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Oct 18, 2006 09:14 PM

Schroeder's Update? Pinkelwurst on Nov 10th

For some unknown reason, other than it's open, one poster has been recommending Schroeder's for Thanksgiving dinner.

I worked two blocks from Schroeder's for nearly ten years and ate there maybe three times at the most. It's not that the food was bad ... it just wasn't great and kind of pricy. I didn't even do drinking there after work cuz the place was a little scuzzy to me.

They did get new owners in 1997, by which time I had given up on the place.

It seems that there was some sort of positive recent report on Chowhound, but probably due to spelling I'm not finding anything about this joint on the board.

Googling around I love the idea that the San Francisco atheists choose Schroeder's for their monthly meeting. I have no idea why this amuses me ... maybe because if there was ever food that lacked soul, this was it.

It seems other places like Yelp and Citysearch are mixed. Either people like it or don't ... with the tilt toward the latter.

But maybe there are good things I never found on the menu.

Let's start with basics. How's the beer? They never seem to get mentioned when people ask where's the best beer in SF.

How's the happy hour? It seems they never get mentioned in happy hour recs though they serve free meatballs on Thursday and Friday along with a live polka band.

Now ... the food. When questions about German food get asked on Chowhound, I don't remember this place ever getting recommended.

Unless it changed, I can vouch the struedel sucks. Someone else nominated their reuben the worst in SF. So I'd say skip those.

My favorite was the person who ordered the hot vegetable plate there and ... surprise ... it wasn't good.

Someone said the sacher torte was good. The dinnner menu has Linzer Torte. So for Niki who is on a constant search for it, is the Linzer Torte any good?

What IS pinkelwurst? Someone liked it.

How is the roast turkey, BTW, for those who might go here Thanksgiving. I'm almost tempted at this point. They do fresh roast bird, yet is never mentioned for haufbrau food.

Now somene did say they had great prime rib and said they liked it better than Alfred's. There was a positive mention about the burger.

Positive mentions on the pig's knuckles, but the on-line menu doesn't list them, only smoked ham hocks. It is just so expensive though. I mean ten bucks for a hot dog or a headcheese sandwich.

Anyone tried the herring, smoked salmon, goose liver pate with cranberries or Dorschleber ( Foie De Morue - Cod Liver)?

One comment I loved was the one that said it was authentic because so many German beer halls served lousy food. Are they right or wrong? It IS Oktoberfest there.

Wow, reading the history of the place, women were not allowed to eat there until 1970. I'm not really sure if women's lib did us a favor here.

However, I really believe that no matter how lousy the place, they serve at least one thing that is great. What is great at Schoeder's?


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  1. I recommend Schroeder's because I like the place. It's definitely not the kind of food I want to eat every week, but the kind of heavy, old-school stuff they do well is exactly what I want on Thanksgiving. I had roast duck there recently and it was fine so I expect the turkey would be as well.

    Kielbasa's probably the best thing I've had there, not surprising since the current chef is Polish. The goose liver pate's tasty. Sauerbraten's good. The pig's "knuckle" is fun, huge and meaty, I think it's the whole foreleg.

    They have a good selection of mostly German beer on draft, plus more in bottle, my favorite's the Urquell on tap. Free appetizers Thursday and Friday 5pm-7pm, meatballs are really good.

    If somebody were asking for German food in general, I'd recommend Suppenkuche or Speisekammer. I'm not sure there are even any Germans working at Schroeder's these days--owners are Czech, staff are from Italy, Georgia, might be one German server.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Yes, the food at Suppenkuche is somewhat better overall, but Schroeder's does an outstanding goulash soup and a good sauerbraten. I also prefer the atmosphere at Schroeder's--Suppenkuche is just too loud for me.

    2. I worked two blocks from Schroeder's for ten years too, and tend to agree with you about the food, though it was considered "exotic" for the area at the time. I did like the potato pancakes (or whatever Germans call them -- Kartoffelpuffer?) but overall, food, prices and Gem├╝tlichkeit were better at Harringtons across the street.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gary Soup

        Good heavens. Did I work WITH you? Yeah, I was a Harrington's person too, but really not all that much there either.

        Thanks for pointing out some of the good stuff, Robert. Always on the lookout for good kielbasa. Will have to give it a try.

        1. re: Gary Soup

          I like Harrington's OK as a bar, but these days the food's definitely better at Schroeder's.

        2. Pinkelwurst, yum!

          "Pinkelwurst is a thick, foot-long German sausage made with beef fat, pork fat, onions, oat groats, water, and spices."

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gary Soup

            Pinkelwurst? Seem like haggis, jirtnice and pinkelwurst have a lot in common...grain and meat stuffed in a casing. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating jirtnice perhaps the pinkelwurst at Schoeders will satisfy my craving ;) Didn't find it listed in the menus posted on their website. I will call ahead rather than show up and be disappointed.

          2. I think it was CH and Robert who recommended their German pigs knuckles special a while back, Schweine Hoxe(n), and I had to call ahead to special order this. It is offered once a month but if you ask nicely they will make it for you. This is a superb rendition, literally the whole foot/hock and the best part of all, the tendons are intact (most Chinese supermarket butchers seem to take them out and sell them to restaurants and other places, or they mysteriously disappear)

            I think I had the Pilsner draft beer that I had a taste off my dad's mug. I don't like beer but a sip or two of this made me want to order my own. Very light, refreshing, and lots of flavor that went well with the food.

            Good hearty food and atmosphere, though bottom line is that this is still a pub like place, so don't expect romance, candles, and Gary GQ Danko outfitted waitstaff :-).

            2 Replies
            1. re: K K

              Just noticed on your profile you liked the apple strudel which means it must have improved from my visit many, many years ago. At that time it was a little soggy and not too fresh.

              1. re: rworange

                I recall it was not fresh out of the oven, probably pre-refrigerated, and in fact other family members weren't as crazy for it because it was literally sour. It may have been a bit soggy, not like a good crispy apple danish or apple boat (like the ones in Solvang or a not even close rendition like the one in Copenhagen Bakery). But for some reason it was nice at the end of a meal, perhaps a sad feeble ttempt to cover up my dislike of sauerkraut and sneak in something tarty and sharp.

            2. I go to Schroeder's every so often, being downtown and all, but have never eaten anything there other than the free meatballs. I like the giant beers and the atmosphere. Plus, for some odd reason, I have been able to get picon punch there.

              4 Replies
              1. re: The Dive

                Did you mean Pisco Punch? I seem to recall they had it there, which would give it some Old San Francisco creds.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    That's one I associated with the Basque Hotel Restaurant.

                    Peruvian, Basque, both good fits with German food, I suppose.

                    1. re: Gary Soup

                      Definitely picon punch ... no idea why you would find a basque drink there, but I love 'em for it.