There are few things I enjoy more on Sundays than having a huge meal and then being a lazy ass the rest of the day because of it. I mean, that’s what brunch is all about for me. Get together with friends, eat enough breakfast food to make up for all the breakfasts-on-the-run during the week, drink too many mimosas and Bloody Marys, and then head back home to do my best Jabba the Hutt impersonation. That’s Sunday bliss right there.
While it wasn’t brunch but instead a late lunch that turned early dinner (so, dunch you might call it), that’s pretty much how my Sunday turned out last week. A friend/coworker who’s way more in the know than I am about San Francisco’s million and one great places to eat suggested we go to Suppenküche, a German restaurant in the Hayes Valley. I, of course, am always down for A.) food with friends, B.) eating somewhere I’ve never been, and C.) German grub, which as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of.Suppenküche hadn’t even opened yet and there were already people clustered by the door waiting for the clock to strike 5 when the doors would unlock and we’d all scramble inside to our brats and beers. Once my friend and I had been seated at a cozy perch at the bar (easy access to the bartender and overlooking the rest of the room— a clutch spot if ever there was one) we ordered beers (German, on tap, delicious and cold) and started looking over the menu.
Now, I should note that everything on the menu sounded absolutely delicious. This could’ve been because by that point I had worked up a ravenous appetite but mostly I like to think it’s just because everything really was just that good. One thing in particular made me think this. Listed under appetizers, was what I can only describe as pure food genius: fried Camembert. That’s right, as in the already delicious creamy cheese. Fried. We decided to split it to hold us over until the rest of our food was out, and I have to say, it was an exercise in damn fine decision making.
Three fat, oval-shaped pieces of thickly battered and fried Camembert came on a bed of crispy, fried parsley with a ramekin of cranberry sauce. The Camembert, needless to say, was every bit as tasty as I could have imagined it, with a crunchy thick outer layer and a thick, cheesy core inside. The parsley, which I’d never had fried before but liked way more than I thought, was a nice contrast in texture since it was thin and crispy but not as heavy as the fried cheese. A dribble of the tart yet sweet cranberry sauce, and I was done for. They could have served unsalted boiled potatoes next and I still would’ve loved Suppenküche.
Lucky for us, they didn’t. Not long after we wolfed down our appetizer, the rest of our food was out. Both of us ordered from the specials menu and had gotten encouraging words of approval from the bartender. My friend/coworker/hero-for-the-day-for-suggesting-such-a-good-spot went with the dumpling stuffed roasted chicken with potato cakes. The huge piece of roasted chicken was juicy and soft, with a thick gravy-like sauce poured all over it. The best part though, was hidden underneath the chicken: the doughey and creamy, potatoey dumpling that went so perfectly with the tender, moist chicken. On the side, two crunchy, hash brown-like potato pancakes completed the dish.
I went with the über caloric (I’m sure) fried pork chops with an ocean of mashed potatoes and peas with onion and ham. I don’t usually order pork chops but this one made me wonder why. If they’re all this good, I might start having to order them more often. The meat was thick and juicy, with a nice crunchy, but not too oily or stiff, fried outer coat. The mashed potatoes were buttery and creamy smooth, just how I love them, and went perfectly with the peas, which had chunks of chopped onion and ham mixed throughout. Everything was so filling that I could have stopped eating about halfway through and been fine to call it quits, but everything was so delicious that I couldn’t bring myself to stop eating. Call me a glutton. See if I care.
Before I could go home to lay in bed and contemplate my puppy belly while focusing all my mental abilities on digestion, I had a long walk home. Good thing too, because if I had sat on a bus or the BART, I’m pretty sure I might’ve slipped into a food coma. Doing this on public transportation presents all sorts of problems. But doing it at home? On a Sunday? Well that’s just a wonderful thing.