Speisekammer in Alameda
Sorry, don't get it. Husband and I took friends out there tonight because it was supposedly husband of friend couple's favorite. Potato pancakes: 4 smallish cakes of shredded potatoes, deep fried. Of course they were crisp--basically we were paying $8.50 for a half-order of fries. They had no real flavor outside of that. Reibekuchen should be potatoes gently crisped in a pan. That is, there should be some work done by the chef besides dumping a pre-made pattie in a deep fryer. Husband's steak was fatty and the requested medium rare was rare. And with fries that were Reibekuchen, just not shredded and not crisp. I tasted the Weinershnitzel: at $18 very expensive chicken fried veal with no discernable veal taste. I could go on... But husband demanding his Komputer back and mine's upstairs.
The food for my lunch about 2 months ago was very underwhelming too. My companion and I had to wait for almost an hour for our dishes.
I like Speisekammer, but for one reason only - the beer. My husband and I are devoted fans of German beer, and they have a respectable selection on tap and in the bottle. We never tried their food, and were never tempted.
I'd always heard such good things about it so we tried it for lunch a few years back. There was nothing wrong with the food, but I seem to remember paying nearly $20 for a pork chop and mashed potato for lunch - very underwhelming and while it was tasty it was nothing specail and certainly not at that price.
Speisekammer's as good as German food gets around here. I've enjoyed the pickled herring, sausage platter, smoked pork chop, sauerbraten, jagerschnitzel, and various daily specials such as rouladen and roast goose.
It has the best German wine list I know of around here. I've found some good values on older rieslings.
I'd go elsewhere for steak-frites.
re: Robert Lauriston
Much as it pains me to agree with Mr. Lauriston, yeah, you go to Speisekammer for the German dishes -- the more German the better. Of course, I've never ordered the potato pancakes there -- no restaurant makes them as well as I do!
I've had some good meals there -- but I have to say the last time I was there I was really disappointed in my entree, so maybe the food has slipped.
I am surprised to see so many negative comments on this board about Speisekammer. I have always enjoyed my visits there. Service has been friendly and relatively fast. I always enjoy the Weinerschnitzel especially with one of their good german beers. The pricing is a little high, but the portions are always large and can easily be split between two people. Also as Robert mentioned, they have good values on their wine list. Half bottle of Merry Edwards Pinot for $26 is a great bargin since a full bottle has always cost me $65+ at some of the big name restaurants(Gary Danko, Quince). Definately a better choice for German food than its brethern in SF.