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Hallo Berlin

54th Street & 5th Avenue, New York, NY -
Posted By Bill Homan on 5/28/2008 11:52:00 AM
A couple of years ago, a friend put me on to the Hallo Berlin wurst cart and I've loved it ever since. The Roadfood atmosphere, wonderfully accented by proprietor Rolf Babiel's personality and sense of humor, is an experience unlike any other in the city and one not to be missed. It is still parked at 54th and 5th Tuesday through Friday, from about 11am to 3pm, but it is best to call ahead as they don't always have the cart out.

On my most recent visit, I waited about 35 minutes and got to watch the man in action as he bantered with the eager wurstheads in line. The menu lists a staggering number of wurst choices and some delicious sides such as German potato salad and German fried potatoes. Two of their specials are the aptly named Joseph Stalin "Dictator" Special (they choose for you) and the Winston Churchill "Democracy" Special (you get to choose)!

Rolf and his co-worker were kind enough to pose for a picture when I asked. He said, "You want our picture? We are handsome men? OK!" After he cut my bratwurst I said, "Looks beautiful!", to which he replied with a smile, "I know!". If you order a drink, Rolf puts it in the bag and twists the bag around it, so as not to crush the food. He hands you the bag and has you pause, telling you to hold the bag around the can or bottle and saying that it is "German efficiency for you," with a smile of course!

The price of the "Freakin Deal" has gone up since the last Roadfood review. It's now $7.50, but still quite a freakin deal: two meatballs, a bratwurst (my choice), sauteed onions, and German potato salad with spicy mustard. This is one of the best meals I've ever had in the city. The crusty and very juicy brat has a nice snap. The meatballs are moist; the spicy mustard complements them well. The cool, vinegary potato salad and soft onions mix into everything making for one tasty mess of food. The roll is amazing! Upon tearing it open, the crusty exterior flakes off and reveals a soft, chewy interior perfect for soaking up the remaining sauces and bits. Wash it down with a cold Saranac Root Beer from Utica, NY and your meal is complete.

If you're in the city, I HIGHLY recommend checking this cart out. It's worth a special trip. Oh, there is a plaza one block south on 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, across from the American Folk Art Museum, where there are lots of places to sit. I usually go there to enjoy my "Freakin Deal," and to people watch.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Here are just some of the sausages ready to be served at Hallo Berlin
"Here are just some of the sausages ready to be served at Hallo Berlin"
Michael Stern





The best brat this side of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
"The best brat this side of Sheboygan, Wisconsin."
Michael Stern


One of the best deals in NYC.
"One of the best deals in NYC."
Bill Homan


The
"The "Freakin Deal" is a five-dollar daily special that includes two meatballs, a cut-up knockwurst, potato salad, and sweet sauteed onions, plus excellent hot horseradish and spicy mustard to dress the balls."
Michael Stern


Running this cart successfully since 1980.
"Running this cart successfully since 1980."
Bill Homan


So many options.
"So many options."
Bill Homan


To choose or not to choose, that is the question...
"To choose or not to choose, that is the question..."
Bill Homan


The
"The "Worst" truly is the best."
Bill Homan


A typical midday wait here is about 20-30 minutes, but totally worth it.
"A typical midday wait here is about 20-30 minutes, but totally worth it."
Bill Homan



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