By Kurt Epps—The PubScout
Not every restaurant does an Oktoberfest beer dinner right. The recipe for success is actually pretty simple: Take one knockout menu prepared by a master chef. Add outstanding beers to complement the food. Add 45 hungry, thirsty units who want to have a good time. Sprinkle in some humor, a little Schuhplattler dance and German Oktoberfest songs. Mix well.
That, essentially, was the formula for last night's successful Dick's Docktoberfest, the thirteenth such beer dinner Bob Dick has sponsored in his Main Street (Metuchen) restaurant. Though most Oktoberfests ended weeks ago, this one either caps off the NJ season—or gets a headstart on the next.
The event began with Bob's special crabmeat mousse and Beer and Brats on the bar matched up with Spaten's wonderful Oktoberfest beer. An out-of-this-world Potato /Meat Pie appetizer was paired with Climax Nut Brown Ale and, according to everyone may have been the matchup of the night. A delicious Potato/Leek soup danced in next with Sam Adams Stock Ale, a beer many in the room had never even heard of, much less tried. An impressed Kristin said, "It tastes like the [American] Revolution1" For many, that matchup was a winner as well.
Then came Bob's Lite European Mix Salad, accompanied by Reissdorf Kolsch. This beer, made only in Koln (Cologne), Germany especially delighted Reiner from Bremen and Claudia from Austria who had flown in just for this event. The entrée was Weinerschnitzel in an anchovy/caper lemon wine sauce accompanied by a huge Kartoffel Kuche and a Turnip Soufflé. Its partner was the always reliable, always delicious, Sam Adams Octoberfest, one of America's best.
The dessert was The PubScout Float, a huge dollop of premium vanilla ice cream accompanied by Youngs' Luxury Double Chocolate Stout. Patrons could have them separately or mix the two for a delightful treat. And speaking of treats, a surprise beer, Mike Sella's Gust 'n' Gale Porter, was distributed to the delight and appreciation of the crowd.
The combination of food, beer, good spirits and a few jokes—all with genuine Oktoberfest Oompah Music providing the background—led to a plethora of smiling faces and happy voices as the night came to a close. The Dick's Dock servers, Mary Ellen and Juan, under the careful supervision of Sandy Dick, did yeoman's work getting the food and beers out on time and in a coordinated fashion. Add a host of giveaway prizes, like growlers of beer and dinners for two, and the only folks who didn't have fun were the ones who didn't come.
You can check out the pictures here and download any that will show your children how young-looking you once were. I mean, back in the day, the three letters that mattered most were K-E-G.
Now it's E-K-G.