logoEat - Drink - Protest

A culture blog by Lauren Girardin, a San Francisco-based city girl who eats out and kicks about.

October 25, 2003

Suppenküche . . . . . . . . . . restaurant review

601 Hayes Street
San Francisco, CA

- 5-10 p.m daily
- Visa, MasterCard and American Express
- Some vegetarian options

The slow-stewed and breaded meats, fried starches, fat and beer of German cuisine are unfriendly to waistlines, colons, arteries and kidneys. However, there’s no real harm in indulging in a comforting Hun-inspired feast now and again. Suppenküche, plunked on a bright corner in the boutique-infested Hayes Valley, won’t take you back to your lederhosen days, but it’ll fill your britches.

If you’re inclined to start with potato pancakes ($9), expect three large ones, outrageously crispy outside and fluffy inside. Alas, they are under-seasoned and accompanied by a blender-smooth applesauce, a little too plain and underperforming for the price.

Other dishes are equally in need of salt, including sauerbraten ($17), too-thickly sliced dryish beef with a cranberry sauce, red cabbage and spätzel. Suppenküche’s specials are more promising, as they still seem to hold the kitchen’s interest: tender roast suckling pig ($17.50) is served with an unnoticeably herbed dumpling, sauerkraut, and generous ladle of pleasant beer sauce.

Perhaps evening’s dim lighting is too blame, but most entrees are plates of unappealing masses of tans and browns, a dash of chopped parsley the only cheerless garnish.

Much of Suppenküche’s seating is at long family-style tables, ideal for groups; however, if you take a date, you might have to share the romantic experience. Vegetarians won’t feel ignored either, with a number of entrees to choose from – including an incongruously un-German sounding portabella mushroom with feta.

Beer has, and deserves, its own menu; you can fill up on a liter of draft served in a boot or create your own tasting with a variety of smaller pulls. Half-liter drafts will hit you up for a fiver.

If your ears survive the din, and you keep your salt shaker nearby, Suppenküche is a decent source for all the wursts you can wrangle.