Washington breweries will pour Oktoberfest specials, such as Marzens, Weizenbocks, Pilseners, harvest ales and other German lagers and fall seasonals. There will be German food and music, too.
Tickets are $25 and available only to people over 21. Designated-driver tickets are $5.
In other Oktoberfest news, Seattle’s Fremont Oktoberfest happens Sept. 21-23. Dogs are allowed on the festival’s last day.
Hungry for Oktoberfest food? Here are some places in the South Sound that serve German food (and some fine German beer, too).
Hess German Delicatessen & Bakery, 6108 Mount Tacoma Drive S.W., Suite A1, Lakewood; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; 253-584-1451.
This is the South Sound’s German culinary headquarters: It’s a bakery that makes remarkable rye, killer Kaiser rolls and primo pretzels. Hess’ gleaming deli case is filled with Bavarian cured meats, German sausages and German cheeses.
Gelbwurst, krakauer, jagedwurst, Black Forest ham, blood sausage, head cheese and a dozen different kinds of salami can be bought individually or in a “mixed meat” aufschnitt platter. Lightly-smoked Black Forest prosciutto marched across my palate. Thinly sliced bauernschinken melted like buttery baby’s breath.
Sandwiches – served on rolls with ivory butter and grain mustard – are $3.50. It’s take-out only.
Excellent selection of German beer: Franziskaner, Ayinger, Schneider Wise, Warsteiner, Bitburger, Paulaner and Lowenbrau direct from Munich. Also, German grocery products, from pasta to ketchup to sauerkraut juice.
The German Pastry Shop, 6108 Mount Tacoma Drive S.W., Suite A2, Lakewood; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; 253-588-5777.
Located across the hall from Hess in Europea Square, The German Pastry Shop’s sign states, “The German Pastry Shop is a separate business not associated with Hess bakery.” Not that anyone would mistake The German Pastry Shop’s beautifully decorated tortes, fresh fruit kuchens and sinful strudels with Hess’ hearty breads.
The princess torte was draped in a paper-thin marzipan, filled with boozy rum cream and supported by crumbly, cookielike base. A graham-crackery base made Black Forest cake crunch, too.
Cake slices are $2.60. Whole cakes are $25-$33. Pastries are $1.70-$2.40. Try the plum kuchen with fresh whipped cream. Sandwiches (biewurst, jagedwurst, salami) are $4.25, served on a roll with butter, mustard and a pickle. Knackwurst with potato salad and sauerkraut is $5.25.
There’s a surcharge (50 cents for a slice of cake, 20 cents per pastry) to dine in. Cash only.
Alpine German Deli, 5121 Pacific Highway, Fife; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 253-922-8112.
Nicely breaded, tenderly fried pork cutlet schnitzels ($9.95-$12.95) darned near spilled over the plate. Jagerschnitzel was smothered in plenty of mushrooms and good brown gravy. A side of turmeric-colored potato salad had nice vinegary bite.
Ordering a sandwich ($4.95-$9.95) was met with a response that sounded more like a command: “On good German bread?” Yes, on good German bread, pickles, onions and mustard. Bockwurst, bratwurst and knockwurst entrees run $7.95-$9.95.
Great selection of German beer: Ayinger, Edinger, Franziskaner, Paulaner, Bitburger and Aecht Ochenterla Rauchbier Urbock, a smoked beer.
Gast House Bakery, 1012 Main St., Sumner; 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 253-863-4433.
Pork and chicken schnitzel sandwiches ($5.70) overflowed their rolls, and that’s good. Other German entrees include knockwurst and bratwurst ($6.25-$7.75). You’ll also find hot potato salad, hot and spicy goulash and baked goods like strudel, apple cake and almond-covered beestings.
Oskar’s Delicatessen, 720 Sleater-Kinney Road S.E., Lacey; 9 a.m.-5:45 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays; 360-491-3251.
Sausage-potato salad plates are $5.25-$6.35. Golden-brown jagerschnitzel with mushroom gravy over tender spaetzle is a Thursday special ($5.45). Good selection of German deli meats (bierwurst, blood and tongue roll, veal loaf, head cheese). Sandwiches ($4.95) piled high on rolls, with butter, mustard, lettuce and tomato. Also house-made sauerkraut and German cheesecake. The latter was dense, creamy and topped with a snappy layer of sugar.
Euro Deli, 17306 Pacific Ave. S., Spanaway; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 253-535-2528. Good selection of German beer (Paulaner, Schneider Wise, Munich-brewed Lowenbrau) plus sausage plate and schnitzels in brown mushroom sauce, creamy mushroom sauce or tomato sauce ($5.95-$8.45). Sandwiches run $3.95-$6.45.
Freight Haus German Corner, 440 E. 25th St., Tacoma. Bratwurst, sauerbrauten and even Gypsy schnitzel (with gravy, onions and peppers) seem authentic enough – but Hawaiian schnitzel topped with ham, pineapple and Swiss cheese? Sandwiches are $6.95-$8.95. Entrees are $6.95-$9.95.