You don’t need a passport to party at a damn good Oktoberfest!
Dust off your lederhosen, empty your stomach and get your alcohol tolerance up. It’s that time of year…Oktoberfest time! Sausage, Beer and awesome outfits, here we come!
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is a tradition that has been going on for ages, and for as long as I remember, we’ve always gone. The festival in and of itself is pretty amazing. It’s the largest Oktoberfest outside of Munich, Germany and combines old traditions with some hilarious new favorites. Check out some of the footage from this year’s Weiner Dog Race, Barrell Rolling, Stein Carrying Contest, Chicken Dance and even Brat Eating Contest with the World Famous, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, crushing 35 brats in 10 minutes. Yum. Also, this year, quite a few booths had signs about Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food visiting their restaurants, so we’ll have to be on the lookout for the Cincinnati episodes.
Our “Mangia Memoir” (what we’ll remember)
Our Pitocco family tradition is to meet the whole crew at Schmidt’s booth on Sunday at 11:00am (yes, my family is insane) and kick off the day with a giant “Bahama Mama” (in photo above). It’s a smoked mett with quite a spicy kick to it. Really cleans out the sinuses and gets ya going for a long day of eating! Mr. and Mrs. Weber (my husband’s parents) joined us this year and Mr. Weber sported a fantastic Oktoberfest hat with countless number of pins he’s collected over the years.
This is the one day of the year where we Pitocco kids actually acknowledge and embrace our German heritage. Our mom, Kathy (nee Doerger…nice little German name) frolicks from block to block singing along with the German bands — old favorites like “Roll Out the Barrell” and the song they used to sing to me as a child “She’s Too Fat for Me” (Yes, I was a slightly overweight toddler. My pediatrician even put me on a pediatric diet. Lardass).
Booth upon booth we gorged ourselves, stopping to chat with folks we haven’t seen in ages, while watching fellow festival goers devour brats, sauerkraut balls and steins of beer. We even stopped to get our photo taken with little wooden German folk cutouts.
One not-so-pleasant, but definitely memorable moment, occurred on our trot back to our car, where we all stood dumbfounded at what we saw - A homeless woman (who sadly also had some obvious mental issues as well) lifted up her shirt to expose her belly in order to gain the attention of a homeless man in a wheelchair, then thrusted her pelvis forward and pointed to her lady parts. Yikes! It’s kind of embarrassing even writing it and believe me, it was even worse in person.
Besides that treachery, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati 2011 was a great. I’m happy we were in town for it and happy we can spend time with our families, keeping fun traditions alive. I’m already looking forward to next year!
- Bahama Mama mettwurst
- Goetta Sandwich on Rye (Goetta is a German-American breakfast meat comprised of sausage, steel-cut oats and spices. It is specific to the German-American population of the Greater Cincinnati area)
- Sauerkraut Balls
- Goetta Nachos
- Goetta Mac & Cheese
- Brat with sauerkraut on pretzel bread
- Fried pickles
- Izzy’s Potatoe pancake [MUST EAT]
- Izzy’s Corned Beef & Swiss on Rye Bun [MUST EAT]
- 5 stars overall
- FOOD: I’m not complaining, because everything was pretty darn delicious. I do find myself gravitating to the more traditional Oktoberfest items like brats, metts, sauerkraut, potato pancakes and ruebens/corned beef. The new twists on old favorites like Goetta nachos and Goetta Mac & Cheese are great to try, but my heart belongs to the traditional fare.
- SERVICE: all of the vendors are in the Oktoberfest spirit, cordial and super helpful if you don’t know what something is.
- AMBIANCE: this is reason enough to go even if you don’t like German food. Great tradition, fun music and awesome people watching. Friday and Saturday are more of the party days, with huge crowds and tons of debauchery. Sunday is a little more tamed (at least in the AM), so great for families or folks looking to really sample the food without getting trampled by drunken bafoons.