Even though the last street food market turned into a bit of a fiasco, I entered the dates for their second event in my calendar as I rarely pass up a food-focused event. The second market took place this past weekend at Turlenstraße 2 in the Mitte. Right away the location was much better. Instead of the winding path through the train tracks that I took to get to the first market, this one was located right across the street from the new Milaneo mall. The signage was also much better with large, bright green announcements along the entrance.
The venue was a bit like the bottom level of a parking garage with all of the food trucks and stands set up inside. There was a desk set up at the entrance where they required a 2€ entrance fee. When we arrived on the first night, Friday, we noticed a group of Mexican dancers by the entrance putting on a show. It was a very festive atmosphere, although much quieter than the first market. By comparison, there was hardly anyone there. The lines to most of the food stands were only three or four people long at most, and there were plenty of picnic tables set up around the venue for people to stop and eat. There were about 30 different stands set up in total, and we ended up going to the market on both Friday and Saturday night so that we could sample as much as possible.
Our first stop on Friday was to The Burger Republic. We've been meaning to make it to their location on Marienstraße, and so I was excited to try something from them at the festival. I wasn't disappointed. They had a really delicious Truffle Burger with sliced steak, arugula, truffle mayo, and big slices of black truffle on a soft sesame seed bun. The steak was very tender and juicy with just the right amount of truffle flavoring to complement, without overwhelming, the burger. I'm looking forward to trying their other burgers this summer.
Next we nibbled on a tasty Beef Empanada at the Shell Yafa Catering stand. The pastry was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with a flavorful, crumbly beef filling. From there we spotted a very curious sign at the Nachtschicht stand advertising po' boys. Having been to New Orleans a couple of times now, I love a good fried shrimp or oyster po' boy. And so, I was a little disappointed to see that their po' boys were made using beef. I ended up passing on the po' boy, but did get a delicious plate of Chili Cheese Fries. The fries were hand-cut and topped with a beef chili, though it needed a bit more heat for my taste. The cheese sauce reminded me more of a thin fondue, but it was good nonetheless.
After that we stopped at Mezcal to try their delicious tostadas. We've dined there once before, and I really enjoyed the food. I noticed at their stand that they had some tasty looking drinks on the menu, so I tried their Ginger Basil, which was light on the alcohol and very refreshing. It complemented our Chicken Mole Tostada nicely. The tostada came served on a corn tortilla with a generous helping of sour cream, Mexican red onions, and cilantro. The mole sauce was rich with a lovely spice.
To round out our Friday dinner, we stopped at the Dolce Forno stand for dessert on our way out. They had an enticing selection of homemade cannolis and cookies. We ended up getting an assortment with a Pistachio Cannoli, a Chocolate-Hazelnut Cannoli, a Lemon Cookie, and a Raspberry "Donut". The raspberry donut was particularly interesting as it was more like a Linzer cookie with raspberry jam in the center and a pink icing on top. Matt liked it a lot.
We returned again on Saturday for another round of tasting, and this time we went straight to Ganesha for some Indian food. They had a combination plate special, so we tried both their Butter Chicken and Aloo Bengen. The butter chicken was really flavorful and a bit spicy, which I liked better than the sometimes sweet butter chicken that you can find at other restaurants. I especially liked the aloo bengen, which I've never had before. It was a thick mixture of eggplant and potatoes, heavily spiced, and really, really good. We also tried a fried Lamb Spring Roll that was, again, tasty.
After that, we decided to go with something a bit lighter at Eat Drink Man Woman, a Korean restaurant. I've eaten there once before and can highly recommend it, but I need to return again so that I can do a full blog post. There we tried some Gimbap with beef, egg, and vegetables. We also picked up a slice of Pizza Margherita and some homemade Potato Chips from Dolce Salato/Ciao Chips, the stand next to the Italian bakery, Dolce Forno, where we'd gotten desserts the night before. I remember having the potato chips at the Sommerfest last summer. Potato chips are my one junk food weakness, and these were perfectly crisped and salted.
Still not quite full, we decided to split the Mixed Platter at Madagascar. I haven't been there yet, but they had business cards for Ambiente Africa, which I have tried and liked. The mixed platter had a combination of spinach, lentils, and chicken with okra, all in their own sauces and served over rice and couscous. the lentils were especially nice, with a creamy texture and a good amount of spice. We also got one samosa and one coconut shrimp to try. It's definitely another restaurant that I've added to my list to try.
We wanted some dessert on the way out, and rather than go for the Italian cannolis again, we decided to try the ice cream from Kreß. I knew it was bio (organic in English), but didn't realize that it was Schafsmilch (sheep's milk) until I tasted it and did a double-take. We tried both the Chocolate and Walnut Ice Cream flavors, and both reminded me of a sour kind of yogurt. The flavor was interesting, but probably not something I would to try again.
I really did enjoy both nights at the street food market. But honestly, I still don't really get "street food" in Stuttgart. All of the stalls seemed to be run by catering companies or restaurants, and none really seemed to be a true food truck, as I would have expected. And even though I preferred how much quieter this one was in terms of the shorter lines and plentiful food, I found the cost to be a bit expensive for what it was. By the time we'd paid the 2€ entrance fee and then tacked on a dish or two at 5-7€ for small plates and 10€ for a mixed plate, we'd spent just as much as if we'd have gone out to one of those restaurants on their own. I suppose the companies achieved their goal if it means I'll go to their restaurants for a full meal, although most of them, like Ganesha and The Burger Republic, have been on my list anyway. I do still like the concept of street food, but I may just hesitate to go to another event in Stuttgart if they continue along this path.
What do you think? Did you go to the street food market last weekend? Leave your comments below.