It’s that time of year, the leaves are changing and the beer is flowing at Black Forest Inn’s Oktoberfest. Being of German heritage, I find it my duty to attend at least one Oktoberfest event, and Black Forest has 10 days of activities to choose from.
According to the Black Forest website, Oktoberfest began as a wedding celebration when Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria was married in the fall of 1810. The celebration continued for two weeks and the tradition has lasted 200 years. While most people associate Oktoberfest with lots of beer drinking, it’s always been a carnival-like celebration in Germany. The foods that you will see on every corner at Oktoberfest include Roast or Rotisserie Chicken, Pretzels and, of course, sausages. Black Forest has all those food items, along with great German beer.
Black Forest has one of the best patios in the Twin Cities, and is only rivaled by the patio at W.A. Frost in St. Paul. It’s private and cozy, so you don’t feel like you are right on Nicollet Avenue, but could even be in small town Germany. On a warm night in September, it provides the perfect ambiance for dinner. We decided to start our meal with the Ham and Sauerkraut Balls, a best-selling appetizer with a blend of ham, cheese and sauerkraut that is breaded and deep fried. I really enjoyed the flavor that wasn’t overpowered by the tangy sauerkraut and had a nice crunch from the breading. The homemade whole grain mustard that was served on the side added a great sweetness. Overall, this was a great appetizer to share.
For my entrée, I decided to order one of the Oktoberfest specials, the Hample Pie. The menu states that this can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, and they are right. This was basically a slice of apple pie with chunks of ham and cheddar. Overall, it is a fairly sweet dish, I actually felt like I was eating pie for dinner, but that’s not a bad thing. The flavor was really great, and the crust was flaky and butter. I liked how the ham and cheddar added little bursts of savory flavor to the sweet apples. This isn’t something I would order all of the time, but it was definitely unique and tasty.
After all our great German food and beer, we still couldn’t pass up dessert. The menu has a German staple, Apple Strudel, but also other items like Crème Brulee and Carrot Cake. We decided to order the Devils Food Cake. This cake was excellent. It was moist, yet dense and had a rich, deep chocolate flavor that wasn’t too sweet. It was a two-layer cake with a layer of whipped cream frosting in the middle. I don’t normally like whipped cream, but this frosting was an exception. It was a harder, more dense frosting that almost had the consistency of ice cream. I would come back just for another slice of this cake.
When you go: Black Forest In is located at 1E 26th Street off of Nicollet Avenue in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. Their annual Oktoberfest celebration runs from September 23 through October 2. For more information, call 612-872-0812.