With a most fantastic Art Deco interior, Café Grundmann is like a living museum. Nearly all of the 1920s furniture is intact, including wonderful old booths and tables hewn from elegant hardwoods. The giant, round light fixtures are perfect reproductions of the Art Deco style and, up near the entrance is an antique coin-operated machine that contains tiny art pieces made by students at the local art college. (It’s the kind of machine that used to house slices of cake and pie in the 1930s.)
THE DISH: SCHNITZEL
The best schnitzel I’ve ever tasted is at one of the most wonderful—and authentic Art Deco—cafes in Europe, Café Grundmann in Leipzig Germany. It’s a generous portion of schnitzel with a light breaded exterior and juicy interior, coupled with a big, crisp salad and perfectly grilled potatoes and onions.
There are meatballs that are forgettable (Chef Boyardee, and his ilk in many mediocre restaurants), and those that inspire drool when remembered. The roasted veal meatballs at Town Hall in San Francisco are the drool-y kind. Creating meatballs with veal instead of the more traditional pork-beef blend was inspired, and ladling rich peppercorn gravy over potato puree instead of pasta pushes the dish to perfection. This meatball dish is fantastic, and just one of many reasons I love Town Hall.
The Damage: $12
This is a high-value appetizer for the price. It’s rich and complete, a generous portion that’s great to share.