For the past 18 years, Whistle Binkies Olde World Pub (3120 Wellner Drive NE) and its sister location, Whistle Binkies on the Lake (247 Woodlake Drive), have been featuring authentic German dishes at both places for consecutive weeks in October. This year is no exception.
Through Oct. 4, you can feast and drink at the north location. From Oct. 5 through Oct. 11, the Lake will be the place to go. Depending on the weather, patio and outside dining will be available.
"Because of COVID-19, this year will be a little different," owner Randy Lehman said. "Since we are only at 50% capacity, tables are at least 6 feet apart and there is limited seating at the tables."
The specials start at 5 p.m. each day, and he recommends making reservations.
The menu changes only slightly from year to year, but there will definitely be jaeger schnitzel, as well as rouladen. Other choices include chicken schnitzel, konigsberger klopse (German meatballs) and a Bavarian sausage platter. Accompaniments include red cabbage, roasted or mashed potatoes, and sauerkraut.
Specials vary from day to day, but you can check them online at whistlebinkiespub.com.
What would Oktoberfest be without beer? Lehman has six Oktoberfest beers on tap. Each day, a different beer will be on special — $3 for a half-liter or $5 for a liter. They include Schell's, Summit, Sam Adams and Surly, and others from craft brewers. In past years, German beer Erdinger was especially in demand, but is not available this year, another COVID-19 victim.
A couple Saturdays ago, Little Thistle Brewery (2031 14th St. NW) held their Oktoberfest celebration, featuring one of their special beers, Graburschnitzel, with Cameo providing brats and schnitzel sandwiches. It was a big success. Their special beer is available, I was told, until it runs out.
If you'd feel more comfortable celebrating at home, Jeff Windt, chef and owner of Catering by Design (898 7th St. NW) is offering German specialties to take home and reheat.
Available through Oct. 3, your choices are sauerbraten or schweinbraten with knodel and roasted root vegetables as entrees. Other items include red cabbage, Obatzda Bavarian soft cheese dip with homemade pretzels, beer cheese soup, brat and kraut balls, and German chocolate cake. All are individually priced. Call 507-282-3005 to order and reserve your choices, or stop in.
Have extra apples on hand? Finish your Oktoberfest meal with a homemade apple cake (apfel kuchen!).
Oktoberfest Apfel Kuchen
Makes 1 8-inch-square cake.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3-4 tart apples, like Granny Smith or Winesap
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square pan. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup of the sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup sugar with the cinnamon. Squeeze lemon juice into a medium bowl and peel, core and slice the apples into the bowl. Arrange slices on top of the batter in overlapping rows, pressing lightly into the batter. Bake 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes.
Post Bulletin food writer Holly Ebel knows what’s cookin’. Send comments or story tips to email@example.com.