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Any recent Suppenkuche experiences?

Senor Popusa Jan 13, 2009 11:29 AM

I do love the potato pancakes at Suppenkuche. I'm having dinner there this week and wanted to know if there is anything else of note or not to be missed on the menu or any thoughts from recent visits. Thanks for your advice!

Senor

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Suppenkuche
525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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  1. Ruth Lafler RE: Senor Popusa Jan 13, 2009 11:38 AM

    I've never been there, but I'd be interested in knowing if they've instituted a "recession menu" like their sister restaurant, Speisekammer.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler
      c
      Calvinist RE: Ruth Lafler Jan 13, 2009 11:45 AM

      Suppenkuche & Speisekammer are related by pedigree, but not, as I understand, by ownership or management.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        chefj RE: Ruth Lafler Jan 31, 2009 09:43 AM

        I once ran into the owner Suppenkuche in Marin and mentioned that I now live in East bay and usually go to Speisekammer now. OOPS! He very quickly let me know that there is no love lost between them. You will not see Suppenkuche following the lead of Speisekammer.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          heidipie RE: Ruth Lafler Sep 1, 2009 09:43 AM

          We went to Speisekammer last week (on the vehement recommendation of the man who is omnipresent at Cafe Van Kleef...very funny scene) and ate from the recession menu. Wow! My weiner schnitzel was huge and made both a fine dinner and a next-day lunch, and it was $9! Husband had a big pork chop also for $9. With starters and beer, a date-night dinner out for $38 is unbelievable. Plus there was live music. Very impressive!

          1. re: heidipie
            bbulkow RE: heidipie Sep 1, 2009 09:57 AM

            You mean Peter, the owner? Grey hair, about 5'8", irrepressible?

        2. s
          srr RE: Senor Popusa Jan 13, 2009 12:23 PM

          Their meat and cheese platter is great. My husband and I usually just get that and a large salad. We almost never finish it all.

          1 Reply
          1. re: srr
            Pei RE: srr Feb 2, 2009 08:20 AM

            I like the meat and cheese plate too. Great bang for buck.

            The wienershnitzle my friend had was to DIE for. Crispy, hot, tender, not at all greasy. Better than 99% of the various versions of deep fried pork available at any kind of restaurant: pork chop rice at a Chinese place, tonkatsu at a Japanese place, etc. Really delicious.

            Like some others, I have been disappointed by the "big slab of meat" type dishes like chops and braises. They can be dry or tough. I'd stick to the appetizers like potato pancakes and meat/cheese plate, soups, sausages, etc.

          2. Dave MP RE: Senor Popusa Jan 13, 2009 04:56 PM

            I really like the pickled herring. I've only eaten there twice, but I've enjoyed everything both times.

            1. b
              bob13bob RE: Senor Popusa Jan 21, 2009 03:59 PM

              1h40m to get in on Saturday night. Was really expecting something special. huge disappointment.
              Food (1star). bad for price. 4 dishes,
              potato cakes - very good, crispy perfectly browned outside,excellent unique texture and taste inside.
              cured pork - tasted a bit better than spam with cross grill marks.
              braised beef - incredibly dry, has to be the worse braised dish I've ever had in a restaurant.
              breaded fried something - was the best dish of the 3, it was passable.

              Newish chowhound member here. been following restaurants on this list here. Have tried over 5 liking them all, suppen was the exception.
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4682...

              1 Reply
              1. re: bob13bob
                Dave MP RE: bob13bob Jan 21, 2009 04:49 PM

                Sorry you had a bad meal at Suppenkuche. I really liked it the two times I've eaten there, though the steak w/ truffle butter was still my favorite thing I've tried.

                I wonder if food execution suffers on super busy weekend nights - it can get super crowded in there.

                Glad to see you are reading my list :) What else have you tried? There's a 2008 list too...

              2. j
                jdinsf RE: Senor Popusa Jan 21, 2009 08:17 PM

                Was there Saturday night. Obviously with no reservations accepted, we expected a wait. Were told an hour, seated nearly two hours later. This was an annoyance, as there was no space at the bar (literally 5, 6 people deep) to wait. Still, the food was great. Pancakes were thick, crispy and delicious - weiner schnitzel was tender and crisp. Everyone enjoyed their meals. No "recession" pricing as yet, but for the quantity (huge!) and quality we felt it was a good value. Other than the wait, the very, very crowded restaurant made for difficulty getting comfortable. It's part of the experience though. I recommend it.

                1. rworange RE: Senor Popusa Jan 27, 2009 04:38 PM

                  link

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                  Suppenkuche
                  525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  1. hill food RE: Senor Popusa Jan 30, 2009 10:29 PM

                    and it does say something for a place that's been around nigh on 15 years, and that I can feel comfortable in with both hipsters and parents...

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: hill food
                      chefj RE: hill food Jan 31, 2009 09:49 AM

                      I have been going to both of these restaurants for a very long time now ( Supp. longer than Speis.) They have both gone down hill and IMO are no longer worth the money. They both enjoyed great popularity and now seem to just be letting things slip. Cold unseasoned spatzle, tiny portions of goose, dry saurbraten etc. Very sad.

                      1. re: chefj
                        Senor Popusa RE: chefj Jan 31, 2009 10:44 AM

                        anyplace better you would recommend chefj?

                        1. re: chefj
                          Chuckles the Clone RE: chefj Jan 31, 2009 11:05 AM

                          Not to disagree with your other points, since I haven't been to either in quite
                          a while, but spätzle -should- be unseasoned. And tends to cool off as it drains
                          after getting pulled from the cooking water. Now, if there's not enough hot
                          gravy to warm it back up and give it some taste, then that's definitely a problem...

                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                            chefj RE: Chuckles the Clone Feb 1, 2009 11:59 AM

                            I disagree, CtC. I have traveled quite a bit in southern Germany, and spatzle was often lightly sauteed in butter and sometimes with some browned onion as well. And the dough it's self should have salt.
                            Not to mention that it should not have time to cool before it gets to your table.
                            Senor P, Sorry but I do not have any other suggestions, Waltzwerks can be good but they are hit and miss and not if they are busy.

                          2. re: chefj
                            s
                            SteveG RE: chefj Feb 2, 2009 11:18 AM

                            Have to disagree on the goose. I had an amazing goose entree at Suppenkuche that was priced around $25. Was it refined? No. But it was rich and deeply flavorful, filling enough that I got a huge lunch out of it as well, and had a nice ratio of meat to starch to veggies. Considering we spent $120 on a whole goose to roast at home a week or two later around Christmas, which really only had enough meat for 4-6 people, I was doubly impressed by the serving at Suppenkuche.

                            1. re: SteveG
                              Pei RE: SteveG Feb 2, 2009 02:45 PM

                              The two goose entrees we had at the table were both a little tough, and dry around the edges. They need to work on the quality control there, but overall I still love going.

                              1. re: Pei
                                s
                                SteveG RE: Pei Feb 3, 2009 01:01 PM

                                I agree about the consistency, and it's one of the reasons I didn't immediately post favorably about the goose--it was unusually good for Suppenkuche. Still though, I have never had a "tiny portion" in an entree there--they are consistently gut-busting, especially with a liter or two of beer in the stomach.

                              2. re: SteveG
                                chefj RE: SteveG Feb 3, 2009 05:12 PM

                                I should have been clearer in the post. I was lumping both Suppenkuche and Speisekammer in the criticism. The small Goose portion I received was at Speisekammer.

                                1. re: chefj
                                  Chuckles the Clone RE: chefj Feb 3, 2009 10:45 PM

                                  And again, they are, except for both having german-looking names beginning with S, entirely unrelated to each other.

                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                                    c
                                    Calvinist RE: Chuckles the Clone Feb 4, 2009 10:18 AM

                                    A former manager of Suppenkuche opened Speisekammer with a different partner. That manager is now living in NYC. Assume he sold out his interest to the other partner.

                                    Walzwerk was started by two women (German) who were bartenders/waitresses at Suppenkuche.

                                    Rosamunde was founded by the original bar manager (Jeff) at Suppenkuche. He sold Rosamunde a couple of years ago.

                                    Thats the lineage as I know it. Someone else can tackle the Original Joe's!

                                    1. re: Calvinist
                                      s
                                      SteveG RE: Calvinist Feb 4, 2009 12:23 PM

                                      To add to that, a few years back the work relationship between the two Walzwerk ladies was getting a bit stressed at the same time I started seeing a bunch of negative reviews. One of them was talking about getting out. Since then, I assume they worked out whatever was wrong or one partner bought the other out, and I've seen more positive reviews, but I haven't been back.

                          3. m
                            michparent RE: Senor Popusa Feb 3, 2009 07:50 AM

                            Was there a month ago for brunch. Had a great time. Good food, good service, nice selection of wine & beer. I have spent a great deal of time in Austria and Germany and was impressed with the experience here in the bay area.

                            1. s
                              siddacious RE: Senor Popusa Mar 17, 2009 07:03 PM

                              I was there last night +15 people this past Saturday and it was an excellent time. Reservations are definitely the way to go on busy nights, and large groups would surely be impossible otherwise.

                              The potato pancakes (Reibekuchen) were promptly finished by the people surrounding me ("just one more bite!"), though I was able to get most of one of three large patties. Something about how they were cooked rounded the edges and made them more aesthetically pleasing than your average bubby's latkes. Nice crispy outside and creamy inside. Best potato pancakes I've had yet.

                              My Jägerschnitzel was delicious as always. The spätzle was agreeable if not amazing, not upstaging the meat and gravy which were sumptuous.

                              My girlfriend's raviolis (Maultaschen in Pilzrahmsoße) were absolutely divine. I'm getting my own next time.

                              After pulling the birthday card, I was able to snag several meals worth of leftovers which rocked. The service was distinctly German; accommodating but terse. The atmosphere is energetic in a loud, crowded, inviting way.

                              -----
                              Suppenkuche
                              525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: siddacious
                                m
                                Mick Ruthven RE: siddacious Mar 18, 2009 08:51 PM

                                siddacious, you sound very familiar with Suppenkuche. Do you have any experience and opinions about their sauerbraten (assuming they have it)? The few times I've had it out here it's not been nearly as good as it was back in the midwest (back in time as well as place).

                                1. re: Mick Ruthven
                                  bacon.mobile RE: Mick Ruthven Jul 11, 2009 01:10 AM

                                  They do have Sauerbraten and it's on their regular menu, although I really wish they had <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tafelspitz" title="Tafelspitz wiki">Tafelspitz</a>. I'm on their mailing list and received this photo; it's from the tour de france with birds??!

                                   
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