Attend Oktoberfest year round at Paulaner in Wiesbaden
The world-renowned Munich-based Paulaner brewery was opened in 1635 by the Minim friars of the Neudeck ob der Au cloister and named after Francis of Paola, the order’s founder. Today, the Brauerei is one of only six sanctioned to provide beer at Munich’s Oktoberfest. If you haven’t been able to visit Bavaria’s capital to attend the fest of all fests, stop by Paulaner’s restaurant in the heart of Wiesbaden to experience Oktoberfest all year round.
Walking into the restaurant, it felt as though I’d suddenly been transported to Munich at the peak of fest season. Cheery pine garlands draped across the ceiling, bristly boar heads hung from the walls, ceramic beer steins line the shelves, blue-and-white checkered napkins sat on the tables, and wreaths adorned with hops blossoms decorated each of the windows.
There is ample seating throughout the eatery. You are free to choose from open tables in the atrium, which brings the outdoors inside throughout the year, patio or dining room. Since it was chilly out, we opted for a spot indoors with a view of the empty Biergarten.
My mouth watered as I eyed the list of Paulaner brews, but I decided to try a glass of homemade lemonade (Hausgemachte Limonaden), instead, since I had a long drive ahead of me. They come in handful of flavors, and I chose Apfel-Almkräuter; the sugar syrup had been infused with the essence of apple and alpine herbs. The refreshing beverage came in a tall cup filled with crushed ice and garnished with bright wedges of lemon, and it tasted like something I might crave in the last weeks of summer.
The extensive menu features traditional German specialties made with locally grown vegetables, and the meat loaf and sausages are prepared in house from time-honored family recipes. If you have trouble deciding what to order, consider choosing the Paulaner Oktoberfestplatte. The giant platter comes with a selection of meats and side dishes, including grilled pork shank, schnitzel, meat loaf, potato dumplings and fried potatoes, and can satisfy the hearty appetites of up to five people.
I could not pass up the opportunity to try a seasonal dish: Oktoberfest Flammkuchen. Similar to a pizza, the thin, crispy crust is commonly topped with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and salty pieces of ham or bacon. It has quickly become one of my favorite savory German treats. Paulaner’s twist on the classic dish is covered with sweet cubes of pumpkin (Kürbis), fried potatoes, savory chunks of sausage, green onions and earthy Pfefferlinge mushrooms. It was sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy — a perfect blend of my favorite flavors and textures. I’m not ashamed to admit, I ate the entire thing … all by myself.
Paulaner is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Paid parking is available in a garage beneath the Casino and Kurhaus (spa house) across the street. To plan your visit and view the menu before you go, head to www.paulaner-weisbaden.de.