Caution: the menu has a bit of sass
In finding a restaurant to take me to, my cousin found a website that listed White Trash Fast Food as one of the Top 10 restaurants in Berlin. Its quirky name and even more quirkier (and cluttered) website (that announced dates of live acts and movies shown) reeled me in… okay, I have to confess that it was really the Chinese-style font used that cinched it, piquing my curiosity.
I didn’t know what to expect from a restaurant with such a funny name in an ironic font and I was surprised any way with 2 massive gold-coloured Chinese lions flanking its front door:
The inside decor was amusing, warm, funky, quirky, dim, and pretty confusing: parts of it looked a traditional Chinese restaurant, but then there was a massive bar, that was clearly European/American, with red and white chequered clothed tables and really non-Asian decorations. It was such a mess and I loved it… once I got use to it.
After milling around a bit, unsure whether we were to be seated or just plonk ourselves down somewhere (we couldn’t tell who was a customer or who was part of the staff), we were ushered to a table by a bemused waitress wearing torn stockings with a red and black tartan miniskirt and a tattered, tight tee.
You can tell when a restaurant doesn’t really take itself too seriously when its menu and specials are described like this (warning! Explicit language used):
My cousin was in a state of disbelief and I didn’t think he quite liked the concept of such a brash menu; my other cousin and I, on the other hand, loved its in-your-face, silly, and sometimes a bit nonsensical descriptions. All of the following captions are straight from the menu.
My brother isn’t one to pass up on a prawn dish, least of all one that had words like “POWER!” and “sizzling” in it. He gave this entrée another one of his 4 out of 5 stars (I’m beginning to suspect that as long as a dish has prawns in it, it’s an automatic 4), and again declined to share (he gave me an uncomfortable stare when I asked for a taste. Bah).
This was ordered for the table as some people were taking so long to decide what to get (more like they couldn’t stop talking to make a choice! This trait some people have frustrates me, most especially when I’m hungry, as I think we can talk while we wait for the food after ordering… sorry… /endrant) and my other cousin rightly figured that we’d likely die of starvation before the other side of the table knew what they wanted to order.
I love nachos. They’re such a great snack and this was a glorious mess of cheese, guacamole, and mince beef.
The soup of the day when bought with any burger is only an additional 1,50 € – which my third cousin felt was too good of a deal to pass up (especially since he was sick and felt like soup). My
first second reaction on hearing what his soup consisted of was, “Does that work?” (my first was “What?”, as I thought I had heard wrongly). The odd concoction actually did work: the blue cheese was rather mild but did give the soup a bit of an edge tempered by the sweetness of the celery. I didn’t really taste the walnut, but then again I only took a small sip of the soup and might have missed the subtle flavour.
All burgers are made by hand with fresh-ground 100% beef on organic (bio), baked-daily buns (by Beumer & Luttum bakery in Kreuzberg) and are served with “f**k you” fries (their friendly way of saying thick fries). Or for those who are not meat-inclined, the veggie burgers (you can make any burger a veggie burger) are hand-made with nuts, beans, tofu, and chopped veggies, mixed with their “secret herbs and spices”.
The burgers (and steak) ranged between pretty good to not bad. My cousin found that there was a bit too much goat cheese for him, which he said overpowered and overwhelmed everything. I loved my King Elvis Supreme Burger and was quite sad that I couldn’t finish it (damn those yummy nachos taking up space!)
The wait was a bit too long and when the food came out – we all attacked it ravenously. It might have been a bit too generously sized and portioned, with most of us struggling to finish both burger and chips, but I thought it was well worth the wait.
Scrumptious! It was warm, sliced apples generously seasoned with cinnamon, and the whipped cream and ice cream it was served with really topped it off. We ordered two of this delectable dessert and would have to say that their serving portions weren’t very consistent. This dish was more than decent in portion, but the other dish was almost a thin sliver of apple pie.
My cousin (the one who had the warm goats cheese burger) said that coffee and creme brulee should not be mixed like that. I felt bad that his choices that night weren’t to his liking.
Excited about the juxtaposition of the hot fudge and cold ice cream, I was quite disappointed that it wasn’t at all hot! At least it was fudge and despite being full of nachos and burger, there’s always room for ice cream.
Our dinner started at about 6.30pm and we had our desserts at about 9.45pm. The wait between “courses” was really terrible for 9 hungry people, but because of it we got to hear the start of the live acts. The first (and only one we heard) was Rob Ryan, who sang his self-composed country music. I normally don’t listen to country, but his songs were infectiously catchy and toe-tapping. If you come in after 9pm, there is a cover charge of about 6 €, depending on who’s playing and what’s on.
White Trash Fast Food looks deceptively small from the outside and it becomes clear when you go searching for the bathroom that it’s a lot bigger, stretching long towards the back of the building and splitting into two storeys. The bathrooms are located right at the back of the restaurant – a trek in itself past booths and tables stuffed with chatty customers in grungy clothes.
My sick cousin told us that White Trash use to be a luxurious Chinese restaurant and back in its heyday The Place To Be. It wasn’t hard to imagine waiters bustling around with food and drinks to various round-sized tables with white table cloths if you took away (what my other cousin called) the “white trashed-ness”. In a way, it was kind of sad that that era had come and gone, but good because in its place, with the loud, boisterous crowd, you get amusingly strange menus and music so infectious you can’t help but smile.
While the food might not be to everyone’s tastes, the menu is extensive and the charm of this place is really the atmosphere that (I think) is hard to find and replicate. Once you get use to it all of its brashness, it’s really quite cosy, laid back, and fun – somewhere I know if I lived in Berlin again, I would be a definite regular.
Oh! Maybe TMI, but the King Elvis Supreme burger really does make one fart like a king the next day.
White Trash Fast Food
Schönhauser Allee 7,
10119 Berlin, Germany
Ph: (030) 5034 8668