Once a year during the glorious autumn season, we are graced with the infamous presence of Linde Oktoberfest which is ranked top 5 in America by the likes of USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and Orbitz. Short of actually jetting off to Germany, this is the next best thing. Festival-goers can expect to discover more than just the festival-coveted ‘bier’ (beer) in a ‘bierkrug’ (beermug/stein). Impeccable cultural cuisine or ‘lebensmittel’, entertaining festivities accompanied by sarcastic yet comical commentary and the pure enjoyment of authentic German celebration can also be found here. You can also skip the parking trauma and be shuttled in. Can we say Prost!? No driving equals more biers for me!
To kick things off, I immediately made my way to the Bierzelt (beer tent) to try out some authentic German bier and I was not disappointed by the selection. Strawberry Blonde was my first choice of course, because who doesn’t love a fruity flavored bier to get them in the festival mood? As a self-proclaimed beer connoisseur, I have a fondness of medium-bodied beer, especially if derived from Belgium or Germany. It’s an ale with a subtly sweet strawberry aroma and seamlessly blended citrus and spice. Oh, by the way – it’s also perfection.
Obviously, to get the full experience, you have to try out some lebensmittel (German food). No arguments here! Among the many eateries was Siegi’s Sausage Factory which happens to be here in Tulsa (my home base). My main course was the Cheese Polish with sour kraut and of course a side of German Potatoes (my go-to German dish!) Awesome doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of how good it is. I’ve officially been converted from a diet of traditional midwestern meats to a much broader meat diet that will forever include German/Polish sausage and brats. Tulsans! Go to Siegi’s and see for yourself why I converted.
On to the entertainment. The Chicken Dance. We came. We saw. It happened. Memories of second grade flooded into my brain, except here they take it to another level and jump on tables and bar tops and get DOWN. I’ve never seen anyone do this without being forced. Not to mention everyone LOVED it. I might have gotten on the chicken dance train as well, however, it was barely 7pm and I hadn’t had much of a head start on my bier. Also, my fear of embarrassment and my second grade self said, “No, absolutely not.”
A form of entertainment my second grade self did allow me to participate in was acting as a spectator for the Stein-holding contest, the Bier Barrel Racing Contest, and the Stein Obstacle Course Competition. Watching people hold steins until their arms gave out and seeing a woman out-do every man in the competition was quite liberating. Similarly, watching people scramble and face-plant to get a giant barrel across a field or give up and carry the barrel over-head to the finish line is seriously mind-blowing fun. Lastly, the Stein Obstacle Course where participants would race down a hay-bale filled course while holding 5 water-filled steins (because why risk spilling bier?!) was a total riot. In addition, the folks who were the announcers for the event were quite hilarious. I hope they come back next year!
I saved the best for last both literally and figuratively. You didn’t think I was going to leave Oktoberfest without stopping by Helmut-Strudel and buying up cherry and cheesecake strudel did you? I would never. With a stomach full of bier and sausage, I simply couldn’t fit anything else – which is why the to-go option worked so well. It made it home, still warm and was hands down THE BEST strudel I’ve ever had. No joke. I looked online for ways to get it and unless there is a festival with a smart vendor selling it, this strudel is hard to come by. If you ever come across it – please have zero regrets in your life and just get yourself some strudel.
Speaking of no regrets… if you get the chance to go to Linde Oktoberfest – never ever pass it up. It’s definitely worth going. I enjoyed every minute.
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