It was a drab Thursday afternoon when I first walked into Otto’s Berlin Döner — a German inspired restaurant and bar in Toronto’s Kensington Market.Naturally, I checked on Yelp to find out what kind of menu I’d be committing to for my lunch hour, and having already flipped through dozens of pictures of their food, I decided my order the minute I walked up to the cashier. What took me by surprise was the décor of the store. The Berlin Döner has an outdoor patio in front with fairy lights hung overhead, and a door leading from the patio into the store. The inside features an eye-catching mural painted on one wall, and on the other is a shelf stocked with plants illuminated by glowing lights. Picture-perfect décor situated throughout, the newly opened restaurant acts as both a heaven and a hell to the Instagram-oriented mind.Specializing in German street food, the restaurant offers three dishes that can be altered to your liking. The döner, a sandwich consisting of fladenbrot, assorted meats, cheese and hot sauce, is priced at an easy $7.95; the döner teller ($9.95) – a breadless option that I had opted for – is made up of meat, couscous, house salad, fries, and your choice of garlic, yogurt, haut sauce, or curry ketchup. The third meal offered is the currywurst ($7.95), a fried piece of veal or pork shaped into a sausage, traditionally topped off with curry ketchup.The friendly cashier suggested that a first-time Berliner such as myself should start off with the yogurt and garlic sauces, and eventually move my way up to the big leagues (hot sauce and curry ketchup). When I asked which drink was ideal for my meal, he immediately suggested the Prime Mate. A play on words, this Montreal style, highly caffeinated club drink is made with an infusion of yerba mate. They also offer the Club Mate – the original version of the drink -— that’s perfect for a late night out with your friends, or, if we’re being honest with ourselves, a late night spent cramming at Robarts. If booze is what you’re looking for after the trauma of an organic chemistry midterm, Otto’s also offers beer, wine, and a speciality slushy offered both virgin and spiked.Otto’s is closed on Monday’s and Tuesday’s, but is open as late as 3:30 am on Friday’s and Saturday’s. With chic décor, great food, decent prices, and house music playing softly in the background, this is the perfect spot for a quick lunch, a study break, or a couple of drinks with friends.
Published: 1:39 pm, 28 September 2015