Tired of eating the same old fast food and cold sandwiches for lunch? It can be hard to find unique grab-and-go options around town, especially from locally-owned restaurants. No worries! FresYes has your back! I’ve got the scoop on a delicious new place that opened in Fresno a few months ago!
Berlin Street Grill, on the northwest corner of Cedar & Herndon, serves a (deceptively) simple menu of German street food, namely döner kebap sandwiches. You’re probably thinking right now that I misspelled kebab. I did not. Kebap is meat cooked on vertical broilers, like shawarma is.
The juicy meat (chicken or beef at Berlin Street Grill) is served in pita-like pockets of sesame-encrusted bread, along with lettuce, tomato, onion, fresh red cabbage and your choice of a garlic or spicy yogurt sauce. Basically a German twist on Mediterranean food, it’s a combination unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. It’s super yummy!
Owner Kia Karbassi decided to go into the restaurant business after an acquaintance who owns the shopping center suggested he take the space that another restaurant had just vacated.
“After careful consideration (about five minutes), I agreed,” Kia said. “My best friend and I spent a few months considering different types of food. We felt strongly that I needed to serve something that was fresh, healthy, and different. We knew we had to keep things as simple as possible to ensure quality. Since we both studied abroad, we kept going back to the idea of German street food and döner kebap sandwiches.”
Berlin Street Grill keeps things healthy with fresh veggies, yogurt-based sauces and meat that is never processed. There’s also a vegetarian sandwich option and salads (which you can add kebap meat to). Sandwiches can be served as wraps if you want to go a little lighter. Soups, sauces and the restaurant’s potato salad are made from scratch every day. My friend had the chicken noodle soup and definitely recommends it. Check out those serious noodles!
“So many places buy foods already made but that destroys the natural flavors,” Kia said. “Yes, it is a lot of prep work, but if you read our many Yelp reviews, it has been worth it.”
I personally recommend a side of German fries with your meal. Perfectly crisp, meaty on the inside and sprinkled with just the right amount of German spices, I was addicted from my first bite. If you want your fries a little more amped up, order the currywurst, which is locally-sourced bratwurst served over fries and drizzled with housemade curry ketchup.
In addition to unique food, I can say that Berlin Street Grill also has great service for a “fast-food” joint. While I was there, they happened to run out of chicken right after I ordered because of a large office take-out order. In addition to apologizing multiple times for the wait, the staff offered us free brownies. (Buy the brownies! They are chocolate-y goodness!)
If you’re interested in trying something other than sandwiches, Kia plans to start adding other traditional German foods to the menu soon.
“We really are a different dining experience for Fresno,” Kia said. “There are few if any German restaurants … compared to Chinese or Mexican restaurants. We take pride in offering quality food.”
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