The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Oktoberfest at Waldhorn – Two German Favorites

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on October 4, 2009

It’s Oktoberfest time.  One of our favorite Charlotte restaurants, the Waldhorn (original post HERE), has a large Oktoberfest celebration.  The German restaurant rents a large outdoor tent, provides live music, besides the ever-lovable “Wandering Accordion Minstrel,” and provides the menu with a heavy face-lift.

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It’s surprises me how many people don’t know anything about what Oktoberfest is all about, actually.  For those who don’t know, it’s a celebration of the marriage of the Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810.  Interestingly, Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen is the great-great-niece (I think I got that right… I had a hell of a time with the research on this) of our very own Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburt-Strelitz, who married Charles the III of England, and for whom Charlotte and Mecklenburg county are named.  Anyway, Bavarians celebrate the marriage of these two every year, and this celebration is expressed as a feast of heavy food and hyperconsumption of German beer.  Oktoberfest isn’t actually a German holiday or celebration, as much as it is a Bavarian celebration, but it has spread, not only throughout Germany, but throughout the beer-drinking world.

We knew we were in for something special at the Waldhorn as we drove up.  We agreed to meet our friends at 7 pm.  As we approached the Waldhorn, I noticed there was a police car with its lights on nearby.  Then, as we pulled into the parking lot, a young man in a bright vest stopped us, and let us know that the parking lot was full, but that we could park next door at the James K. Polk Historic Site.  THAT’S when I noticed that the parking lot was FULL.  Trucks and SUVs were parked on all the grass spaces.  There were no parking spaces available, there were pedestrians all around.  It was impressive.

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We went next door and parked without issue, aside from the steep incline on which I parked which required the Wife to escape the car with particular care.  As we popped inside, it was full, but there wasn’t an apparent line.  We said we had a party of four, but only two of us were here, and the others would be in shortly.  They said there would be a wait, unless we could eat in less than an hour.  The young hostess explained that they had a large party (12ish) coming at 8, and we were welcome to the tables they had reserved for that party, so long as we could be done by 8 for the reserved party.

I Love German efficiency.

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The restaurant was full, and we could hear the dull roar from the outdoor tent, but we were promptly seated.  We ordered a couple drinks, and waited for our friends.  They showed up shortly thereafter and ordered a couple drinks for themselves.  I’m still enamoured with the fact that the Waldhorn ONLY carries German beers, with the exception of the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery beer, which strictly follows the Reinheitsgebot.

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We started with a couple potato pancakes, with applesauce and sour cream.  They were as tasty as one might expect.

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For an entree, I normally always order the Schweizer Schnitzel; a breaded pork cutlet, filled with ham and cheese, lightly-breaded and lightly fried.  It’s excellent.  With the Oktoberfest menu, though, I decided to try something different.  Realizing I was going to order something different, the Wife just couldn’t let the Schweizer Schnitzel go, and ordered one for herself, with sauteed broccoli and spaetzel.  I can’t really blame her.

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I ordered the Rinderfilet “Stephanie”; a beef filet, wrapped in a light puff pastry.  It was dyn-o-mite.  The food was extremely prompt, also.

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Dinner was excellent, to the point that we managed to choke every last morsel down.  After dinner, we popped outside, where the restaurant had rented large tents where the REAL Oktoberfest party was going on.  Normally there would be a small cover charge for the outside tent, but once we had dinner inside, access to the outside tent was complementary.  There’s a live umpa band, a limited selection of beer, and a different menu from inside the restaurant.  It was hard to get a good picture with all the cars, but you can see the Biergarten and then multiple tents behind the first.  The tent in the very back is at least twice the size of the one in the foreground.

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It was quite a site.

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One would expect the Waldhorn to do a great job with Oktoberfest.  Well, they did.  It was a great time, and we’re hoping to make our way back sometime before it’s over!

Waldhorn on Urbanspoon

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2 Responses to “Oktoberfest at Waldhorn – Two German Favorites”

  1. Lindsay said

    Sounds like a fun night! That food looks fantastic!

  2. If you like German food, and you’re in Charlotte, Waldhorn is the only game in town (Pineville, really). The Oktoberfest is just a wonderful benefit. =)

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