Bigger is better at Gestalt.
I finally made it to Gestalt Haus the other day, and it’s a place where I could imagine myself spending a lot of time. Crowded and bright with a fairly raucous vibe, the front was packed with people and bicycles, but in the back it was easy to find a spot at the bar. When I sat down the Pogues, one of my favorite bands ever, was playing on the jukebox. Now, no San Franciscan who has ever spent an afternoon in the lower Haight walking between Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Toronado can doubt the synergy of sausage and beer. So it only makes sense that Gestalt serves sausages, including hot links, bratwurst and vegetarian varieties, alongside their brews. Like beer halls in the Germany, Gestalt serves super-sized beers—a full liter. I haven’t seen liter-sized beers in a bar since I was in Munich as a college-student touring through Europe. That’s one big beer, but a liter can be useful: less time wasted making frequent refill trips to the bar. It’s also helpful because it can take a while to get the attention of the bartenders (which also reminded me of Germany, where after thirty minutes of trying to get the check at a beer hall, I simply walked out the door. After one step outside the premises, though, I was stopped and presented with the check I had been frantically seeking.) It’s not so hard to square up for your liter ($8) or half liter ($4) at the Gestalt Haus—you simply pay as you go.
3159 16th St (at Albion)