Cape Cod: Oktoberfest at Aqua Grille in Sandwich
Aqua Grille is holding its Oktoberfest this Sunday 1pm-5pm. Anyone been? Or heard anything about it? www.aquagrille.com/oktoberfest
Aqua Grille is also doing a German menu for two weeks, Oct 15-28. The menu sounds pretty interesting. I'm on the fence...should I go Saturday night and order from the German dinner menu? Or go Sunday to Oktoberfest? (or both if the food warrants it...?).
Any input appreciated.
We ended up going to Oktoberfest on Sunday. It's their 5th year holding this event but our 1st year attending. I was told over the phone, earlier in the week, that it would be half indoors and half outdoors on their new-ish outdoor patio space. The German-style band would be outdoors with seating, a gas fire pit, etc.
Unfortunately, Sunday turned out to be a very windy day. We arrived about one hour after the event started and the place was hopping. The band was inside, all the food stations were inside....the only thing outside was seating, and very few souls were braving the wind.
The entry cost was $18 for 6 tickets; additional tickets were $3 each. There were two food stations, both with the same items: veal schnitzel (2 tix), Berlin burgers (2 tix), bratwurst (2 tix, potato pancakes (1 tix) and large pretzels (1 tix). Sides were homemade sauerkraut and German potato salad, and there was applesauce (not homemade) and sour cream for the potato pancake. They also had a good quality mustard for the bratwurst & pretzel. Sides were included with the other items - no ticket necessary. Portion sizes were generous.
The hits were the burger, the bratwurst, the pretzel and the sauerkraut. The burger was slider-sized and thick, all beef, with "German" spices (no idea what these are). It was in a savory gravy that had small chunks of onion. Very moist and flavorful.
The bratwurst was very good, especially when combined with the mustard and sauerkraut.
The schnitzel was too thin and appeared to be overcooked. It was dry, dry, dry. My guess is this is an item that does not "hold" well. I think in a kitchen-to-table situation this would have been much better.
The potato pancakes suffered the same fate - too thin & overcooked (and I was really looking foward to a good potato pancake).
They had beer & wine available...I didn't really check these out since I wasn't interested in drinking.
Service was good, lots of staff circulating, clearing away plates, etc (all disposables), replenishing food at the stations, etc.
Overall this was a good, not great, event. Had the weather cooperated and part of the event had been outdoors, I think it would have had a slightly more festive feel - especially since they had festooned the patio with colorful German banners and flags. It wouldn't have changed the food but it would have added to the spirit of the day. Ultimately they ended up breaking down one of the food stations so that extra seating could be put indoors. No one wanted to sit outside.
In terms of value, there were 3 of us and we each had a hard time using all 6 of our tickets. If we had been drinking, that wouldn't have been an issue. But servings were generous and we each tried two things (so 3-4 tickets) and shared bites with each other. The surprisingly nice thing was that they packed up some food in a to-go container and we were able to use up our tickets that way.
Aqua Grille is offering a fairly extensive German menu in the restaurant for the next two weeks. They handed out small menus while we were there and some of the items sound very good. I would not hesitate to check it out given what I tasted on Sunday.