This past week a new colleague of mine threw a birthday part at Breitengrad 17, a Vietnamese restaurant downtown (déjà vu, anyone?). The restaurant has been on our list to try for some time, but with Takeshii's being one of our long-time favorites, we've usually just gone there instead. However, with such a great opportunity, we couldn't turn it down.
Luckily, we've had perfect patio weather this week and were able to sit in their extensive outdoor area. It's a really nice little nook on Eberhardstraße set away from the traffic downtown with lots of plants and umbrellas. The restaurant itself is also quite lovely with ornately carved walls and colorful artwork to accentuate the modern tables and seating.
A few of our friends were already there when we arrived, and we were quickly approached for our drink order after sitting down. I decided to go with a glass of white wine, but after flipping a few more pages and seeing the cocktail menu (and eyeing the brightly colored drinks of my friends), I realized I should have waited and ordered a cocktail first. One of them in particular, a Monkey Mule made with Monkey 47 gin and homemade ginger lemonade with honey, sounded super tasty. Next time.
Their food menu had a few appetizers including an extensive list of summer rolls for two people, soups, rice dishes, and rice noodle dishes. The best part was that we were able to accommodate everyone at our table, including one vegetarian, one person with a gluten intolerance, and another with a nut allergy.
For my meal, I chose the Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong Ga -- lemongrass chicken skewers and vegetable spring rolls served over rice noodles with a peanut sauce, grilled vegetables, salad, and a vinegar-based fish sauce. I really liked the combination of juicy chicken with crunchy fried spring rolls, as well as the homemade peanut sauce. There was a nice balance to the dish between the fresh green vegetables on one side and the rich peanut sauce and fresh spring rolls on the other side. I very much enjoyed my meal.
Matt decided to go with the Vietnamese Crêpes. The crêpe batter was made with rice flour and turmeric, and I remember it being a bit thicker than traditional French crêpe batter. They had been lightly fried on the outside, giving them a nice crunch. Inside they were stuffed with super tender pork and a mixture of vegetables including carrots and green beans. We'd never had anything like them, but would certainly choose them again.
In fact, every member of our party enjoyed her meal. I can't say that the food was better than Takeshii's and I still really like their do-it-yourself summer rolls, which Breitengrad 17 doesn't have. However, I would call Breitengrad 17 a nice complement to Takeshii's because they both have really high-quality dishes with slightly different offerings and fun cocktails. Plus, Breitengrad 17 is open for lunch, while Takeshii's is not. Furthermore, the ambiance was lovely, and the waitstaff was able to easily accommodate both our party's food requests and separate billing. We would definitely go back there again.
Breitengrad 17 is located at Eberhardstraße 35 (their new location) just off of the Rathaus U-bahn station. They're open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 12:00 until 15:00 and for dinner from 18:00 until 23:00. They are closed on Sundays. Note that dogs are welcome, and they accept from EC cards and Visa.