October is one of my favorite foodie months of the year. Being of German decent, I grew up on my grandmother’s cooking. This meant braised red cabbage, sauerbraten, pork and sauerkraut, among other delicious, (even if misunderstood by my friends) childhood dinners. Subsequently, I have continued that cooking tradition with my family, abet with mixed reviews. I can get away with a German style pot roast here, or grilled brats and perogies there. However, things like pork and sauerkraut, red cabbage, and god forbid schnitzel, have my kids and wife ordering up take out! Now, even though the real German Oktoberfest is in September, here in the States we celebrate it mostly in October. So that got me thinking…
If you can’t make it, take it!
It was a few years ago, pre Pandemic, that I began searching out some alternate options for my “ok” but not “great” German cooking. Honestly, I was surprised by what I found. There are many, many places that have great seasonal German/Oktoberfest items on their menus this time of year. Moreover, a little digging uncovers a “Wunderbar” of year round German themed restaurants just a short drive away! Besides, it’s a lot easier to give the family the option of having a hot dog, hamburger, or steak, if they are not into the traditional German items on the menu, than the take it or leave it homemade meal. From what we’ve seen, you should be able to secure the simplest of meals at these places if you don’t want their specialties.
Don’t forget the beer!
No Oktoberfest meal is complete without great German Pilsners and Oktoberfest Beers! Any restaurant celebrating Oktoberfest should have a nice supply of authentic, or at least “Americanized” authentic German beers. However you may have to BYOB if you go to one of the year round themed German places, since they may not have a liquor license.
Leave room for dessert!
Mmmm, Apple Strudel, Black Forest Cake, Strawberry Bavarian Cream, the list goes on. German style desserts are the perfect way to end your Oktoberfest meal!
Be sure to give one or two of these places a try if you have the time this month. Maybe even wear your Lederhosen? Now let’s go load up on some potato pancakes!