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White Trash Fast Food – And, on the side, a generous portion of rock ‘n’ roll

Food and Drink on April 5, 2011 9:11 am

Berlin is anything but ordinary, and exactly the same can be said of “White Trash Fast Food”. One might not guess it from the name, but “White Trash Fast Food” is actually a restaurant and basement club. It’s a Berlin institution, that has adhered to a single motto for over ten years: good food with a proper portion of rock ‘n’ roll.


Since I’ve always preferred to get my information directly from the source, I asked the staff at White Trash Fast Food for an interview. Eva, who’s responsible for concert bookings and promotion at WTFF, was willing to be grilled by me.

"It all started back in 2000, in a small, familial setting – a bombed-out artists’ house on Torstrasse. At that time, it was still a "members only" bar, more or less the private playground of the owner, Walter Potts, who everyone referred to as ‘Wally.’ He cooked for and waited on his friends – and friends of friends; people got tattoos and, of course, played music."

WTFF has stayed true to its roots to this day, but has also opened its doors to a much wider social circle. Can this development also be viewed in a negative light? Through this "expansion," doesn’t WTFF lose its authenticity and, thereby, those very same elements that make it so special?

"Times have changed. If you have an idea that reaches people and inspires them, why shouldn’t you be able to offer it to a wider circle, while staying true to yourself and to your initial concept? In principle, our overall scheme is still the same; if anything, it’s gotten even crazier, the more seats and space we’ve added."

And she’s right. It would be a crying shame if the insanity that is White Trash weren’t available to us in its present form.

But White Trash Fast Food doesn’t define itself solely by its unusual core concept. NO, the decor and the staff also do their part to contribute to the daily lunacy. Does White Trash Fast Food choose its team members based how insane and crazy they are?

"It’s true that, in order to work here, you have to be a little bit nuts. People who aren’t at least a tiny bit sick in the head wouldn’t feel at home with us anyway, since this job is, really and truly, a hard one. Take the weekends, for example – we’re almost always fully booked from 8 AM to 11 PM; we have 2 or 3 change-overs, and all of this in a restaurant that seats 260 people."

So let’s get to the most important element of White Trash Fast Food – apart from the food, of course – the music. What role does music play here? How should we picture a typical evening in WTFF?

"Between 5 and 7 live bands play here every week, and still, we don’t consider ourselves to be a typical live concert venue. People normally don’t come to us to hear a specific band. They come for the whole experience that is White Trash Fast Food. It’s all about having a good time with cool people, eating tasty food, and – as an added bonus – hearing some great live music. We also want to provide young talents with a chance to play in front of an audience, since we always have a packed house. Our goal is to keep it edgy and unusual, and for this reason, it’s possible that some street musicians whom we’ve heard on the subway could be invited spontaneously to play here."


And now let’s get back to talking about the food, the centerpiece of White Trash Fast Food. You’re known for your burgers. But what’s truly special about the meals served in your establishment?

"In addition to our classics, the burgers and steaks, we’re constantly trying out new, unusual, and exotic recipes. Our chef is very creative. Wally is extremely proud of his barbecue sauce. A lot of times, the recipes come to us directly from Wally’s relatives in Tennessee."

And that’s exactly how it tastes, too – good ol’ Southern "comfort food" – home cooking that makes you feel good inside. I highly recommend the burgers and steaks. White Trash certainly isn’t a preferred destination for vegetarians, but actually there are a few meatless options on the menu, as well.

Anyone who loves the grungy sound of guitars, and good food to boot, can’t go wrong at White Trash Fast Food. If you’ve got just a tiny bit of craziness in you, or if you’re looking to spice up your "dinner routine," you certainly won’t be disappointed at White Trash.

Let’s let Eva sum it up for you one more time:

"When they go to White Trash, people always have certain expectations, but just when they think they know what’s in store for them, they’re surprised, since the experience turns out to be completely different than they’d anticipated."

In closing, allow me to pass along a few general tips:
  • Concerts on weekdays cost €3, and €6  on weekends. For more well-known bands, you can expect to pay a bit more.
  • It’s worth looking at the website to check for new events, since "normal" simply doesn’t exist at White Trash. The program choices range from satanic masses to groovy electronic beats.
  • If possible, be sure to make a reservation, especially on weekends. More spontaneous types can spend their inevitable wait time at the bar drinking a beer or downstairs in the club.
  • If you prefer things a bit quieter, ask for a seat in the back part of the restaurant. Don’t worry, though – thanks to speakers and monitors, you still won’t miss out on the live music.
  • White Trash offers a varied lunch menu for €7 , with a small drink and a trip to the salad bar included in the price.

To everyone who wants to experience the insanity for themselves – I wish you a great time. Feel free to write to me about your experiences!


White Trash Fast Food
Schönhauser Allee 6-7
Phone: 030 50348668

Opening Hours
Monday – Friday: 12pm
Saturday and Sunday: 18.00

How to get there
U2 Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

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