Teigwaren does to Italian cuisine what Germany did with Italian fascism: strip it to its barest elements and use it as a tool of oppression. Is that a bit harsh? Yes. But read below.
I stopped in for a bite to eat on a weekend recently, when the menu advertised "Vegetarian Ravioli." Sounds good, I thought. I should have realized that no one in the restaurant appeared to be eating. I placed my order for vegetarian ravioli and an iced coffee (which was on the menu) and waited. The server came back and asked me if I wanted my iced coffee over ice or iced cream. Because I'm a grown man, I said ice. The server then came back and asked if I wanted milk or cream in it or what. She seemed generally uncomfortable with the idea of making iced coffee. I find this odd; it's on the menu. Just make what your restaurant normally makes. I guess that she assumed that because I'm an American, I was expecting some fruiti-tutti Starbucks-style frappa-lappa-ding-dong, because the coffee came back with cream and some kind of gross sugar syrup in it, plus a fucking cookie on the rim. Yes, that's right, an Oreo-ish cookie as a garnish to the iced coffee. Uh, what? It's hot outside but I want to drink coffee. Hence iced coffee. Iced coffee contains only two words, and guess what, it also contains only two ingredients. It doesn't need anything else in it, it's just ice-cold coffee. I hate to sound like a dick but I'm sick of explaining this to baristas in Berlin.
Thus began my experience at Teigwaren. I waited, and waited, and waited for my meal. Several other people got up and left during this time, but at the 30-minute-mark, I told myself I was in for the long haul, if only out of curiosity. A group of Italian college students placed an order, then became dejected, and finally gave up and left over the course of 45 minutes. But I knew I could handle it. So finally, ONE HOUR AFTER I PLACED MY ORDER, my vegetarian ravioli came. It was bland and doughy, and filled with some kind of indistinguishable cheese. It had a little butter on it too, but no vegetables or anything. Not that I'm a stickler for this kind of thing, but having "vegetarian" in the name of the dish usually implies the addition of some kind of vegetable.
When it came time to pay, the total was 10,10. I had no change and only two 10-Euro bills. I offered them and asked for change. After all the previous bullshit, the server gave me some attitude about this and asked if I had any change instead. I said no. She continued with the huffy attitude and took the 10, and said we'd call it even. Oooh, wow. Saved 10 cents on the worst meal I've had here in Berlin. Thanks a lot.
In conclusion I suggest Teigwaren change its name to "Teigwarten" with a "T", to more accurately reflect the main aspect of a dining experience there, which is waiting. I also suggest that no one go there.
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