Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dinner at Speisekammer, Alameda, Calif.

Still catching up on my SF photos. Saturday night we thought we'd try Havana again, but there was at least a 45-minute wait, so we went around the corner to Speisekammer, where a two-top happened to open up just as we walked in. I was all geared up for a Havana mojito, but got talked into caipirinha instead. It was OK, but no, I still wanted a mojito.

We started with the potato cakes with homemade applesauce. Oh, very crispy and good!
My companion opted for the sauerbraten, or, as the menu describes it: Sauerbraten mit Preiselbeerkonfitüre, serviert mit Rotkohl und Spätzle (Braised Beef Tri Tip marinated and aged in Red Wine served with Red Cabbage & Spätzle). Delicious.
I was still feeling a little full from the quesadilla and fried mochi earlier in the day, so I chose a "lighter" dish: Gemüsestrudel gefüllt mit Paprika, Spinat und Schafskäse mit Karottensoße (Vegetable Strudel stuffed with Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach and Goat Cheese served with a Carrot Sauce).
Let these pictures be a lesson to you: Always adjust your white balance, even if you think there's enough natural light coming through the window behind you. Can you say jaundice? Yech.

Now, the thing about Speisekammer is that you have to throw your preconceived notions about German restaurants right out the window. Yes, the fare is heavy on the heavy. MEAT! POTATOES! But the strudel was nicely done, especially the velvety carrot sauce. And yes, you can get a mojito there and damn the cultural disconnect.

Speisekammer even has Pirate Night (Arrrrrr, mateys!) once a month. I don't know what that's about, really, but the last time we were there we saw a lot of bandannas and eye patches. German pirates? Um, OK.

But even better, Speisekammer has really great music. I am not kidding you. Not oom-pah-pah but jazz and swing. As we were nearing the end of our meal, the Frisky Frolics fired up. "Uh-oh," I thought. "Noise time." But nein! This little Tin Pan Alley-esque combo played some real toe-tapping, catchy swing tunes, and the amplification was just right.
What's with the balloons? you may be wondering. I have no idea.

The Frisky Frolics are there most Saturdays, and if the other bands that play there on other nights are of similar quality, I'd say you can't go wrong checking out the Speisekammer for a hearty meal and some entertainment the next time you're Alameda.


  1. Wow those potato cakes looks so crispy!!! Ok now im suddenly really hungry!

  2. thats certainly some hearty fare....

    now where are you? california or colorado I dont know when you left and when you got back its all a blurr

  3. They were really good, Jessy. You should try making some!

    db, I am in Denver now. I went to SF weekend before last and I'm still catching up on posting photos from there.

    But it's still all a blur to me, too.

  4. Dear Mme. Umlaut,

    If you give me your mojito recipe, I'll tell you what Preiselbeerkonfitüre are. ;) I have a bumper crop of various mints coming up in the garden, so I thought I'd start practicing for the perfect late-summer mojito. My last attempt was less-than-um.... good.

  5. I confess, Dani, I have yet to make them at home. The pleasure of drinking them, for me, is in going out on the town. Though maybe I might try to make them for a summer party.

    I think part of the secret is in using simple syrup. Muddle your mint with the syrup, add lime and rum, then ice and sparkling water.

  6. You're probably right, and the same simple syrup w/ mint that I make for mint juleps will probably do double duty. I always have extra anyway. I'll try it! But not until it stops snowing. I cannot believe this weather, even for Colorado.