In Germany Oktoberfest actually begins in September and runs about two weeks. At least where I live in the United States Oktoberfest celebrations are small local affairs lasting a day or a weekend. There is a German restaurant about an hour from me that runs an Oktoberfest special menu roughly the time of German Oktoberfest. Having dinner there constitutes my Oktoberfest.
The last time I went they had a venison dish which I was surprised to see. Game restaurants are traditional and popular in Germany but in spite of the deer population actually proliferating and more often killed by motorists than hunters, restaurants never put it on the menu. We are not talking about vegan and vegetarian restaurants here, but ones serving meat. I can readily believe hunters are filling their own freezers rather than selling to a restaurant. Since the poor creature had already been sacrificed I decided it shold be eaten by someone who could honor that sacrifice and appreciate the dish. Nothing could be sadder than ending up a broken carcass on the side of the road, ignored and left to the scavengers.
This year no venison but still a good traditional menu. The meals are always so big and filling I wind up taking a lot home. I usually get a good four meals out of it. The waitress highly recommended the Gemischter Salat with beets, goat cheese & Gebrannte Mandeln (toasted almonds). It had two kinds of curly lettuce, tomatoes, onion rings, cucumbers and was both enormous and delicious. I heard the waitress tel the busboy to being me some of the basalmic v inegar dressing, which he did . I tried it and it really to the salad up another notch. I haven’t enjoyed a sald that much in a long time. It disappeared then and there and was not part of the take home package.
For the main course I had the Schweinshaxe, Tender braised pork shank over homemade sausage stuffing, topped w/ crispy fried onions. It had to have been piled almost a foot high. There was just the right amount of sausage stuffing under the meat, which was indeed very tender.I got potato dumplings and red cabbage with it, although ther were other sides, these seemed like the best match and I enjoyed them. Washed all this down with a mug of on tap Oktoberfest beer. I had a great waitress. She asked if I’d like more bread to take home with the meat and gave me three more delicious pumpernickel rolls with a tower of their herbed butter.
I am going to have to ask Frank the farmer to save some pork shanks for me. There are so many cuts of meat Americans don’t seem to eat that Hispanics and Europeans do that are really good. My only regret was on Saturday night, when I was so tired, there was just a little more meat left in the container and I was so tired and there was no room left in the little refrigerator so I put it up on a shelf with a heavy mug on top. Wendy and Mo ate it, I think with help from Hansel. I woke up Sunday to find the shank bone on the floor in the hallway!
This could have made me mad, but I am actually happy. I have wanted to transfer them all to homemade food and off any kibble at all. Now I know they like pork which is much easier to source than some other things, like rabbit. And it can’t always be chicken, they’ll get tired of it and stop eating.
I wound up bringing home the dessert of Apfelstrudel. It came with sides of raspberries, whipped cream and custard sauce and the cats got none of it!