Now that San Francisco is permitting outdoor dining, I’ve been trying some of the places offering it.

My friend Mark has made the transition to working online from home, but he still gets a lunch hour. So today he took me to Willkommen. It’s a relatively new indoor beer garden on Market at 15th that has put a row of tables along the sidewalk for outdoor dining. There’s no sense of being crowded because the tables are well spaced and the sidewalk is downright spacious. It also helps that there is very little foot traffic on this block, so you don’t have folks walking past and breathing down at your plate.

We kept our masks on until the masked waitress had brought our beers, so the whole experience felt quite safe. Hell, even the few passers-by were masked.

Don’t get your hopes up for an extensive menu because Willkommen is no fine restaurant but rather a beer garden that serves some food to eat along with the beer. They have a connection to Black Hammer Brewing and serve a good variety of beers. The food choices are quite limited, mainly ten sausages from Rosamunde, warm potato salad, lentil salad, cheese spaetzle, fries, pretzels, and some green salads. There is also a vegetarian Reuben sandwich that substitutes beets for the corned beef, an intriguing flavor possibility that I’d be willing to try.

This time I had the Nuremberger Bratwurst with the red cabbage and warm potato salad. The brats were quite good, as was the red cabbage. The great surprise was the warm potato salad which was unlike any other of its ilk I’d ever eaten. The potatoes were thin sliced, sprinkled with bacon bits, and lightly dressed in a Dijon vinaigrette. Maybe it was because nowadays I’m starved for potatoes, but it was so delicious that I chased down every last molecule.

It was a pleasant experience, and I’ll go back on a sunny day. For the warm potato salad.

Meanwhile, here’s Mark at our table.


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