Except for the years when war and cholera were prevalent, Oktoberfest has been an annual tradition for nearly 200 years in Munich. At its inception in 1810, the festival commemorated the marriage of Bavarian Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen with a great horse race.
It wasn’t until much later that beer appeared—in 1880. Then came the bratwursts. And then in 1913, came the largest Oktoberfest beer tent of all time, “the Braurosl,” with room for about 12,000 drinkers. Is it any wonder that World War I broke out a year later?
Since then, Oktoberfest has become a global affair, generally seen as a celebration of all things German and, most especially, all things beer. Consider it is the world’s largest fair—according to Wikipedia, it attracts about six million people who drink six million mugs of beer and consume 219,443 pairs of sausages.
German food—we’re talking traditional hearty fare like sausage, hendl (chicken), kasespatzle (cheese noodles), schinken (ham) and Sauerkraut—is another beloved feature of Oktoberfest.
One of the only places on Maui where you can experience all this German goodness is at Brigit and Bernard’s Garden Cafe in Kahului. Tucked back into the industrial area of horseshoe-shaped Ho`ohana Street, B&B’s Garden Cafe is a quaint bistro inviting visitors to feel as though they’re in the midst of an Alpine vacation—albeit one that includes a tropical climate.
In honor of Oktoberfest, during every Friday and Saturday in October from 5 p.m. to closing, Brigit and Bernard’s allows you to indulge in an all-you-can-eat buffet ($35 per person) and enjoy the sounds of a four-piece Bavarian-style oompah band called “The Dorfmusikanten,” that plays—in full trachten, lederhosen and dirndl regalia—a selection of foot-stomping, thigh-slapping, popular stein-banging tunes.
Because beer is such a vital component of the festival, the Garden Cafe is offering special Oktoberfest brews from Erdinger, Beck’s and Spaten, as well as Steinlager and Gordon Biersch on tap, and the all-popular shots of Jagermeister—apparently a widely recognized digestif in German households.
And that digestif may come in handy, with a buffet lineup that is as meat-heavy as it is fun to pronounce after two Franziskaners: Lentil soup with wuerstchen (little sausage) and schinken, bayrischer rauchschinken (Bavarian smoked ham), grill haehnchen (roasted chicken), Sauerbraten (marinated beef), kalbsbratwurst (veal sausage), pork bratwurst, pork roast, meat loaf, spaetzle (homemade pasta dumplings), potato salad, Sauerkraut and braised red cabbage.
Also, for six bucks more you can get an apple strudel with vanilla sauce. Essen! Dein Gesicht anfullen! MTW