<BODY><!-- --><div id="b-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" width="80" height="24" /></a><form id="b-search" action="http://www.google.com/search"><div id="b-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" width="112" height="15" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="b-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" width="72" height="15" /></a></div><div id="b-this"><input type="text" id="b-query" name="q" /><input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /><input type="hidden" name="sitesearch" value="iscasemvara.blogspot.com" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_search.gif" alt="Search" value="Search" id="b-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google" /><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="b-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div><script type="text/javascript"><!-- function BlogThis() {Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection) {Q=x.selection.createRange().text;} else if (y.getSelection) { Q=y.getSelection();} else if (x.getSelection) { Q=x.getSelection();}popw = y.open('http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?t=' + escape(Q) + '&u=' + escape(location.href) + '&n=' + escape(document.title),'bloggerForm','scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes');void(0);} --></script><div id="space-for-ie"></div>

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tommy's Joynt

Did I save the best for last? Well, kind of.

As far as hofbraus go, Tommy's Joynt is perhaps the best known and most famous, and for good reason: it has a whole lot of character, it hasn't sold out to attract a younger/more affluent crowd, and it has a crazy loyalty among both San Franciscans and those who, whenever they visit, make a point to stop at Tommy's.

Plus it has everything any decent hofbrau should – the cheap food, the bar that serves cheap drinks, the sports on the television, the big meeting space in the back, the dimly lit rooms, and walls covered with all sorts of memorabilia.

It even has one of those funky condom machines in the men's restroom, which in this day and age seems pretty progressive. Although, the tranny and hustler prostitutes congregate just one block over on Polk, so maybe the machine was installed by the Department of Public Health – who knows?

One of biggest plusses that makes the atmosphere enjoyable at Tommy's are the customers. Sure, there are a lot of tourists, but often they seem flanked by the locals. The heavy presence of locals also makes the eavesdropping at Tommy's a very special affair. For instance, the night Bruce and I were there we overheard a man at a table of four, just seated, middle-aged gay men complain to the busser, "Sir! Oh, Sir!", as he pointed to a small crumpled up napkin left by the previous table. After the busser picked it up and brushed past our table, Bruce and I began cracking up as we could hear him mumble a litany of abuse in Spanish towards the guy. Hmm...I think I heard somewhere in there pinche and pendejo.

Then, there was the table of young women behind us, one woman in particular, who were just shredding one of their female co-workers in that total catty way women do.

"I know. Can you believe it? Oh, and do you remember Brian? Well, he called me and he even told me that he thought she was self-centered. Seriously. What? Yeah, I heard she was on anti-depressants, too. That's pretty sad. I feel the most sorry for her boyfriend. Can you imagine living with that?"

God! Sometimes I wish I was recording this stuff.

I imagine Tommy's Joynt has had this atmosphere since they first opened in 1947. The original Tommy, Tommy Harris, was a popular young crooner in the 1930s on the local radio station, KFRC, who eventually moved on to NBC. While a radio personality, he co-starred with future legends Morey Amsterdam and Meredith Wilson. Eventually he left the radio business and settled into San Francisco politics, but not before opening the institution that would bear his name long after most people forgot who he was.

One thing about Tommy's – it's not in any danger of closing, at least as far as business is concerned. It seems that anytime I go by it, it has a line of people waiting to eat or people standing in the doorway. Fortunately for us, that line moves pretty quickly as folks, many of them who know exactly what they want down to the specifics, give the guys behind the steam table their orders.

This steam table isn't as long as I've seen in other hofbraus, but apparently they can fill a whole host of requests, from barbecued beef sandwiches, turkey leg dinners with spaghetti, buffalo stew, and even broiled salmon.

Standing at the steam table can make anyone who stands 5'-9" or smaller feel like a little kid, since it's situated higher than most and, when you grab your tray or pay at the register, you are reaching up and over the top. Packed closely between the people in line, the steam table, people seated at tables behind you, and customers entering and exiting, it could make some people feel a bit claustrophobic.

However, I didn't feel that at all, in fact, I felt the opposite. I felt it was warm and welcoming. I felt it was more like a family potluck, with sweet Aunt Gladys and boisterous cousin Jimmy (who just paroled) and unassuming cousin Larry (whom everyone else is jealous of cause he just graduated from UC Berkeley) and that annoying uncle of yours who eats with his mouth open. Oh, and look, there's 3rd cousin Pierre who's in from France and cousin Takeru from Japan (he can really eat a lot)!

I have to admit, the choices at Tommy's can seem daunting. Finally, Bruce settles on the pastrami sandwich, while I choose the barbecued beef brisket dinner.

His sandwich was freshly carved and piled high on sourdough bread. The sandwich also came with a small container of jus to pour over your sandwich, should you chose to do so. In addition, he ordered a salad perhaps to minimize the onset of the meat sweats. Unfortunately, his pastrami sandwich was a little too fatty, likely due to the server's choice of cuts from the meat. The salad also came with 1000 Island dressing which was obviously watered down, leading us to both wonder why someone would water it down when it is so cheap to begin with.

My barbecue beef brisket was pretty good and the meat was plentiful. The barbecue sauce was sweet and kind of what you would expect for a place like this. In other words, I'm sure no one has gone to their grave protecting the secret ingredients of this BBQ sauce. My brisket, despite being tender, also was a little too fatty and I'm guessing the cuts of meat used here aren't what you would find in the case at Bryan's. However, considering that Bruce's sandwich cost $5 and my dinner plate cost $7, I'm not really complaining.

I made the mistake of ordering the side of potato salad seeing as I already had mashed potatoes on the plate, but I didn't realize that until I sat down to eat. That's too bad since the potato salad was pretty bland and couldn't even be beefed up with the addition of a little horseradish and salt. Actually, the potato salad over at Lefty's is better. The sourdough roll that came with the dinner was definitely the best I've had at any hofbrau, so that was a plus.

Tommy's also has a good crew who works the floor with speed and grace. The sole waitress seemed calm yet attentive and seemingly able to handle any emergency, translating basic phrases in several languages at once if she had to. The busser and door guy (I'm not really sure what his job was) also seemed to be friendly when treated the same. And in fact, other than the table of the four queens seated near us, attitude at Tommy's seemed refreshingly non-existent.

If anything, Tommy's seems like a great place to hang out with friends, have a beer, and (while the food is neither great nor bad) perhaps have a sandwich.

Is it worth a visit if you've never been? Absolutely! Is it the king amongst hofbraus? Well, that can be disputed. Frankly, during our visits to various Bay Area hofbraus, both Bruce and I've concluded that Lefty's had the best food while Tommy's had the best atmosphere.

So, in my opinion, here's how it stacks up.

Best Food (in this order):
Lefty O'Douls
The Chick-N-Coop
Bogy's Hofbrau
Tommy's Joynt

Best Atmosphere:
Tommy's Joynt
Lefty O'Douls
Jerrold Market Place

Now that I've made these conclusions, I can't tell you how happy I am not to eat another hofbrau-style meal, at least not in the near future. I'm glad I did this research, but boy howdy am I ready to move on. You will notice that I didn't visit all of the hofbraus in the Bay Area or in California, so if you have any dispute with my findings, I welcome your comments/additions on The Hofbraus of the San Francisco Bay Area page.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Let's keep rollin'.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Jerrold Market Place

You can call it sheer chance that I stumbled upon the Jerrold Market Place hofbrau in the San Francisco Produce Terminal.

After hours of investigating what hofbraus there may be in San Francisco, I happened to find one small reference, in fact, a sentence, that someone wrote about a diner that was near a hofbrau at the Produce Terminal.

That was it. No names, no address, nothing.

I checked everywhere to find this hofbrau; a googol Google searches, the phonebook, the DPH violations page – all to no avail. So I gave up. I figured that with no mention anywhere, it must be long gone or perhaps in the original author's imagination.

But then, one Saturday around 1 PM, on our way back from Daly City, I asked Bruce to take a detour through the industrial area that was near the Produce Terminal. I knew from experience that some pretty divey places could be found around these areas, especially those that cater to truck drivers at 4 in the morning. I figured I could at least find a couple to write about after I had finished this whole hofbrau project.

A memorial to deceased Produce Terminal employees who lost their lives bravely weeding out the spoiled corned beef from the "mostly edible" corned beef at neighboring dining establishments.

As we drove down Toland and reached the corner of Jerrold, I cranked my head to see what was down the street that went past all of the produce warehouses. And out of the corner of my eye, what did I see in the distance but those grand words, "hofbrau", in big faded purple letters.

"Oh shit! Turn around! Turn around!" I shouted with glee. "That's the hofbrau!"

Bruce, less excited, let out a groan as he swung the truck in a sharp left turn, breaking all sorts of laws about signaling, driving over two yellow lines, etc., as we made a quick U-turn back to the Produce Terminal.

Neon beer signs were on in the windows and behind them I could see what looked like restaurant equipment. The entryway was dark and forboding and the thought that I had stumbled onto a true dive, that was also a hofbrau, made my nipples hard.

I stepped in only to see what I had been hoping for: a hofbrau steamtable set up to the left, and old bar to the right, a big television over the bar playing sports, and a seating area whose décor harkened back 30 years.

How many lonely truckers with bleary eyes have had their hearts broken we they realized that those buxom babes standing on the mezzanine were actually Beer Babe cutouts? Sad.

Unfortunately we had arrived after the hofbrau food stopped being served, but the small, older Asian woman offered to make me a sandwich.

I declined but said I'd be back. I asked her what the hours were and she said "from 3 to 3".

Then I thought, "Oh great! I can come here after work and check it out. Maybe I can get there around 10 or 11 and see if it's hoppin'." OK, I know. I can be a total airhead sometimes. After thinking about it for a minute, I suddenly realized that "3 to 3" wasn't 3 PM to 3 AM, it was 3 AM to 3 PM!

Hold on, now. I’m not waking up at the butt-crack of dawn, taking whatever bus crawls out to the southern end of town, just for some greasy hofbrau food. Granted, I'm sure it's quite a scene at 4 or 5 AM, full of truckers and dock workers, likely all Teamsters or some other union, either wide awake from popping cross-tops, or trying to shake off No Doze jitters at the bar while swigging down their third MGD right before they hit the road. In fact, if I was into the whole bar scene and sticking around past 2, I'd probably enjoy heading over to the Jerrold Market Place for some freshly carved roast beef and mashed potatoes to satiate my drunk munchies. Or if I was a loading dock worker, I'm sure I'd be a regular at Jerrolds and also be on a first name basis with the 3 or 4 people that work there, as well as the many old dudes that hang out, drink their coffee, read the paper, and play that stupid dice slamming game at the bar.

Six hours earlier, these tables were filled by guys named Bud.

But, as it is, I am a boring office worker at an architecture firm who regularly lifts boxes of invoices, and sometimes rolls of drawings, when I'm not parked on my ass in front of the monitor. The biggest on-the-job hazzards I routinely face are papercuts and/or the network server going down. And my greatest irritation at work are the men's restroom stalls whose doors open inward instead of outward.

This, however, doesn't stop me from going back to Jerrold's to see which came first, the hofbrau or the dive.

Today we drove back to the Produce Terminal and parked alongside several other cars in front of Jerrold's. The weather was cold and grey, and it was raining lightly. I made a mental note that across the way from Jerrold's is another fine dining establishment by the name of "J & V" which, from the looks of it, could be a dive score or a real pit. DPH gives it a 94 while Jerrold's scores ten points less at 84. But then, should I really trust health inspectors with greasy palms?

I was pretty disappointed when we walked into Jerrold's to see that the hofbrau was, in effect, shut down. Oh sure, there were a few meats (noticeably a big ham), although they were covered, and a dark green mass resembling a vegetable medley, but nothing looked hot. I didn't even bother taking a photo.

What I really wanted was a traditional hofbrau dinner for breakfast, but why bother if this is how things were looking. Bruce busted a move and got a real breakfast, which in his case was a bacon and (American) cheese omelette (with ice tea came to be $8.50), and I, ever the purist, got a sliced pastrami sandwich with coffee ($6.10).

I was a little confused since there were no trays to rest your plate on, but eventually after paying I realized that we were expected to have a seat and then the cashier, who doubled as waitress, would bring us our food when Bruce's omelette was cooked.

There weren't many people left in the place when we got there. The ones who were I imagine had been there for some time. There were two overweight old guys (can you say plumber's butt?) sitting on bar stools at the bar and carrying on with the squeeky-voiced female bartender, two other guys sitting at tables reading the paper, and a some guy who looked liked he worked for DPW finishing up his breakfast. A little while later, 3 younger guys walked in and sat at the far end of the bar.

Eventually, breakfast was served. In Bruce's case, the omelette had been fried on top of a grill that should've been scraped down and washed about 20 fried eggs, 5 patty melts, 16 breakfast links, and 40 bacon strips ago. Some would call the blackend residue on his omelette "flavor", yet that's not exactly his interpretation. Also I think his precise words were "I don't know how anyone could get eggs to be this tough" and something about being able to re-sole the bottom of his shoes.

I was like, duh! Why even eat breakfast when the place clearly says "hofbrau"?

So how was my sandwich? Well, the pastrami looked and smelled good. It was tough. Not tough enough to re-sole my shoes, but it definitely had a chew to it. I wasn't completely disappointed. The sourdough bread (which was authentic) the pastrami came on was toasted and buttered and there was sliced tomato and lettuce, as well as mustard, on the sandwich. It went well with my trucker, rock-gut, coffee which, while not all fancy like some, has it's place in the coffee community, though likely on the other side of the tracks.

Frankly, it would be hard to lure me back here (impossible to lure Bruce back), since the food wasn't that great and it's pretty isolated in relationship to where I live. However, while the food doesn't score high marks with me, the atmosphere, the friendliness of the staff (in particular Stanley), the fact that everyone seems to be on a first name basis, the unusual hours of operation, and the quirkiness of the place and it's location place this high on my dive score card. And of course, you know from reading me, that's a good thing.

I walked away from Jerrold's today still wondering if this place is a hofbrau dive or a dive hofbrau. Perhaps I should shut up, stop worrying, have some more coffee, and look for some shoes that have holes them.


Friday, April 07, 2006

4/07/06 Check In

Just the thought of one more helping of mashed potatoes and gravy is sending shivers up my spine and not in a good way.

I probably should've spread this hofbrau project out a little more since I feel so much pressure to visit each one and have the whole thing completed. In other words, it's becoming less fun.

In the beginning I thought each hofbrau would be a nostalgic little find, but what I'm finding out more and more is that quirky places like Lefty's and Tommy's are the exception, and while hofbrau cuisine is unique in its own way, probably just a small sampling of the more quirky ones would've been suitable for this blog.

That's why I'm passing up a few. I'm also passing up a visit to Pluto's for a few reasons: although it borrows heavily from the hofbrau concept (their website falsly claims their concept is new), it's neo-hofbrau and not really part of the same category the others I've written about are in. Also, Pluto's has been reviewed and written about before and there's nothing really to add to what hasn't been said already.

Lastly, this blog is called "Dive". I realize that many of the hofbraus I've been to aren't divable, but in the interest of the topic, I overlooked that fact in order to pay homage to the hofbraus of the Bay Area; something I believe is/was long overdue and unacknowledged (for example: there was no Wikipedia entry on the topic until I added it last week). That said, Pluto's isn't worthy of a hofbrau or a dive entry.

I have two more hofbraus that are, I believe, special (one is extremely Div-ine) and I will visit them soon and report back. After that, we'll be back on track and I'll be taking you to some places that are so divey you will wish you would've brought a cannister of mace with you.

This weekend I'll be out of town for a Rodeo parade and some homemade barbecued California Tri-Tip. Be sure to check out my other blog for more on that.

After that, back to the hofbraus.

Check back here sometime next week!


Monday, April 03, 2006

Europa Hofbrau

The first time I set foot in Orinda I was the guest of my roommate who happened to be a student in a private alternative school there. He invited me to come along since I and our other roommate published zines and we were there to teach the students how to start their own. After a few hours of "school", we ditched class and he took me to a private orange orchard where we stole a few oranges from the rich to give to the poor. Not finding any poor in Orinda, we decided to keep them for ourselves, since we were the closest poor we knew.

Orinda is well-known in the Bay Area for being a small enclave of the super-rich, super-white, and super-Republican. The town promotes itself as being a "family-oriented community" despite the fact that 56 percent of Orinda's 17,000 residents live in households of only 1 to 2 people. The median family income ranges between $120,000 and $130,000 with the average home price well over 1 million dollars, which means if you think it's hard raising a family with San Francisco's cost of living, imagine what it's like for an average middle class or working class family in Orinda.

However, if there is at least one place in this "family-oriented", albeit sometimes deadly, community that actually is family-oriented (and inclusive of those who don't live in mansions) it is the Europa Hofbrau.

The Europa Hofbrau is a family-run restaurant that is the most kid-friendly hofbrau I've been to so far. So much so that they actually have a kid's "play station" and a back room with those old things that existed before the X-Box called "video games".

Before I set foot in Europa, I noticed from the outside that the windows were frosted and I couldn't see in. It didn't strike me at first why this was, but as soon as I stepped through the door, my glasses fogged up as if I had just walked into a steam room.

Boy, was it hot in that place!

After my glasses adjusted and I could see again, I sat down my coat and umbrella at a table in a secluded part of the restaurant and proceeded to order at the steam table. The restaurant is pretty large and for the most part is one large open room filled with tables and chair (no booths). The décor is average, plain – ok, it's boring.

It's pretty hard to say if this place has been here 30 years or if it just opened yesterday. There is a bar, but it's pretty non-descript and seemingly misplaced near the back center of the room. There are televisions for when there's a game on and the Orinda Lions Club meets there once a week, keeping in the tradition of a hofbrau as a meeting place.

As far as the food goes, the usual standards were present but there didn't seem to be a wide variety of sides. This time I went with a roasted turkey leg, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans (the overcooked, mushy, salty, dead green kind).

The gravy on the potatoes was exceptionally good and perhaps the best I've had so far, while the green beans were as bad as they looked. That's too bad since green beans aren't that hard to cook and keep warm without overcooking.

You know, it's not that hofbrau food is all bad, some of it is actually simple and healthy (so long as you're not overeating, which is quiet hard to do in a hofbrau), but the cooking techniques are often stuck in the same time the hofbraus were when they first opened.

The turkey leg, for instance, was good; the meat dark and, because it was dark meat, not terribly dry. I only found that out, however, once I got to the meat through the leather-like skin. No kidding, that skin was so tough I couldn't even pull it apart with my bare hands. And frankly, you're looking at a skin eater. Crispy chicken skin, turkey skin, duck skin...it all makes me drool. Maybe I should've taken the skin with me and chewed on it like beef jerky?

While it's great that the Europa hofbrau can still eek out an existence in Orinda and remain a low-priced solution for many people with children and senior citizens, I won't be taking the BART back out there in any foreseeable future. It's just not a special destination place for me, even with the temptation of picking some more oranges.

However, I wish them all the best.


PS Guess what?! Up until now there was no entry for "hofbrau" on Wikipedia, but someone was a little busy bee this past weekend and so I present you with this! Of course, it is Wikipedia, so make the necessary additions/corrections as you see fit. If any of you know how to make it that the title page, "hofbrau", can be distinguished not as a German restaurant but as a California-specific eatery, please do so!


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bogy's Hofbrau

First thing's first: South San Francisco is not San Francisco.

The locals call it South City, mainly because South San Francisco is a mouth-full to say. Also because of the obvious confusion that exists in the name. You see, South San Francisco isn't the southern part of San Francisco, in fact South San Francisco doesn't even border San Francisco.

To add even more confusion to the mix, South San Francisco is just north of the San Francisco International Airport, which is owned by the City and County of San Francisco, which also owns the land, thus making it officially San Francisco territory. So, if I m getting this right, South San Francisco – the city/town separate from San Francisco – is both south and north of the City of San Francisco.


My brain hurts. Time for some hofbrau food.

Lucky that there is such a place in downtown South City called Bogy's Hofbrau. While Bogy's is in an old, and very cool, building, the restaurant doesn't look that old, perhaps due to remodelings and ownership changes.

Downtown South City, which is a mix between new and old architecture, seems like a bustling little place, at least on Saturdays. Most of the businesses are either new businesses catering to the overwhelming majority of Asians and Latinos, or they are throwbacks to the 50s and 60s, back when the majority ethnic group was Anglos.

I imagine this explains Bogy's Hofbrau, whose cuisine is Old American and perhaps use to be run by Joe, but whose restaurant is now owned and run by New Americans, uh, that would be Jose.

At first it seems like your average Hofbrau, only there's no bar, and the sole television that's on is blank other than the words on the screen that mentions something about it being the R&B/hip hop channel. It actually should have said the CRAP R&B/hip hop channel, since every single hip hop tune that came out of it since we entered the restaurant was so amateurish, boring, unoriginal and cliché it bordered on nauseating. But then, isn't this the state of rap today?

The décor is reminiscent of pretty much every Mexican taqueria and restaurant I've been to, with high back, heavy wooden Mission-style chairs and colorful murals on the walls – one of a Spanish flamenco dancing scene and another of a Ye Olde European carnival, no doubt in town to lure all of the children away to toil in sweatshops. Both of the employees at Bogy's are Latino and, according to this Yelp poster, the owners of Bogy's also own one of the best taquerias on the Peninsula, which may explain the furniture.

Despite the fact that from the inside Bogy's looks like a taqueria, the food is pure hofbrau. And unlike Harry's Hofbrau, they don't front with some nasty-ass, pseudo, turkey "enchalada", even though I'm sure they could totally pull it off if they wanted to. No, here the food is straight up, traditional, American food.

Ok, ok, ok. I know that, especially in these circumstances, the term "American food" is a loaded term (read: white). Here we are at a "hofbrau" eating not sauerkraut, but roast beef and barbecued ribs, because this hofbrau is a completely uniquely American invention. But if they served burritos, gumbo, and succotash with a fortune cookie on the side, would it be any less American? No!

However, as it is, most hofbrau food (with the exception of the Oaks Corner – and even then it can be argued that the American Chinese food served there is uniquely American) is what is known as traditional American food – roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, ham, turkey, (sometimes barbecue) green beans, corn, pasta salad (I know, confounds me too), and dinner rolls. Maybe that's an age and era thing. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is.

But let's talk about the food, since that's why we're here, right? Trust me, I could go on and on about culture, race, class, history, blah blah blah, ad nauseum, but after a while it would be a bit like those hip hop songs, now wouldn't it?

"What? What? OK! Yay-uh!"

Bruce ordered the barbecue ribs dinner ($7.99) with a choice of two sides, in his case corn and rice. He says that "they were ok although they didn't have any smokey flavor and that most of the flavor seemed to come from the barbecue sauce. However, they were very tender. The sides were mediocre at best. The corn and the rice had very little flavor."

I also thought one of the sides, the corn, which came with my dinner ($7.99), was mediocre, but come on. It's corn, warmed over. What can you really expect?

I thought the mashed potatoes and gravy were decent although I wasn't a big fan of the gravy. It wasn't bad but it seemed a little too bland. At least they served it up right, unlike Harry's. Granted it was a Saturday, but the food could've been a little warmer. Also, I don't understand the point in serving bread, in this case a dinner roll, that has no flavor, is bland, is rock-hard, is too uniform on the inside, and is cold.

I feel like saying, "if you keep the bread and butter, can I get two quarters back?"

I thought the roast beef here was very good. It was tender, not overcooked, and not gristly or fatty. While I liked the dinner, the roast beef could've made an excellent sandwich and seeing as though the sandwiches are less expensive, it probably is one of the best deals in the neighborhood.

Cutting to the chase, I actually liked Bogy's. Despite the stupid music playing, I felt comfortable here and at ease. Also, if I was hungry and in the area and looking for a simple place to fall back on, no doubt I would head here. The food was plentiful and inexpensive and it seemed to have a down-to-earth, friendly vibe about it.

The only thing is...it's not a true hofbrau. Sorry.

The food is definitely hofbrau food, and very good, authentic hofbrau food, but Bogy's is missing at least two essential hofbrau characteristics. They've got the food and the regular, working-class customer bit down, but what they're missing is the atmosphere and the bar.

It's a nice place, but for now it's probably more honest to say they are a restaurant that serves hofbrau-style food, as opposed to being a hofbrau.

Moving on,