Beer, brats, and beignets?
Ah, the sights and smells of Oktoberfest in Breckenridge. While girls dressed like they stepped out of a Hofbrau scene in “Hogan’s Heroes” swirl to the sounds of the polka, patrons were able to guzzle authentic Oktoberfest Munich-brewed beer and munch down brats, pretzels the size of hubcaps, sauerkraut, quiche, lobster rolls, gumbo …Wait a minute. Quiche, lobster rolls, and gumbo? This is Oktoberfest, right?In Breckenridge on Saturday and Sunday, along with the beers and the brats, festival goers could choose from beignets, almond croissants, and brioche, as well as gumbo and cannolis, courtesy of a few imaginative entrepreneurs who have their own vision of what an Oktoberfest should be.
“Since the Oktoberfest offers European food, we thought, well, why not French food?” explained Nathalie Bocchino, who with her husband Olivier owns La Francaise restaurant in Breckenridge. Bocchino was serving up fresh sugared beignets to an early crowd, while in back her husband was unpacking baguette sandwiches loaded with brie.”French food goes good with beer. And in France, we drink a lot of beer – although our beer is a little stronger than this,” Bocchino added, as she arranged some miniature quiches on the table. Ken and Todd Nelson, owners of Giampietro’s Pizza, had even more practical reasons for their culinary detour. Originally, they were going to serve their signature dish – pizza – but they ran into some technical problems.
“We couldn’t get the oven to fit out here, so we had to come up with something more portable,” Ken Nelson admitted.Like lobster rolls?”Well,” explained Nelson, “There are so many New Englanders transplanted out here, and it’s a real New England dish. And it’s the perfect finger food.”For those not from Bar Harbor, a lobster roll is a type of lobster salad on a hot dog bun. Business at the stand was brisk; the crowd seemed to know what they were ordering.
“Half the crowd wants to know what a lobster roll is, while the other half already knows,” said Nelson.Just to tweak the Oktoberfest fare a bit more, the Nelson stand also offered Creole gumbo and Italian cannolis.Meanwhile, a long line was forming outside a covered wagon, which upon investigation offered real buffalo and elk jerky – food from the Wild West. Were they thinking West Germany, perhaps?
Brooke Comai, owner of Climax Jerky in Dillon, was enjoying her first Oktoberfest, as jerky lovers lined up along the front of the wagon, built by her husband.”I feel like we’re adding a little Old West to Oktoberfest,” she said. “And jerky goes great with beer.” Keely Brown can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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