Here’s part of the line waiting for Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, at about 2 PM on a weekday afternoon. It took a little less than half an hour for me to reach the front of the line—not bad, when the wait on weekend nights during the warm weather months can be more than two hours.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when Germany had a serious labour shortage, the West German government invited Turkish workers to fill in the gap. They came, and many of them stayed. Today, Turkish immigrants and their families are the largest group of non-citizens in Germany.
One of the things they brought with them was the döner kebab, a dish made with meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Over time, the döner kebab became the most popular fast food in Germany, with annual sales more than of €3.5 billion.
Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, a small, three-man booth in the Kreuzberg section of Berlin, is reputed to make the best kebab in Germany. It’s served in a toasted, thick flat bread, which someone described as a “fat pita”. The bread is topped with three stripes of sauces: One yogurt herb, one chili, and one garlic. Then it’s stuffed past overflowing with fried eggplant, potatoes, chicken, tomato, onion, cucumber, lettuce, and spices. Then it gets a serving of feta cheese, and a squirt of lemon.
It looks like this:
And the taste? Amazing! It really is one of those “OMG this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten” treats. I was tempted to get back in line and get another, and I might have, except that the one I had was already enough for two meals.
Oh, and here’s the kicker: It costs €4.20. That’s about $4.60.
Meet Mustafa. Someone made this video of the scene at his stand.