am not obsessed with food. However, I do eat on a daily basis. And in recent days -- while at the ITB travel show in Berlin -- I ate quite well.

Of course, I undertook all the requisite activities, like walking the trade show floors, dropping in at press conferences, attending a technology seminar, participating in a panel discussion and so forth.

But on departure, I had the feeling I had grazed from one end of the German capital to the other, and the grazing had been good. Not incidentally, the prices were good, too.

With that in mind, maybe you will find this restaurant information of value (certainly, it will stay in my files):

  • Oxymoron, Rosenthalerstrasse 40-41, phone: 2839 1888 (dialed locally).
  • Located in a happening neighborhood of the former East Berlin, this eatery sits in a spacious room with a stage at one end that's used some evenings by a live band. When we visited, there was no band and it was easy to enjoy a private chat despite the buzz in the place, largely because of the ample space between tables.

    I suppose here we would call the menu continental. The dinner bill totaled about $54 for two, without tip, with wine by the glass. Our main dishes were a white fish plate at about $15 and lamb with risotto at $10.

  • Cibo Matto, Rosenthalerstrasse 44, phone: 2838 5170.
  • We headed back to the same neighborhood, this time to an Italian restaurant that is crowded, lively and so popular that reservations, maybe a week or more in advance, are essential.

    Our bill, for four, came to about $166, without tip, with wine by the bottle. Our priciest dishes were meat choices, at about $17 and $19.

  • Ristorante Peppino, Fasanenstrasse 65, phone: 883 6722.
  • I have mentioned this small eatery before, since I have dined here a few times. The food (Italian) is good, and the experience is enhanced by welcoming personnel.

    The dinner for five cost about $230, without tip, with wine by the bottle. For sample prices, the scampi was $23; a white fish choice was $17, and the caprese salad was close to $8.

    The most exquisite bites of all? A cutting from a lamb crown roast at the Ritz-Carlton party, and chocolate nibbles on the dessert table of the Leading Hotels/Kempinski event in the Adlon Hotel.

    The biggest surprise? A delightful tomato and cheese bagel sandwich with salad served in the Take Off restaurant at Tegel Airport. I wanted to be rid of my last 20 marks, knowing that by the time of my next visit, the euro will be the name of the game.

    So I shopped for a lunch that fit a tiny budget. The sandwich and a Coke came to 17 marks. I really got my money's worth.

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