Just as the Eastern European thing is starting to get hotter around here, Cafe Metropol owners Albert and Klaus Rainer have brought the brazen, Italo-Austrian Leopold's to Polk Street, complete with taxidermy, dirndl-sporting servers, beer boots and the requisite sausage parade. Will a neighborhood weaned on daintier items like La Boulange, La Folie, Pesce and Luella embrace the Austrian new kid on the block?
The Good News: Michael D. of Yelp says, "we loved it. Great energy, food was terrific, the service (complete with buxom waitresses) was efficient, laid back, happy and friendly, and authentic - it felt like you were in a beer hall in Munich." Emily C./Yelp thinks "Leopold's fills a much needed gap in this neighborhood for good beer and a very different atmosphere than some of the other 'modern' restaurant/bars in the area." And on Facebook Johnny Boyton applauds "this is the best thing to happen to Polk Street since Bullitt opened." [Yelp, Facebook]
Das Boot News: Abby S. of Yelp sings "The beer list alone is enough to make even the pickiest fraulein drool with excitement. 22 oz. cider? Yes, please! Spaten in a giant boot? Don't mind if I do... The best part is that these beers are brought out by servers dressed a la St. Pauly's Girl, so it really puts you in the mood." Marie R./Yelp comments "Their selection of beer is impressive, and DAS BOOT is always welcome in my opinion." [Yelp]
The Long Wait News: J P./Yelp says "I heard this place was good and packed, so we went on a Sunday as soon as they opened at 5:30; this was a great time to go because there was a wait by 6pm!" Marie R./Yelp adds "the fact that they don't take reservations and that they are an overwhelmingly popular new restaurant means that I am not even going to try to get in on the weekends, which makes me sad." [Yelp]
The Noise News: In this here blog entry, Sir Bauer compares Leopold's to Mamacita, which he's "long considered... the noisiest restaurant in the city. That was until [he] ate at Leopold’s." He continues "by the time I left... my throat was raspy and my head was pounding. When I went outside in the cool rain, it was like being plunged in a warm water bath — the feeling of quiet was that soothing." Nicolaje D./Yelp yells "SO LOUD, I HAVE TO TYPE IN CAPS TO BE HEARD....no bs." [ISSF, Yelp]
The Service News: Jenny R./Yelp says the servers are "exceptionally friendly, the right balance of attentive but not overly attentive." Yelper David C. agrees- "they are not in you[r] face every 5 minutes, but seem to appear out of nowhere when you need them." J.P./Yelp points out "I'm amazed that a brand new restaurant has their front and back of house so on par this early in the game! We had fantastic service." [Yelp]
The Compared-To-Suppenkuche News: Ian S./Yelp describes the "central common table reminds one of Suppenkuche, but it's not nearly as loud and five times as friendly." While Christian P. thinks its "food is almost as good as Suppenkuche, but cheaper." [Yelp]
The Wiener Schnitzel News: Bauer gives the dish a shout in his "Favorite dishes" blog post, calling his experience a "rib-sticking, beer-addled time." Virginia Miller of the SF Bay Guardian says, "Wiener schnitzel is exemplary: prepared traditionally, lightly breaded, pounded flat with a squeeze of lemon, contrasted perfectly with lingonberry sauce and a warm escarole potato salad." [ISSF, SFBG]
The Price Point News: J P./Yelp raves "we had 2 mains, 3 beer and desert for only $65. That's a feat in this city.[sic]" And B A./Yelp adds, "bottom line is that this place is well priced and worth every penny." [Yelp]
The Hunting Lodge News: Sarah N./Yelp gushes "Their family photos on the walls and the rustic, warm decor make you feel like you are eating at a decades-old place in Salzburg." Virginia Miller calls out "a refinement that doesn’t cross the line into kitschy." But France D./Yelp playfully adds "my friend, who's German, was insisting that the whole environment looked slightly fake, but come on, we all know that that's the way real Germans behave when back home! I bet you can find all those weird ornaments in any German house." [Yelp, SFBG]
The Klaus News: Pixie G. Yelps that "Klaus, who serves as doorman, maitre d' and general factotum, is the unofficial mayor of Polk Street, and his charm is spread in equal, generous amounts among all who enter." Doug R. thinks "he makes you feel like an old friend from the moment you walk in." Marie R./Yelp agrees, "Klaus is a big bear of a man, and he is incredibly hospitable." Gail N./Yelp even said he "greeted us at the door with so much friendly gusto - you'd think we were friends for ages!" On the Leopold's Facebook page, fans are comparing his looks to one Gerard Depardieu. [Yelp, Facebook]
Thoughts? Comments? Additional Klaus-doppelgangers? As always, give 'em to us below or here.
· All Previous Leopold's Coverage [~ ESF ~]