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German Beer

I don’t know if the beginning of this chronicle update counts as a Barfly entry… but let’s see where this goes, ok?

Yesterday, Janet and I tried to get lottery tickets to Rent. Before every showing, there is a drawing for 36 tickets for the first two rows of the orchestra… and since we had nothing to do, we decided to throw our names in the pot to see if we could get a couple of $20 tickets for the show.

Needless to say, we lost.

Sad and dejected, we decided to have a good dinner to console ourselves. Since it was after 7pm at that time, we knew that every restaurant would have about a 45 minute wait. We weighed our options. On one hand, we had Thep Phanom, our favorite Thai Restaurant… but they would be crowded to the point where waiting would be physically uncomfortable because it is so cramped in there. Then we had Chow, an eclectic restaurant that we loved the one time we went there… it would be a good choice and is easy to get to… but we’d have to wait outside, and if the line was too long, there was nowhere else in the area that we’d want to go to.

Our final option, and the restaurant that we eventually chose, was Suppenkuche. Suppenkuche is a great German restaurant in Hayes Valley. Sure, we figured an hour wait was to be expected, but since this meant that we’d be forced to spend an hour at the bar drinking fresh German beers, we weren’t too concerned when we’d get seated.

Janet started (and stuck) with her favorite: Spaten Helles, a light lager reminiscent of a pilsner. I started with a Weltenburger Helles, my all time favorite Helles style beer. I then moved quickly onto the brand-new Fransiskaner Dunkel Weiss Bier, a dark hefe-weisen. Suppenkuche just got it in a few days earlier, and I was one of the first to sample it. What a beer… wheaty yet sweet… like a piece of whole-wheat toast with honey. It went well with the Lox and Latkes (potato pancakes) that we started with for our appetizer.

Janet moved onto a second Spaten Helles while I ordered a Hacker-Pschorr Helles. It was a perfect compliment to the Schweinbraten (pork loin) that I had for dinner, and it didn’t weigh me down as much as another dunkelweisen would.

The desserts were too good to pass up. Janet had a Latte and some Apple Strudel. I decided to have the black forest cake and a Kostritzer Blackbeer. Aah, Kostritzer… jet black with a crisp taste and a roasted sort of sweetness. A perfect end to a great meal.

Fifteen minutes later, we’re coming into the Toronado for what was supposed to be a quick beer. We had our seats almost instantly, and we started in on our first rounds. Janet broke with tradition and decided to have an Anderson Valley Poleeko Gold, which was on tap for the Anderson Valley night last Thursday (the one drawback to my Cleveland trip). I had their new brown beer, the Bootjack Brown, which was fantastic but way

to heavy after the German food.

Ian told us that Jennifer, the owner’s girlfriend, was having her birthday in the back room… so I decided to pay my respects on my way to the bathroom. She invited us back and I told her that we would stop in before leaving for the night.

Upon my return to the table, I ordered a Weinstephaner Lager… a pale-gold beer similar to the Weltenburger Helles that I had at Suppenkuche. The crowd at the bar started to get thicker and more annoying. Suddenly it didn’t seem to be that bad of an idea to head back to the private party. We finished our beers and headed back.

The party was jumping, and all of the regulars were there… Jeff from the sausage shop, Crab, Jimi D the chef, Dave (the owner) and a whole crew of familiar faces were drinking free Liberty Ale and having a hell of a good time. Five minutes turned into ten minutes turned into an hour or so of us talking to Jeff and Dave. We left a little after midnight with an assurance to Jeff that we’d return this morning to evaluate his new Corned Beef sandwich (which is the best one that I’ve had in San Francisco).

Posted in The Barfly Chronicles.

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