Monday, March 19, 2007
suppenkuche on sunday (3.18.07)
it's another sunday night out and about after attending the san francisco jazz festival featuring the dave holland quintet. myself, janel and ellie are once again looking around for dinner. herbst theater which hosted the concert sits on the edge of hayes valley, a gentrified neighborhood with urbanite restaurants and shops. at last year's sfjazz festival, janel and i passed by a german restaurant called suppenkuche at the corner of hayes and laguna street. back then, we passed it up for pizza. this time, we walked in.
the darkly light interior has simple pine tables, chairs and benches. dining parties will be seated with other parties at a table. there's a subtle butterfly theme around the ceiling and walls. there's a bar in the back with its own tiny seating spot. in the far back, there's a room but i didn't explode that.
looking at the menu, you clearly can see it's german -- pork, sausages, beef and lots of meat. there's also a daily special of more meat. we couldn't decided. both ellie and i were thinking maybe sausages but we had a bbq picnic the previous day. eventually we closed the menu and decided. i ordered the venison even though i was eying the trout. janel who is vegetarian ordered potato pancakes. ellie ordered the flat steaks. for drinks we all had german white beer mixed with soda -- berliner weisse with raspberry or woodruff. with woodruff, the beer looks green and commonly drank as the green beer on saint patrick's day. as we waited for our food and drinks, we were given flax bread with some kind of herb butter (we could figure out the herbs).
the beers arrive. the beer were light tasting and similar to a lambic. honestly, you don't even notice the beer. raspberry is definitely raspberry while the woodruff is slightly sweet and well, woodruff. it's hard to describe woodruff which you just have to taste. i preferred the woodruff vs. the raspberry. lemonade or lemon juice is another flavor used with berliner weisse.
finally, our food arrives. and wow, big portions. janel's plate had three large harsh brown patties with a side of apple sauce. ellie's came with a flat steak stretching across her large oval plate with a side cucumber salad. while my dish arrived with three medallion cuts of the venison, a side of plum wine sauce, red cabbage and spatzle. spatzle was described as gnoochi but it's not. it's more like pan-fried crumbled egg noodles. the venison was tender and medium cooked. i never had venison but it's very lean and virtually had no fat on this cut of meat. the red cabbage was sweet. janel's pancakes were like... hash browns. they're simple but tasty. and makes a great brunch item. ellie's medium rare steak was also tender and surprisingly sweet.
the service was B+. the waiter was friendly and somewhat knowledgeable. he did screw up our drinks order. we wanted two woodruff and a raspberry but got that reversed. the food arrived in about 10 - 15 minutes. the only thing that bugged me was our seating location. we sat right next to the entrance. i think the girls were ok but my back was freezing. i was literally sitting a yard away from the door where the chilly sunday night wind blows through. overall the experience was great. i definitely have to go back and try the sausage/mash potato dish and the potato pancakes.