Oktoberfest- Part 2

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Everybody has to believe in something.....I believe I'll have another drink."
-W.C. Fields

Yesterday, Betty and I had decided to try going to the Ocean Beach (OB) Oktoberfest. It was the first time for either of us to check it out. The information I had originally was pretty scarce. I knew that there was a $3 admission charge and it was by the OB pier. It was fairly small but the beer garden was huge. We had to pay $3 each to get into the garden and then buy our drinks ($6 each). I was a little disappointed in the beer selection and went with Blue Moon. Blue Moon is a Belgian-style wheat ale. I've had it before and like it. Betty had a cheap beer- I want to say it was Coors Light.

The food options were a bit disappointing. It seemed to be a mini version of the Del Mar Fair. There were only 2 brat stands. There was a pizza stand, Japanese food, Mexican food, corn dogs, fried foods, Belgian fries and waffles, kettle corn, boba stand, and a potato pancake place. There were several jewelry and trinket stands.

Betty and I decided to share some Belgian fries which are fried twice, crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. The fries came with a choice of ketchup, aioli, and mayo. I opted for the aioli. These fries were hot, golden, and delicious. I'm not sure why there are not more places that serve these Belgian beauties. The aioli was distinctly garlicky and were complimentary.

We moved on to sample a potato pancake which was not cooked to order but had been warmed up. As Betty put it, it was like "a thick tater tot". The pancake came with sour cream and applesauce. The applesauce resembled and tasted more like an apple glaze sauce.

We walked around some more and then ordered a brat with grilled onions. The bun was overly doughy and we ended up eating the brat and onions. The brat had a bit of a kick towards the end. Luckily for my sensitive palate, I could eat the brat without crying.

Finally, we decided to visit the fried food stand and try some beignets. We opted for powdered sugar and caramel on the top. I was (again) disappointed with the beignets. While they were made fresh, the dough was heavy and soggy, instead of light and airy.

It wasn't long until we ended up walking away from the event. I was in a quest for some bottled water that did not cost $6 (2 for $3 each at Oktoberfest). We found a hole-in-the wall Mexican restaurant that had bottled water for $1. Sold. Betty and I overheard a couple of French tourists trying to decide what to order. Turns out their friend was local and ordered a torta for the Frenchwoman. A torta?! It's a sandwich, for crying out loud. Betty was annoyed and said that they should have gotten a burrito or a taco. I agreed but the guy told us that she likes the tortas as she had had one recently. We certainly meant well. I wish I knew enough French because I would have steered her towards rolled tacos or maybe a chicken quesadilla.

We kept walking and then ended up going into an Irish pub. Of course, it was faux Irish. The only thing Irish was the name. Betty and I ordered Shandies or Shandy. A shandy is a beer mixed with 7-Up at least that is how I've seen it at other pubs in town. The bartender smiled and looked blank and asked us what was in there- vodka? No- beer and 7-up. That was the first time I've had a bartender not know what a drink was.

Later as we were chatting, we noticed green jello. The bartender was busy making jello shots. Jello shots in a bar?! I thought only college kids had those or at least people at house parties. I would not be caught dead ordering a jello shot. To each their own.

Betty had mentioned red velvet cupcakes at a bakery called Azucar. Betty is a cupcake fanatic. She knows where all the good cupcakes are in town. Betty is acquaintances with one of the gals who works there and they were chatting about a workout class. I was perusing the menu which sounded intriguing. There was one panini that practically screamed "Viva La España!". This panini, Berto, had these ingredients: Serrano ham, manchego cheese, arugula, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Hmm, mental note: must try the Berto soon.

Betty had had the Cubano panini before, slow roasted Cuban style pork, thinly sliced ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles. It sounds good but I'm not a pickle person. She reassured me that the pickles make the panini good. Perhaps another time, after the Berto.
We saw three flavors of cupcakes: coconut, pumpkin, and the red velvet. We ended up getting a pumpkin and a red velvet cupcake each.

I tried the pumpkin cupcake after dinner (Thai fried rice). It was moist, fluffy, spiced, and just sweet enough. I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to try the red velvet tonight.

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