Oak and Ice

oak and ice berlin gluten free

It seems that 2016 shall be known as the year of the good gluten free ice cream, although this may be mostly due to me personally eating a lot more of it this summer.  But there are a few new standouts and Oak and Ice on Schönhauser Allee is definitely one of them with a much higher quality of ice cream than usual.

First off, the place is gorgeous and around 5000 times better that other ice cream places in terms of seating and comfort.

oak and ice gluten free ice cream berlin

I’d actually go far as to say it’s more of a cafe than an ice cream parlour.

They have a pretty great selection of ice creams, although at the moment they’ve stopped labelling which are gluten free.  I’m not sure why they’ve done this, but they do say that their sorbets are all gluten free but only after asking will you be told that the other ice creams are all gluten free apart from one (the oreo cookie one on my visits).  This is a little worrying as you’re completely relying on the staff behind the counter to really know what they’re doing and as we’ve mentioned before, most people do not.  Add to this that almost every time I have been, I’ve asked if the ice cream is gluten free, ordered and then been offered the ice cream in a cone.  Suffice to say a little labelling and staff training would go a long long way here.

To be honest though, I wouldn’t be giving them a hard time if they were not offering things like this.

glutenfrei eis berlin oak and ice

Yes, the signs are somewhat hard to read, but that’s a gluten free ice cream sandwich written right there.  So, on my first visit, I ordered one, because what else would you do?

gluten free ice cream sandwich berlin oak and ice

Honestly, it wasn’t that great.  The cookies are from Jute Backerei next door and they’re good as British style biscuits but not really the american chewy cookie that you need for an ice cream sandwich.  They’re just very very dense.

But, on the bright side, the Marscapone and Fig ice cream within was absolutely amazing.

gluten free ice cream in bowl oak and ice berlin

Not to mention the salted caramel varieties (they are ridiculously good).  Even their plain ol’ regular boring just vanilla is out of this world.

They do have a cake selection too, but I’ve only seen one or two gluten free options there.

oak and ice gluten free cakes berlin

All of the cake options I’ve seen are from Jute Backerei also.

In conclusion, definitely go and visit, their ice cream is simply the best I’ve had in the entire city.  But be careful, double check and ask them to cater more to gluten free people.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Shop Review – glusto.com

If you’re a long time reader of this blog you’ll know that I’m a big fan of something new or different.  The variety that you have in gluten free food here in Germany is very small compared to my home country of Britain.  Not that I have a problem with the Schaer/Schnitzer/Seitz of the world, it’s great that they provide all the every day items, but sometimes I’d like something a little more special.

Thankfully, some entrepreneurs are setting up online shops just to fill that niche.   Today we’re talking about glutso.com, a new Italian based gluten free shop with lots and lots of things you cannot buy here in Germany!  Perfect.  They were kind enough to send me a box of items to try out for a review, a good combination of pastas and cookies and such.

So, let’s just get to it.  First up, the pasta selection.  The pasta you can buy here in Germany is, well, technically pasta.  It’s not terrible, but it is also not great.  Now if there’s one thing you would expect an Italian gluten free shop to have, it’s good pasta.

gluten free pasta glutso

First up is the Tri Colour Pasta.  Just look at it, good packaging and good quality looking pasta.  It is worth noting here that all of this pasta is a little more sensitive to cooking times, so you have to be very careful not to under or over cook it.  I, unfortunately, am not an expert pasta cooker, but even with that I was very happy with what came out.

gluten free tricolour pasta glusto

The texture and flavour are amazing, around 57 times better than any gluten free pasta I’ve tried before.

gluten free corn pasta glusto

glutenfrei mais pasta glusto

Next up is the Corn Pasta, perhaps my favourite out of all the pastas I tried.  It’s the closest I’ve had to regular gluten-filled pasta.

gluten free amaranth fusilli pasta glusto

glutenfrei amaranth fusilli pasta glusto

Next is the Amaranth Fusilli, this one was pretty good but I think I overcooked it a little.  Even with that, it’s still a lot better than any other gluten free pasta I’ve tried.

IMG_3731

glutenfrei kastanie Pennette pasta glusto

Lastly the Chestnut (and rice) Pennette, which again, was a little hard to cook and as a result had a little odd texture to it, but was still pretty good.

Overall, each of these pastas if far above what you can find in any shop here in Germany and I would highly recommend you give them a try.  You may pay a little more, but you are paying for quality.  Plus, they even have Gnocchi!

Next up, biscuits.

gluten free cantuccini glusto

These little almond cantuccini were amazing, certainly the best I’ve had.  They were a little powdery, but the flavour was perfect.

glutenfrei shortbread glusto

Farcighiotto, something I’d never really heard of before, but they’re basically shortbread with a chocolate cream filling in the middle.  They were a little powdery (see my comments below for all of these cookies), but the flavour was great.

glutenfrei kekse chia heidelbeeren

Chia and Blueberry cookies, how amazing does that sound!  These were delicious, if a little powdery also.

glutenfrei Zimtkekse

The same goes for these little cinnamon cookies, amazing flavour but a little powdery.

gluten free ghiottone

glutenfrei hiottone

Next up is Ghiottone, another thing I’ve never really seen before.  This was unfortunately the only real disappointment out of everything I tried, the biscuit part was super dry and powdery and the chocolate wasn’t all that great.

gluten free chocolate muffin

Next up were some little chocolate muffins, which were again delicious, but the texture was a let down and they were prone to crumbling.

glutenfrei joghurt muffin

I’ve never had a yoghurt muffin before, but these were even better than the chocolate ones, but again, a little crumble prone.

gluten free mini tortillas

Last up are some little Teff Tortillas, they were good but have a very distinct flavour that might not be to every-bodies taste.  If you like things made from teff flour, you’ll probably like these though.

So, you may be thinking that the pasta sounds amazing, but you’re not too sure about the crumbly/powdery nature of the cookies and muffins.  Well, yes, it is a little bit of an issue.  But that is what gluten free food is, you’d be hard pressed to find a manufactured cookie that doesn’t have this problem.  Plus, the ones that are less powdery/crumbly are usually full of so many chemicals that I’m not sure how good they really are.  In the end though, for me the flavour made up for any texture problems.

They have a lot more on offer than I’ve reviewed here so be sure go to and have a look through their online shop.

Cafe Review – Erste Sahne OTIVM

gluten free erste sahne otivm berlin

I do not make it down to Neukölln often enough these days, partially due to my laziness but also due to the fact that there are so many good gluten free places around Berlin.  There are just so many options that do not require 40 minutes of traveling.  That being said, the enticement of something new, and the nearby excellent Tempelhof former airport/Park, was enough to drag myself down to Erste Sahne OTIVM (I’m not sure why they write the last part in caps, but I feel like I should write it so too).

The first thing to greet you when walking in is a rather nice splattering of menus on the wall.  Just look at all that eis!  All the milk free and egg free options are listed and all was gluten free on my visit (although, I’d definitely recommend double checking with the staff when you visit).  It’s all homemade so you can feel a little safer in the fact that they know what they’re talking about.

gluten free erste sahne otivm ice cream

But, I didn’t come here for Ice Cream (well, at least not initially, more on that later).  I came here to stuff my face with delicious Italian treats.  First things though, just how many options did I have?  What kind of treats could I devour?

gluten free erste sahne otivm torte caprisa

Oooo, look!

gluten free erste sahne otivm cake

Yum!

gluten free erste sahne otivm cookies

I do love blue berries!

gluten free erste sahne otivm

But, cherries are where my heart are so I popped for one of these.

glutenfrei erste sahne otivm

Look at it, just sitting there waiting to be consumed.  It was very good indeed.  Especially as I’m kind of sick of super sweet gluten free cakes and cookies (I guess there is a downside to having lots of gluten free cafes in Berlin).  It was just the right level of sweetness, as in, more of a 60% dark chocolate than a milk chocolate.

But, they do also have a rather delicious looking display of cakes.  I haven’t tried any myself yet (and I’m not exactly sure how many of these options were Gluten Free, possibly 1 or 2) but I have complete faith that they will be equally delicious.

gluten free erste sahne otivm cakes

The place itself is a little on the smaller side and there are not many seats, but it is rather lovely.

gluten free erste sahne otivm berlin inside

Plus, they usually have a wall of little treats and goodies to buy!

gluten free erste sahne otivm treats

You may now be thinking “oh yes, that looks magical, I can’t wait to be there.  But wait, you promised me Ice Cream!!”, so yes, they also have Ice Cream.  But not just your usual milk laden or soy based ice cream.  They have olive oil ice cream.  Now, you may first think that olive oil and ice cream do not work together, but you should just flick yourself in the face for such a thought.  It’s possibly the best ice cream I have had in Berlin (well, the chocolate one I had was) and you should most definitely get down there and give it a try.

glutenfrei erste sahne otivm berlin

In conclusion, should you visit?  YES.  Should you visit multiple times so that you can sample the cakes, cookies, ice cream and all the other gluten free treats? YES, RIGHT NOW!  It’s the first time in a while where I’ve visited a gluten free cafe and found something new, interesting and delicious.  Plus, if it’s moderately nice weather, go and visit the tempelhof park, it’s just around the corner.

Click the banner below to see all the details of this restaurant on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Cafe Review – Aunt Benny

gluten free berlin aunt benny

Sandwiches, they are a glorious invention.  Just take two pieces of bread, place tasty things that you like inbetween them, squish together, then consume.  What more could you want from life?  So, with my (English) love of eating sandwiches, living a gluten afflicted life in Berlin is a little depressing.  Up until now, nowhere has offered a gluten free version of anything I would consider a sandwich.  Then, I received a tip, there was a cafe in eastern Friedrichshain offering not just sandwiches, but desserts also!  I dropped everything and ran over there as quickly as I could.

glutenfrei aunt benny berlin menu

I arrived and upon first glance the menu only offered glutenfrei soup, which is good, but not the sandwich delight I’d ran for.  Then, after a little investigation of a nearby cabinet, I found a little sign attached to some decidedly gluten looking sandwiches.

glutenfrei sandwiches aunt benny berlin

Gluten Free is available!  Plus, not just sandwiches, but GRILLED sandwiches!  I decided on a grilled hamster as I am quite delighted with it’s macabre name.  A short while later, this popped onto my table.

gluten free sandwich aunt benny berlin

Yum (there was no time for further thoughts at this point in my visit, I first had to consume half of the sandwich).

glutenfrei belegtes brot aunt benny berlin

Look at that, layers of tasty goodness inbetween gluten free bread, I was rather happy.

glutenfrei aunt benny berlin coffee

I also purchased a coffee, which turned out to be equally good.  The combination of good food that I can eat and good coffee does not happen as frequently as one would like.

After finishing both, I was satisfied and happily sat reveling in my good fortune.  Then I remembered something else I had seen in the cabinet.

gluten free apple crisp aunt benny berlin

Get that, a glutenfrei sandwich AND I could have dessert.  I quickly ran over to the counter to order and was presented with quite a dilemma.

gluten free brownies aunt benny berlin

They have gluten free brownies also!  It was at this point that my mind popped with the overwhelming number of gluten free options that they have (granted, it’s only 4, but even this is a rarity for Berlin).  After some inner turmoil I decided on an Apple Crisp and I was not disappointed (it’s made from the owners mums recipe).  Unfortunately I ate it quicker than I could photograph it, so you’ll have to buy one yourself for a better view.

The place itself is quite cosy and has the air of New York about it.  There are plenty of tables, although I would get there as early as possible, it tends to get quite busy on a weekend.

glutenfrei berlin aunt benny inside

In conclusion, this may be my favourite gluten free place in Berlin.  Go, now, eat as much as is humanly possible and then thank every member of staff excessively for offering us such a great variety of options.

Click the banner below to see all the details of this cafe on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

 

The Slowfood Naschmarkt – Take 2

As my last visit to the Slowfood Naschmarkt, back in December, was verging on the magical I was super excited when, around a week ago, I found out that there was another happening!  For some reason, I thought it a Christmas market only thing, But, thankfully, it isn’t.  So I got myself down there as quickly as I could with dreams of filling a bag full of gluten free goodies (I think last time I bought 3 types of brownies alone).  On arrival I noticed the familiar signs next to some of the stalls, proclaiming their glutenfrei goodness.

Great! I thought.  But, my hopes were soon dashed on the rocks.  The signs were far less apparent than they had been before, and many of the places I had bought from the previous time had nothing gluten free atall.  Disappointment indeed.  Thankfully though, Frau Zeller had the same delicious cake as last time.

Along with Hudsons, who had their yummy gluten free brownies.

So, all in all, quite a let down.  But I guess we can’t really blame the stall owners.  If there aren’t enough of us buying gluten free food from them, it’s simply not worth them stocking it.  I suggest sending a few emails through to the owners, hassling them to make more gluten free goodies, the list of them is here.

I’m going to live in a land of hope and believe that next time, on the 17th June, there will be more for us.

Website
Googlemaps
Slowfood Berliner Naschmarkt
Markthalle Neun
Eisenbahnstr. 42/43
10997 Berlin

 

The Slowfood Naschmarkt

A few weeks ago an amazing event happened, for one day, and unfortunately for one day only, an entire market hall was filled to the brim with desserts, cakes, sweets and all manor of goodies thanks to Slowfood Berlin.  Now, for us gluten afflicted, this would be nothing to shout about.  Simply lots of food to look at and pine that it can no longer be consumed by yourself.  But, this was something special, for at this event two things happened.  One, the organisers took the time to ask all the participants if they would be bringing anything glutenfrei and then organised these rather useful signs.

And two, more importantly, a lot of the stalls actually had gluten free products.  As in specifically made cakes, brownies and savory treats.  In a word, Heaven.

This is what greeted me on entry, you probably can’t see there, but thats not one, but two glutenfrei options from Frau Zeller!

It was most delicious indeed.

The only problem with the rest of the market (and this is a problem i was very happy to have and wish would happen more often) was that there was too much choice.  Think of that, too many cakes and sweeties to choose from, if only it was like that all the time (although then I would be quite large in proportions).

I finally got to try some of Hudson’s gluten free brownies, equally delicious.  I keep trying to convince them to cook gluten free more often, but alas, they do not have the customers to make it worthwhile at the moment (ie. travel, visit, ask).

Then, as if there wasn’t enough goodness, I discovered some amazing peanut brownies from Got Dessert?

There were many other offerings on the day, too many to show here, but all in all it was amazing.  Here’s hoping it’s the direction of glutenfrei baking here in Berlin.

Naschmarkt Berlin

Cafe Review – Süßkramdealer

Not too far from Eis Voh, down in Friednau, there is a little cafe which (seemingly secretly) sells gluten free chocolate brownies.  I can’t quite remember how I came across this information now as they certainly don’t advertise it themselves.  Infact there is nothing indicating that the brownies are gluten free in the display or packaging (plus a rather disturbing lack of an ingredient list), so how anyone would know is beyond me.  But, thankfully, I do, and therefore, thankfully, now you do too.
The place itself is quite nice and has kept the feel of an olde sweet shop (at least to my English eyes) with a jarringly different back room selling hand made bits n bobs.
Well worth a little poke around to (depending upon your predilection) waste/joyfully spend a little money.
The coffee, alas, I did not have time to sample.  I just had a desire for some mini gluten-less brownies.  So, as they only had one packet, I bought it immediately.  Well, almost immediately, I first needed some assurance that despite no the lack of signs that they were definitely 100% gluten free.  Which, I was given, but when I asked why they didn’t say that they’re gluten free, they had no idea.  In my experience brownies are usually gluten filled, so unless I’m missing something obvious, I’m a little puzzled.
Now, I’ll try to demonstrate how good these little brown orbs are by the following picture of the packet.
I had intended to take a picture of the whole packet (around 10), and I had intended to take a picture in focus.  Alas, they did not survive that long and my will was not strong enough to take a second picture.  Most delicious indeed.
The cafe is pretty easy to get to/find, located directly outside the southern entrance to the Budesplatz S-Bahn station.
Süßkramdealer
Varziner Str.4
12159 Berlin-Friedenau
Website 
GoogleMaps