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German Restaurants and Beer Festivals

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I don't see a similar topic here at all. To see the origins of this post, take a look here:




I was fortunate enough in my childhood to live for six years in Germany and I'm aware just how much grilling and smoking goes on in northern Europe in general (see the above post).


I'm interested in finding and exposing some of the great authentic German restaurants and beer festivals that exist in the US. Please don't post rumors here -- only your own visits and experiences. This post is about my experience with both. I hope someone will have info about places closer to my home in NC (but we go anywhere -- only 7 more states to hit all 50).


My wife, Sheila, and I just spent a week at Cocoa Beach in Florida. I can heartily recommend the Heidelberg Restaurant (also know as Heidi's Jazz Room which is next door). While quite expensive (we celebrated a special event and the cost (no wine but two 12 oz German drafts) was $150 for two -- entrees are around $30 up and include wonderful German veggies). n our bilIl were also the outstanding onion soup for both of us and dessert. I had my first authentic Bavarian Wienerschnitzel (veal) since my childhood -- absolute perfection. Great atmosphere, service and knowledgeable conversation about the food, the restaurant and it owners is part of the experience. My wife had the stroganoff and while she didn't take to it (she has very southern American tastes), I thought it was excellent and again authentic. Frankly, part of my experience was the completely forgotten 40-year-old memories produced just from being in this little corner of Germany.


Eight years ago, to begin our retirement, Sheila and I did a 5-week driving/camping tour around the Four Corners states (3 days our there, 4 back, the rest was more memories!). Oddly enough, in Pueblo, CO, we stumbled on a true German Bier Garten festival. It was Sept. and we had just escaped the snows of Rocky Mtn. NP. This festival was an absolute ball for both of us -- and my wife doesn't drink! It seems Pueblo was originally settled by Germans who have kept their heritage alive and well with an annual beer festival complete with food, hofbrauhaus band and dancing. The crowd was German lineage and warmly welcoming and wonderful. The fun and tales of their heritage abounded. Cost to get in was minimal ($10 or $12 at the time) and included more beer samples than a veteran beer drinker could rationally manage (designated driver recommended). The beer included German options, but being an American festival also included almost every brewer in the country (or it seemed like it -- I sure couldn't drink my way through it all!).


Obviously I recommend both and I would certainly go back -- in fact, I look forward to it.



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