It comes therefore as no surprise whatsoever that Knödelwirtschaftswunder – a tiny, shabby-chic restaurant in Neukölln which serves only Semmelknödel in South Tyrolan style – has become the object of my culinary affection.
Knödel were never part of my life, so once they were introduced to me, I was immediately sad that I had missed out on them.
There are so many variations of Knödel (which are usually made from potato and old bread or whatever dough you can find and roll up), and each and every one of them deserves glory. Some people call them Klöße, which seems like an entirely different thing to me, but what do I know.
If the mountain won’t come to Berlin, Berlin must go…
At Knödelwirtschaft, the Knödel is the star. This “one dish wonder” restaurant has a weekly changing menu with four Knödel and some starters – mostly soup – and specials on Sundays.
This is the type of consistency I love about a restaurant: don’t mix it up. Don’t try to make everyone happy (vegans are out of luck, I suppose – what with the butter). Just do the one thing you can do really well and go with it.
Every Knödel I’ve tried was great so far. Spinatknödel, Rosmarinknödel, Kastanienknödel, Käseknödel, Mangoldknödel, ALL THE FUCKING KNÖDEL!!!!! They make me feel things about mountains again. They make me want to travel on top of the Dolomiten and pick flowers in Merano.
The Knödel is not to be taken lightly. It is mountain food, serious and heavy. It is served with parmesan and love, and by love I mean butter. It will give you the strength to survive Berlin’s winters.
At Knödelwirtschaft, it will also take care of your spending habits: two Knödel cost 6€ and will keep you fat and warm for the rest of the season. Every Knödel comes with salad and pickled Sauerkraut, and there’s usually one dessert option (a sweet Knödel!) which I can only highly recommend.
This hearty, savory and cozy experience will leave you in a happy trance and lets you feel physical about food.
Knödelwirtschaft: Techno-Knödel in Neukölln
The restaurant itself is friendly, “gemütlich”, as we call it – in typical Neukölln shabby-chic atmosphere, with great service and waiters that will make you feel right at home. But the atmosphere isn’t rustic at all – the low-key Volksbühne-esque identity of their menu and logo, and the ethnic Techno playlists, juxtaposed with this super-traditional Bavarian-Austrian-Tyrolian Knödel, is as Berlin as it will ever be: Youthful, energetic, quick and drunk on a fantastic house wine.
The restaurant is fairly small and not quite a hidden gem anymore, so make reservations and prepare to be packed tightly among children, parents, Helsinki Goths, school teachers and students. And me.
(By the way: it’s a great place to take people to who don’t know anything about German / Austrian food and who are sick of Currywurst or Schnitzel or simply vegetarian)