German Cook, Tenderloin, SF (V. long)
On his last trip here, Big Dog was complaining that this place has been around for ages, and has never ever been reported on. I decided that the least I could do was to check it out before I leave town. So Low End Theory and I chowed there last night for my last dinner in town.
The interiors of German Cook would feel at home in any German town. Quaintly Eastern European, the comfortable dining room is marked by stout dark wood, charming painted plates hung on walls, pretty little chairs, and fuss-free table dining with paper table mats and napkins. If a German grandma decided to open a eatery, it wouldn't look that different.
Potato pancakes were great -- shredded potato fried to a great slivered crunch on the outside and mashed potato within. Specked with a pleasant rye-ish flavor. 3 large pieces per order, the mark of typical German generousity.
Wiener Schnitzel was well prepared. Part of the cut was extremely thin and and simply delicious. Great batter and not greasy. Comes with red cabbage piqued with dark spices and soft potatoes sweet and fragrant with onions -- what a homey comfort! (Too bad they were out of anchovies -- I tried to get the version a la Holstein that comes with a fried egg and anchovies.)
Sausage combo platter was also a good -- a tremendous serving and comes with sauerkraut in addition to the 2 sides above.
But the actual wonder of the evening was the best strudel I've had in SF. I haven't had that many -- they're hard to find 'round these parts. And this version totally hit the spot. Sure it's served with whipped cream from a can, and that whiteness is touched up with chocolate syrup. But it doesn't matter at all.
There's an incredible filling of apples that's at the perfect point of gooiness -- almost melting and almost oozing -- but not yet. Of course the luscious points of raisins hold up their end of the bargain.
On the outside is a flaky crust, not quite at the level of a shattering croissant, but still light and good and filled with the heartwarming flavors of buckwheat.
The host is super welcoming and friendly. He's totally glad that you're there and wants to make you feel at home. And he succeeds admirably. For example, we were going to split one order of the strudel, and he divided that single order onto two plates without our even asking. Doesn't happen often at places that charge twice as much.
With a huge tip (>20%) and no drinks, we ended spending about $45 for two, with one serving of each dish above. The huge entrees are priced around mid to low teens, with some dipping into single digits.
A great deal for simple hearty german fare. And don't miss the strudel.
P.S. Big Dog, if you're reading this -- we Bay Area hounds are hardcore -- so much for that unturned stone to delicious chow! (Last day that I can speak for this part of the country.) And thanks for the great tip!
Thanks for checking this out, Limster! While he complained to you too, I had to take the initial heat minutes after he walked by the place and I broke the news to him that no SF chowhound had posted on it. (g) You beat me to it. I happened to drive by last week and noticed a sign saying something like "best strudel". Sounds like it's really true!