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October 14, 2009 > Restaurant Review: Harry's Hofbrau

Restaurant Review: Harry's Hofbrau

By J.D. Wolfe

When I was a little boy my parents used to go out to eat at two local popular cafeterias - one in Glendale and one in Pasadena. The food was always fresh and the servers always gave us generous portions. Prices were reasonable and we were able to pick our own desserts from a large sampling set out for us just before we arrived at the cashier. Life was good!

Today many of these places are long gone One that remains is Harry's Hofbrau in San Leandro. Now, as a grown man, I take my parents there often to eat. Life does have its cycles.

Walking into Harry's feels like entry into a real German beer hall and yes, they do celebrate Oktoberfest. A bar, located in the rear of the establishment has several flat screen televisions viewable from just about any seat in the bar area. Whether visiting to celebrate Oktoberfest or not, there are over 50 different beers from which to choose.

However, food is the main attraction to Harry's Hofbrau and at its entrance, several roasting ovens with glass walls reveal what's cooking. Often turkeys are on display, but other large pieces of meat may be roasting to perfection as well. They know how to cook at Harry's!

Patrons pick up a tray and put it on the glass shelf above the food. As the tray slides along the shelf, all the great appetizers, entrees and side dishes are on display. This 'can't miss' selection is always accompanied by Harry's signature meal - turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes.

On any given day the menu is a veritable smorgasbord including selections such as cheese/meat lasagna, meat loaf, stuffed bell peppers, pot roast... well, you get the idea. Portions are generous so many patrons can easily satisfy their hunger and take home leftovers for snack later on. Prices are very reasonable. For example, a lasagna dinner with a dinner roll and a salad is about $9; and easily will be enough to take half of it home.

Pastrami fans rejoice. I often order this proven winner - an a la carte pastrami sandwich on sliced sourdough bread. All meats at Harry's Hofbrau are very fresh and make great sandwiches. You cannot go wrong. Try the French Dip.

As your tray is about to find its way to the cashier, decadent desserts beckon. While waiting for the cashier to ring up the person in front of you they appear in all their glory. Go ahead. Take one. Resistance is futile.

On my most recent trip, Mom ordered her regular, a senior turkey dinner with a dinner roll, stuffing and jello. My stepfather ordered a meat dish over rice and it was excellent. Hey, I had to sample it! I ordered my standard - pastrami sandwich on sourdough bread. Once again, I scored with a delicious sandwich. Although I have eaten many desserts in the past and can vouch for them, this time we all passed.

With beverages, extra salads and a main course for each of us, we spent about $33. There are not too many places where you can go to feed three adults and have leftovers for this price.

I highly recommend Harry's Hofbrau for a great weekend outing or on any weeknight, especially when there is a sporting event. You can sit in the bar area, enjoy the meal and watch a great game.

Take care and happy dining!

Reviewed September 19, 2009

Harry's Hofbrau
14900 East 14th Street, San Leandro
(510) 357-1707

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