A few weekends back, the missus, the baby and I met up with a group of friends at the Bear Mountain Oktoberfest. My wife and I had gone about five years before with my parents on a visit and it was a pretty small-potatoes operations. We hadn’t been back since, so we were pretty surprised to discover it was a much better attended event nowadays. I’m sure that’s good for the parks system or whoever puts this thing on, but it’s not so good for attendees. See, the problem I had was that we wound up spending most of our time in line for beer and then food. The lines all snake through this large stone pavilion which is really nice, but not conducive to smooth line progression. But, hey, this is a food blog, who cares about lines, right? Well, the beer was absolutely worth waiting for. I went with a Wiesse beer, because that’s one of my all time favorites. I also decided to purchase the big ass mug, which I will admit taxed my arm and wrist as I carried it around, but on the plus side, it was a lot of beer without having to wait in a lot of lines and you can use them year after year. The food was another story. It’s not like they have legit German food vendors come in (as far as I can tell). I believe they just order in a bunch of bratwurste, knackwurste, pierogi and other dishes, heat them up and serve. The wurstes were good (can’t remember which I had and which my wife did, but I think I went with the knack), but the pierogis were clearly frozen, thawed out and then fried. I’ve had and actually made better, so I wasn’t super impressed with that.
So, next year, I think we’ll take our steins to get filled, but maybe bring our own food and a grill (or get one of the ones at the park) and make our own food. I bet I could scrounge up some better German sausage and other food around here and take them with us. But, I’m always down for some of that awesome German beer on tap!