Verdict: 4 out of 5 Aguas Frescas
Walking into Schmidt’s feels like entering a minimalist dining space. Aside from a number of tables arranged in a beer hall-style layout, a handful of German goods on one wall and a meat slicer in the far corner, there’s very little decoration in the new Mission District eatery on 20th and Folsom Streets. Fortunately, the owners opted for food first, décor later.
Disclaimer: vegans please stop reading now. While several soups and salads are available, what follows are graphic details of eating numerous meat and dairy parts and products.
For the moment, Schmidt’s hours are limited (M-F, 12-3pm), and beer isn’t available until the liquor license comes through. However, while the menu is short, the German specialties offer quality over quantity, and include eight types of sausages including wild boar and duck. The waitress was more than happy to explain the flavors and ingredients of each sausage, adding that they will occasionally rotate types.
As a non-pork eater, this reporter opted for the veal sandwich, at $10 the most expensive item on the menu. At the waitress’s recommendation, a fried egg topped it for an extra $2. A colleague ordered the marzen-style sausage, meaning cooked in beer, which came with a surprisingly large serving of potato salad and sauerkraut.
A lychee-flavored “Bionade” – a German-import organic fruit drink – and Malz Beer, a malted non-alcoholic beverage complemented the dishes. With less corn syrup and more beer, the latter is apparently Germany’s answer to America’s root beer, and it’s highly recommended.
Perhaps due to the few guests in the European electropop–filled dining room, the food still arrived quickly. The sandwich, which with veal, a fried egg over easy and a dollop of chive sour cream, rivaled items on This is Why You’re Fat, also came with a green salad and a slice of lemon. Once picked up, the creation was hard to put down. Literally.
The sour cream and egg yolk dripped from between the two slices of rye bread, creating a scene rivaling a Carl’s Jr. commercial. While messy, the veal was tender and juicy and squeezed lemon was a surprisingly subtle but effective complement. The rye, while a bit small to contain the veal, egg and cream, chaos within, lent its own flavor to the meal.
On the colleague’s plate, the sausage, she decided, excelled and the potato salad was again subtly flavored, with chives and parsley complementing the potatoes and mayonnaise. The sauerkraut, however, was the star of the show as it took fermented cabbage to new levels.
The food at Schmidt’s is excellent, but it comes with a price — the food coma induced by eating heavy German fare. Monetary prices, however, were less than expected and the two reporters escaped with a bill just under $30. Once their liquor license is granted and their hours are expanded, it will make for an excellent dinner and the quick service makes it an affordable lunch option as well if you’re bored with the nearby Farolito, Rosy’s or Tonayense.
2400 Folsom St @20th St.
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