Nestled into a cozy area of Pioneer Square at the intersection of 1st Avenue south and S Main street, The Berliner is a restaurant specializing in doner kebab, a Turkish sandwich most Americans know as a “gyro”.
Named for the vertically rotating skewer of layered meat, doner kebab is a truly epic sandwich. Savory and meaty, with fresh crisp veggies and flavorful sauces, doner is the kind of food one can return to over and over again without getting tired of the constant amazing.
While doner shops are ubiquitous in other countries, they aren’t quite as common over here, and I was quite excited to find a place that sold it.
Offering a twist on the traditional kebab in pita bread, The Berliner offers a German twist, using Turkish-German flatbread.
The Berliner did not disappoint in the slightest, satisfying my cravings better than I had hoped.
Having not tried the flatbread before I was a little wary, but it was fantastically delicious. With a hard crispy crust and a warm, soft interior, the flatbread added an extra heartiness to the meal. Pita bread is an option, as is two different types of tortilla for wraps, but I think the flatbread is the perfect bread for the kebabs.
The menu offers a variety of sandwiches, having different sauces, some spicy, some with garlic, as well as different ingredients such as basil, cilantro, even mangos with curry or mandarins with a spicy mandarin sauce.
Customers can choose between chicken or lamb and beef for a meat, or tofu and feta for a vegetarian option. Salads are also offered, but to go to The Berliner and not get a sandwich doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to this writer.
Prices are very reasonable and based on meat choice. Chicken is $7.25, lamb with beef is $8.25 and $6.75 for the tofu and feta option.
For those of drinking age, a selection of beer is available as well. Domestic tall boys and bottles of higher end brews are offered.
I opted for the Pike Brewing IPA, the bitter hoppiness really complimented the meaty heartiness of the sandwich, cutting through the juice and sauces.
The Berliner’s unique take on the classic doner kebab combined with its location in historic Pioneer square, surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in Seattle make it a destination for tourist and longtime resident alike, with flavors that will keep customers coming back for more.