After washing it all down with a giant glass of Köstritzer beer, you may feel yourself sinking through one of Suppenküche's table-benches into pure Teutonic bliss. Arrive early, though ever since the new Hayes Green opened nearby, this restaurant has been packed to the Germanic gills.
525 Laguna, SF. (415) 252-9289, www.suppenkuche.com
WHOLE ROAST CRAB WITH GARLIC NOODLES
Get that bib on PPQ Dungeness Island in the Outer Richmond is about to soak you in garlic butter like you've never been soaked before. First of all, hurray for Dungeness crab season (already reaching full Alaskan swing and about to hit our fair shores in November.) Second, a fond how-do-you-do to PPQ's prix fixe whole crab menu ($50 for two). Mouthwatering Imperial rolls and piquant shredded cabbage with chicken launch your 90-minute culinary journey, and fried bananas with ice cream bring you back around, but in the middle oh, the middle: a steaming, full-size, whole roast crab drenched in thick butter sauce and spattered with chunks of garlic, served with a generous bowlful of PPQ's renowned sticky garlic noodles, perfect for dipping into the creamy pool beneath the crab's soon-to-be demolished shell.
2332 Clement, SF. (415) 386-8266, www.ppqdungeness.com
Hand-crafted thin, flat egg noodles in a blissful roasted tomato sauce with smoked bacon, thickly sliced jalapeños, butter, arugula, garlic, and peccorino and asana cheeses, topped with grated parmesan. Wow. This kicky, diet-busting wonder ($12), created at Aperto in Portrero Hill, rivals any similar North Beach concoction even those available at one of my favorite restaurants of all time, L'Osteria del Forno. If you're lucky enough to order this for lunch on a day when Aperto is serving its fabulous carrot-fennel soup, you may want to cancel your afternoon appointments, order a couple of glasses of sangiovese, and savor every mouthful. That's what I did.
1434 18th St., SF. (415) 252-1625, www.apertosf.com