Fleischhandlung is firmly established as one of the best meat shops in Berlin (if not all of Germany) to get less mainstream cuts of high quality meat & exceptional imported beef. So naturally, WE LOVE IT! We dropped a few questions via email to manager Gesa Simons & owner Marcus Baumgart to ask about their excellent meat and the customers that buy it…
How did the idea for the shop come about, as it’s not a common shop-concept to start in Germany?
We love good meat but there are no butchers or quality meat shops in Mitte. Every time we wanted good meat, we had to drive to the other end of town.
So we thought it might be a good idea to fill that gap – and it proved right!
One of the benefits we offer, is that we have our meat cut and vacuum-sealed and so can offer reasonable prices (rather than having to order a whole large piece)
We’ve struggled to find beef cuts like bavette, hangers/onglet and brisket in Berlin. Whilst popular in other countries, why do you believe these cuts are not found in most German butchers?
Simply put, because they are German butchers!
Butchery is a very traditional trade – however nowadays there are a few young butchers who are starting to offer other cuts (some of them learned their craft in other countries and are bringing back new ideas), but these remain few and far between. Plus, Germany hasn’t got a steak-culture like many other countries – here there is a lot of braising, and of course sausages!
We love a good old German Schweinebraten – but we also say, why not have pulled pork for a change?
This is why we try to offer “the best of all worlds”
Is there a reason why US beef tastes so different to German beef?
Our US Beef are from free-range Black Angus cattle, raised without antibiotics or hormones. The cows move around a lot, which is what does a lot for the structure and marbling of the meat.
If you compare to standard German beef from cattle that have spent their whole lives in a stable, never eaten grass or even seen the sky, the quality of the meat is obviously rather different.
Are most of your customers Germans, or expats like us looking for a taste of their imported home meats?
We do have German customers , most of them are from other parts of Germany though – and those are happy to find specialties from their home like Weißwurst from Bavaria, Saumagen from the Pfalz or Labskaus from Norddeutschland.
Then there are French customers who love our French Saucisson Sec, Morteau or Foie Gras. And there is of course a big group of expats from England, USA and Australia, who not onkly appreciate that we know what brisket or flank steaks are, but also that we have those cuts available!
But the great thing is that generally everybody actually tries everything, because our customers have come to trust our taste and are willing to create new meat experiences based on our recommendations.
For example, last summer all of our regular German customers started grilling flank steaks whilst the American customers bought our Berlin grilling sausages and that’s quite wonderful!
If you had to pick a favourite cut of beef… what would it be?
At the moment I’d say Onglet/Hanger Steak . It’s slightly marbled, not too expensive, easy to prepare and the taste is incredibly intense!
What other meats can customers expect to find in the shop?
Our poultry is rather popular, because it’s not so easy to find to find elsewhere: This includes freerange cornfed chicken, duck and quail. (plus we of course stock turkey & goose for thanksgiving and Christmas)
We also stock Iberico pork from Spain with special cuts only done in Spain, like secreto or pluma. Our lamb comes from Bavaria and Scotland.
Our traditional German cuts like Tafelspitz or Kassler also sell well ….and we even have the Sauerkraut to go with it!
Where would you recommend for a wonderful steak dinner in Berlin?
What challenges occur in setting up & running an independent shop specialising in premium meats?
It requires patience in the beginning until there are enough customers, especially considering the fact that fresh meat has a short shelf-life.
Do you have any advice for those looking to do the same?
Yes – it’s essential you always keep cooking & taste your own products in order to be able to describe exact tastes or provide advice on how to prepare the meats, so be sure to eat your products often!
We also offer recipes to take away – our customers love that!
And: never stop searching for new things!
Has Fleischhandlung got any special events, partnerships, tastings or developments we can look forward to this year?
We are of course looking forward to the grilling season and will definitely have a small party for our 2nd anniversary around the end of May!
Where do you yourself like to drink, relax or eat in Berlin?
For cocktails we love Windhorst
For a relaxed night with longdrinks Dave Lombardo
Korean food is great at GoGoGi at Weinbergsweg 24
French Food at 3 minutes sur mer
Complete the following sentence: “For me, Berlin is…”
… a combination of many villages
If you love good meat, you simply have to visit Fleischhandlung on Invalidenstrasse (Mitte). Gesa is usually there welcoming you into the shop and is both friendly & very knowledgeable about all the products. We also recommend keeping up with their new items and special offers on their Facebook too!