a revelation. Super clean and fruity for a pale ale. We went twice.

            Maybachufer Turkish Market
            Had a falafel sandwich w/ hummus, salad, peppers, sauce . . yummy.

            Hasir Ocakbasi
            We had entrees of doner kebab and lamb chops. Came back later for a doner sandwich to go. Delicious and great before a night of drinking;]

            So much more of Berlin to see. We'll return soon. (Cocktail bar reviews to come)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chinon00

              Aw, bummer about the dry pork at Katz. I went there maybe 3 times last summer and never had that experience -- the fries and pork in particular made me return.

              Glad you enjoyed Rogacki, tho. That fried fish & tater salad combo is pretty awesome.

              Looking forward to your cocktail bar review.

            2. My grandmother used to order fish from Rogacki in the 50's (through the 90's), always told me it was the best, if that's what you wanted, and wanted to pay for it.

              I went there for lunch in 2005, or so, and had a very nice solo lunch.

              I'm glad it's there, still.