We had read raving reviews about Vöner, the vegan doner eatery in Boxhagener Straße near Ostkreuz, and after several futile attempts to eat there we finally made it last Friday. On Friday evening friends who had also been interested cancelled due to the rainy weather – but we stuck to our original plan and cycled through the rain to Ostkreuz, which took about 30 minutes. On our way we passed several vegan restaurants and a large vegan supermarket in Friedrichshain.
Vöner looks like a typical fast food joint with a lot of light wood furniture, a big open counter and a handwritten menu on a blackboard. Punk music plays in the background, but somehow unobtrusively so. Isa doesn’t even notice there is music. „Hostel workers of all countries unite! – For fair wages,“ reads a flyer on the pin board. The average age of the other customers must be slightly over 20 (although later there are also some middle-aged customers).
We opt for a Vöner Sandwich with herb dressing and a Vöner plate with a tomato-chilli sauce. The Vöner turns out to be a thinly sliced slab of gluten without significant flavour – but the texture is close enough to the real thing, as far as Natascha remembers, and with the spicy sauce it actually tastes quite interesting. Isa, who never had a real doner kebab, gets a good idea about doner texture and eating doner in general – at least according to Natascha’s judgement. The Vöner Sandwich is filled with somewhat difficult-to-eat iceberg lettuce (again: no flavour) – but in combination with bread and tomatoes it makes a dinner. The fries on the Vöner plate are a different matter though. They are covered in a paprika spice powder that makes them look burned, and they are soft on the inside and the outside.
For 11 Euro (Vöner sandwich and Vöner plate) it was not worth specifically going there, considering that the ingredients for a vegan doner cost very little. Neither flavour nor texture or the atmosphere made us want to repeat the experience. On the other hand our curiosity is now satisfied, and there is also the slight chance that the cycle-ride through the rain brought us into a bad mood and made our judgement less lenient.