Rosamunde Sausage stretches out in The Mission
Rosamunde recently opened a second location in the bustling heart of the Mission, across the street from institutions like La Taqueria and Dianda’s Italian American Pastry. Whereas the tiny Haight Street location is primarily take-out and bare-bones utilitarian, the new space (previously a Jack in the Box) is big, bright and warm and beckons customers to kick back and linger while savoring a tasty sausage and an excellent beer from one of the 22 taps (including two for wine). A glass case attractively displays the sausages and other food. Several picnic tables lend a convivial beer hall atmosphere to the new location, but even for people who don’t drink beer it’s a nice place to go for a bite. Like the nearby Pi Bar on Valencia, Rosamunde on Mission adheres to the philosophy that you really can serve great beer in a family-friendly environment.
The difference between Rosamunde’s two locations speaks volumes about the evolution of craft beer drinking in San Francisco. Until a year or two ago, most people who drank craft beer in the city didn’t care about the surroundings. As long as the taps were clean and the beer was fresh, atmosphere didn’t much matter. Hence, drinking microbrew meant acquiescing to the limited amenities of places like the Toronado, Zeitgeist and Lucky 13 on Market.
The newer neighborhood establishments like Rosamunde and Pi Bar have loftier goals. Not content with attracting only hard-core craft beer drinkers, this new generation of pubs strives to be one with the neighborhood: a place to have a nosh with the kids while you’re out walking the dog, or with a date before or after a show. They also make a point of serving food that matches well with craft beer.
Thanks to its more spacious new digs, the new Rosamunde has a full-size kitchen and in addition to sausages, Rosamunde offers sides like crispy French fries, baked beans and German potato salad. There are also sausage plates, soups and salads, cheese and meat boards, and even a breakfast menu featuring Four Barrel coffee. (No hamburger Tuesdays, however.) Service is friendly and efficient. You place your food and drinks order at the bar and they’ll call you when your food is ready.
Rosamunde has an unfinished look to it, as if someone moved from a studio apartment into a 3,000 square foot house and wasn’t quite sure what to do with all the extra space. It’s something of an open canvas at the moment that will evolve to fit the clientele and the neighborhood. There’s even space for live music or a DJ.
The good news is that even though the surroundings are very different from Haight Street, the sausages are as delicious as ever. Choices include beer sausage, knockwurst, Nuernberger bratwurst, weisswurst, Hungarian, Italian, chicken cherry, chicken habanero, andouille, currywurst, vegan, wild boar, duck and fig, marguez and in homage to the neighborhood, an all beef sausage wrapped in bacon called Mission St. They’re perfectly grilled and served on a French roll with your choice of two toppings: sauerkraut, grilled onions, sweet or hot peppers or chili.
Although the taps aren’t as extensive as Toronado’s (whose are?), there’s still plenty to choose from in styles that should satisfy even the pickiest beer drinkers. The Ommegang Hennepin (a Belgian-style Saison from Cooperstown, N.Y.) was well-matched with a wild boar sausage with sweet peppers and grilled onions, for example. Also on tap was a delicious DuganA double IPA from Avery in Boulder, Colo.
Neighborhood restaurants that serve great beer with good food seem to be on the rise. We might have started out drinking craft beer in divey man caves, but once in a while it’s nice to come up for some sunshine in a bright and friendly new restaurant.
Rosamunde Sausage Grill
2832 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Saturday and Sunday 8am-11pm