Secret Eats

Where to Spot Speisekammer’s Cindy Johnson-Kahl


     Where does Alameda go to satisfy its cravings for hearty, heart-warming schnitzel, sauerbraten, and spätzle — with a heaping side of sonic delight? Islanders head to its Pantry, of course, otherwise known in German as Speisekammer.
     Cindy Johnson-Kahl opened the restaurant and music venue in 2002 with her then-husband, chef Peter Kahl. The two may not be married anymore, but they remain partners in their effort to bring the final word in gemütlichkeit, or cheerful coziness, to Alameda.
     Cabbage rolls, bratwurst, vegetable strudel and baked spätzle perfectly embody the gemütlichkeit concept — and are even better alongside a Radler (lager topped off with lemon-lime soda) or elderflower soda. Meanwhile the music — which veers toward the local, jazzy and Americana sides of the tracks — ranges from the sprightly Django Reinhardt–obsessed combo Le Jazz Hot to Alameda’s classic California country outfit Kit and the Branded Men. In 2012, Speisekammer toasts its 10th anniversary, and until then, you might run into Johnson-Kahl here:

Alameda Marketplace
I go to the Alameda Marketplace on a regular basis. I like all of the places there. I think they did a great job with it.
1650 Park St.,  (510) 865-1500,

Tucker’s ice cream has a pastry chef, Henry [Awayan], and he’s amazing.
1349 Park St., (510) 522-4960,

Cafe Fudgelato
They have gelato and candy and fudge. I go there with my kids a lot: We love their gelato. It’s delicious, and they have Icees that the kids like.
2353 Santa Clara Ave., (510) 748-9697,

La Penca Azul
They did a great job on their tequila bar. It’s beautiful and has a lively, fun atmosphere.
1440 Park St., (510) 769-9110,

A-Town Pizza & Kabob House
We order from there a lot. They have kabobs that are excellent, and they’ll bring them to your house on your day off.
2327 Blanding Ave., (510) 522-7575,

Speisekammer Restaurant, 2424 Lincoln Ave., (510) 522-1300,

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