The BarFlys will be heading to Munich and Baiersbronn, Germany in about a month, so we decided to eat at Suppenküche in Hayes Valley to help us prepare. Open since 1993 by original owner Fabrizio Wiest when he moved from Munich, this traditional German Wirtshäus is a gathering place to drink Bavarian beers and eat regional German food. The typical Bavarian specialty Schweinhaxe (roasted pork knuckle) isn’t on their menu here, but many Swabian specialties are available. On any given night of the week, the place is always packed with diners and drinkers sharing communal tables. They also have a bar with a small alcove where we were able to grab a couple of seats.
We ordered a couple of Weltenberger Pilsners served in heavy half-liter pub mugs to start off the evening. The German beer was thirst quenching enough that we ended up drinking another round later on with our meal:
The bartender brought over a basket of dark rye bread with herbed butter even before we placed any food order (alas, they were already out of pretzels at this time of the evening):
We started from their Specials menu with the Spargel mit Speck, Zitronen-Butter und Kartoffeln. The asparagus bunch wrapped in bacon went really well with the lemon-butter sauce. The boiled potato that came on the plate seemed odd, but felt right at home once we remembered that this is a Bavarian-style plate:
The Maultaschen in Pilzrahmsoße were tasty German-style ravioli filled with minced pork and vegetables, served in a mushroom sauce and topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. We hope to try an authentic version of this dish from Swabia on our upcoming trip to the black forest region:
Jägerschnitzel in Champignonsoße mit Spätzle und grünem Salat featured a breaded pork loin covered in with mushroom gravy. The accompanying spätzle were buttery good, and the simple salad of butter lettuce in a lightly sweet vinaigrette completed the meal:
This May marks the 20th anniversary of their opening, and the crowds comprised of German expats and city dwellers alike continue to come. Co-Owner Aaron Hulme (a bike enthusiast as evidenced by decor elements that can be found in Suppenküche) also opened the Biergarten a few blocks away about one and a half years ago. It is equally popular and crowded despite limited hours and outdoor conditions that are not always ideal.