Carefully observe this above photo. If you walked past this on your way home from work, how could you NOT go in? There is clearly a party explosion going on inside here, duh. Since I'm a sucker for a good party, a bunch of us gathered here at Schroeder's in SF for their annual Oktoberfest celebration for a night of sausage-eating, Bavarian-waltzing, beer-boozery. Mission accomplished, Stephen!
Before I start this post though, can I get some love for the Umamiventure?!! This was our 20th one! God, we've done everything from historic Lower East Side throwbacks and Brooklyn bahn mi crawls, to papusa-gorging on a soccer field in Red Hook. Thanks to every single one of you who have ever joined me on one of these- they have all been so memorable and ridiculous in their own special way. Here's to another twenty!
Back to the Umamiventure in question. I myself went to Oktoberfest in München many years ago, which was--hands down-- the most debaucherous weekend of my life. The entire city transforms into a shitshow, which inevitably turns YOU into a shitshow-- you just gotta roll with it. All I remember is going to my very first (and very last) RAVE that weekend, and sleeping in a tent in the middle the city's soccer stadium. Yes. Shitshow. An intensely memorable shitshow. Look at all these fucking people!!!
Now, about the Schroeder's version of Oktoberfest in the SOMA section of sunny San Francisco. I had done some research for the best Oktoberfest in the city (without resorting to the "Oktoberfest Festival" in the Marina- NIGHTMARE) and @Jerkey rallied for Schroeder's out of all the other German joints in town. They do these crazy Oktoberfest parties every Friday in October.
Jerkey mentioned there would be a polka band. A POLKA BAND. Enough said.
I made a last minute reservation for a table for 15-- they were super nice and accommodating. A few of us showed up at 5pm. The place was pretty empty, and my slow decline into inebriation began, which we immediately tried curbing with various German fare.
My Spaten Oktoberfest. Dark and nutty and very drinkable. Too drinkable. As a result, I had many of them throughout the night and was super wasted by the end.
How creepyawesome is this shot? Check out the menu! Schroeder's boasts being the "Oldest and largest German restaurant on the West Coast." You think this menu has been around since 1893?
Sausage platter. Bratwurst, knockwurst, blah blah.
I was starving (and also a genius) and made a sausage sandwich.
I am obsessed with weiner schnitzel so of course I got an order just for kicks. I've got to say that in addition to this, I have been to Walzwerk and Suppenküche in SF in the last month and ordered schnitzel all times. I still need to go to Schmidt's but so far Suppenküche wins for best schnitzel, hands down. Plus, this was $25, which is not cheap.
Baked chicken and noodles. WHO goes to a German resto and orders this???? COME ON, Solmaz, get it together.
They had a free food buffet up at the front too, until 6:30pm. I am usually against free food in general, but their offerings were not bad. They had these fried potatoes with garlic, and these amazing meatballs.
By 7pm, all the tables filled up and the place was getting jiggy.
By this time, the POLKA band and dancefloor was in full swing. Joe Smiell's Band was AWESOME! I did the Bavarian waltz with dudes in lederhosen. Good times.
They do this silly "Stein Holding Contest" every year. Must be a tradition in Germany? Basically, they fill up a stein with beer and you've gotta hold it out in front of you for as long as possible. Here are the ladies.
Here are the last two guys going head to head. This was a great match.
Khoi conducting his own stein-holding contest.
A lady actually walked around with a basket of fresh, hot pretzels. I love this place!
Can we please compare this plethora of pork products here on this sausage platter versus my little pathetic one above? This one came with a PORK CHOP! NOT FAIR!!! It is porcine gorgeousness.
I ate this bratwurst plate even though it came by mistake. All I remember about this is how perfect the sauerkraut was-- my mouth is watering just thinking about it now. Although I was seriously gassy for the entire following 24 hours. Totally worth it though.
GOULASH! This was delicious. Came with bread dumplings (what are those called??). Love it.
The paintings on the wall were totally surreal and bizarre and... German.
Conclusion: you can take Oktoberfest out of the city, but you can't take the city out of Oktoberfest. It truly felt like Munich in here!!! It's huge and rowdy and just has all the great qualities of an old skool beer hall. I loved every drunken second of it.
Oktoberfest was a wonderfest, full of beer-boozin and schnitzel. Exactly what it should be! I am just bummed now one did the boot!
Yah, no one got the boot!!! It was this huge, fragile-looking glass thing that I would have surely dropped and broken for sure. I think you had to put down like a $25 deposit on it? Something crazy like that.
1 shot Jager + 1 Stein Spaten + 1 Perfect Pretzel = Drunk, Happy Yassi.
Prost! Zum Wohl!
Thanks everyone for coming out!!! Let's def do it again next year!
240 Front Street
San Francisco, CA
*Umamiventures are organized monthly, traveling far and wide to find good, cheap grub off the beaten path.
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***Umamiventure #21 will be a fish taco crawl in San Diego on Sunday 11/15. Pencil it in if you're in the area! Stay tuned for details.
Past Umamiventures include:
1.) Ocean Jewel Restaurant - Flushing, NYC; June 2007
2.) Red Hook Ball Fields - NYC; June 2007
3.) Taste of Jackson Heights - NYC; October, 2007
4.) Sripraphai Restaurant - Woodside, NYC; November 2007
5.) WINTERMARKET - South St. Seaport; December 2007
6.) Jackson Diner- Jackson Heights, NYC; January 2008
7.) Pacificana - Sunset Park, NYC; February 2008
8.) Puerto Alegre - The Mission, SF; March 2008
9.) Dinosaur BBQ - Harlem, NYC; April 2008
10.) Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden - Astoria, NYC; May 2008
11.) Brooklyn Banh Mi Crawl - Sunset Park, NYC; August 2008
12.) Sheapshead Bay Lobster Crawl - NYC; September 2008
13.) Flushing Food Circuit - NYC; October 2008
14.) Strong Beer Month - SF; March 2009
15.) Loisaida Throwback Crawl - NYC; April 2009
16.) Harley Farms Goat Dairy - Pescadero, CA; June 2009
17.) Tomales Bay Oyster Farm - Marshall, CA; August 2009
18.) Din Tai Fung - LA; September 2009
19.) Din Tai Fung - Tokyo; September 2009