Oktoberfest Review - 2016 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest

2016 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest

September 15 - 25, 2016
101 East Fullerton Avenue, Glendale Heights, Illinois, United States Admission: $5

Overall: 98%
Authenticity:
Beer:
Food:
Entertainment:
Accessibility:

Food:
  • Giant Pork Shank
  • Half Spit Roasted Chicken
  • Schnitzel Sandwich with Grilled Onions on a German roll with potato salad
  • German Burger
  • German Bratwurst or Currywurst
  • Footlong Frankfurter on a German roll with mustard
  • Fried Sauerkraut Balls with Honey Mustard
  • Large Hot Pretzel with Mustard
  • Goulash Soup with Roll
  • Homemade Bread Dumpling with Gravy
  • Homemade German Potato Salad
  • Homemade Bavarian Red Cabbage
  • Homemade Sauerkraut
Kids Menu:
  • Hamburger or Cheeseburger
  • Hot dog
  • Chicken Fingers
Beer:
  • Hofbräu Oktoberfest
  • Weihenstephan Hefe Weiss
  • Schofferfoffer Hefe Weiss
Alcohol:
  • Schonauer Apfel Shots
  • Barenjager Honey & Bourbon Shots
Wine:
  • Premium German Red
  • Premium German White
Other:
  • Possman's Apple Cider
  • Berghoff Draft Root Beer
  • Soda
  • Bottled Water

Entertainment:
  • Alpine Thunder
  • Paloma
  • Euro Express
  • Talisman Band
  • The Mike Schneider Band
  • Tempo (Ed Schaefer Band)
  • The Amazing Mike
  • The Elmhurst College Jazz Band
  • The Illinois Brass Band
  • Strong Arm Contest


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Mr. Oktoberfest and I fly out to Munich tomorrow to begin our honeymoon, so how did we spend the night? Did we do laundry? Did we pack? Did we spend time with our mothers? No. We spent the evening with our friends from the Schnitzel Platz at the fifth annual Glendale Heights Oktoberfest! It’s no secret that the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest is our favorite local ‘fest, so when we found out that it opened the day before we leave for our trip, the decision was made.

When we rolled into Camera Park, we were delighted to find that the parking lot was already packed. We slid the car into the easily accessible overflow parking area and geared up for an excellent night of German fun. We couldn’t wait to get inside. Admission for the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest is $5 for adults after 4 p.m., and free for humans 16-years-old and under. Either way, it’s a bargain. Once you add in free parking, it’s practically a steal.

As much as we love Alpine Thunder, who were already playing as we entered the tent, the real star of the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest is the food. Normally, when we enter the ‘fest grounds, all I want is to get my hands on a Bier. Tonight, however, my thoughts played to the tune of the old Chicken Tonight jingle: “I feel like schnitzel tonight, like schnitzel tonight.” Once we approached the food station, we ended up with much more. Don’t get me wrong, the schnitzel sandwich with grilled onions and potato salad ($8) is a quality choice. I may or may not have dreams about it tonight. But the stellar sides at the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest deserve some attention, too. Disclaimer: I don’t like sauerkraut. I never order it. I normally wouldn’t touch it. I don’t even eat it when we serve it at our own Backyard Oktoberfest. But when we’re talking about Chef Wolfgang’s fried sauerkraut balls ($8), I literally cannot get enough. They pair perfectly with the Oktoberfest Bier, as well. Even now as I write this, stuffed with schnitzel, potato salad, bread dumpling with gravy ($5), and pretzels ($6), I want more.

We often tell our friends that the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest is one of the most authentic around. I have not yet been to Oktoberfest in Munich, so I cannot personally attest to that yet. But I do know that when I’m there this weekend, I will miss our friends in Glendale Heights and crave the schnitzel and other German delicacies they do so well.

The Glendale Heights Oktoberfest is open through September 25. You should go. And have some sauerkraut balls for me.



Reviewed By: Jessica Rzepka

Oktoberfest Review - 2014 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest Review - 2014 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest

Here is our much belated review of the 2014 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest, which we shamefully neglected to post last year. Spoiler alert: It’s rave! Kudos to Glendale Heights, Chef Wolfgang, and the gang at the Schnitzel Platz. We can’t wait to see what you have to offer this year. For more information, visit http://www.glendaleheightsoktoberfest.com

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Oktoberfest Review - 2013 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest

2013 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest

September 12 - 22, 2013
101 East Fullerton Avenue, Glendale Heights, Illinois, United States Admission: $8

Overall: 98%
Authenticity:
Beer:
Food:
Entertainment:
Accessibility:

Food:
  • Pork Shank Dinner with sauerkraut and dumplings
  • Half Roasted Chicken Dinner with German potato salad
  • Schnitzel Sandwich with Grilled Onions on a German roll with potato salad
  • German Burger
  • German Bratwurst or Currywurst
  • Footlong Frankfurter on a German roll with mustard
  • Fried Sauerkraut Balls with Honey Mustard
  • Freshly Baked German Pretzel with Mustard
  • Homemade Bread Dumpling with Gravy
  • Homemade German Potato Salad
  • Homemade Bavarian Red Cabbage
  • Homemade Sauerkraut
Kids Menu:
  • Hamburger or Cheeseburger
  • Hot dog
  • Chicken Fingers
  • 6" Cheese Pizza
Beer:
  • Hofbräu Oktoberfest
  • Weihenstephan Hefe Weiss
  • Schofferfoffer Hefe Weiss
Wine:
  • German Red - Schlinkhaus Dornfelder
  • German White - Schlinkhaus Riesling
  • German White - Piesporter Spatlese
Other:
  • Draft Root Beer
  • Soda
  • Bottled Water

Entertainment:
  • Die Lustigen Musikanten - Alpine Thunder
  • Paloma
  • Euro Express
  • The Elmhurst College Jazz Band
  • Rare Dirndl Fashion Show
  • German Troop Dancers
  • Lake Villa Dancers Kids Group
  • Strong Arm Contest
  • Egerlander Tanz Gruppe


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Keg Tapping

As I expressed last year, the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest replicates almost everything you would expect to see in the tents in Munich and this year they went even further.

I had the luxury of being able to attend on Friday, September 13th and being able to join the opening parade and see the ceremonial keg tapping. Chef Wolfgang and crew put on an exceptional Oktoberfest. The tent is the same as last year but the arrangement this year is so much better. Upon walking into the tent you are greeted with a very Bavarian feeling. The ticket booth that sells the food and drink tickets has the look and feel of Bavaria. Looking right and left you see a number of booths that offer German and Oktoberfest items including clothing, hats, steins and more.

The ticket system they use is straight forward and it was great that they accepted credit and debit as well as cash. Each ticket is worth a dollar and can be used for food or drink. After purchasing tickets and leaving the ticket booth area you open up to the rest of the tent which is set up in a way that would make any Munich Oktoberfest host proud. The entire middle section of the tent is comprised of authentic Oktoberfest biergarten tables like you would use in Munich. The stage is on the far end of the tent and can be seen from every seat and there is even an outside biergarten area just outside the tent.

One quintessential part of Oktoberfest is drinking beer from a Maß and Glendale Heights Oktoberfest did one better than last year. This year they again offered the half liter glass as well as a real glass Hofbräu Maß. The beer prices were reasonable: $15 for a half liter of beer and the glass, $25 for a liter of beer and the Maß. Refills are $7 for a half liter and $14 for a full liter. If you opt to not buy a real glass, all beer was $7 for a 16 ounce plastic cup. If I were to recommend a change I would suggest refills on the half liter glass or Maß be a dollar off the regular price so as to entice the people to purchase the glassware. Depending on the day, beer can be purchased from as many as three different locations within the tent greatly reducing the amount of time you will spend in line waiting for a beer. In addition to the beer there is a dedicated wine bar and café.

Keg Tapping

The kitchen is easily recognizable on the right side of the tent and it is very easy to walk up and get food. They offer almost all the food you would expect to eat in Munich; soft pretzels and sausages to more traditional Oktoberfest items like roasted half chicken and the giant pork shank. They even had a kids menu to make it easier for parents.

For the true Oktoberfest experience I would recommend the VIP package. The first two rows of tables are reserved for VIP’s and included in the package is VIP parking, an admission voucher, a meal voucher which includes an appetizer plate and dinner, as well as vouchers for two drinks. Here you will receive full service from a dedicated server who will fulfill all of your food and drink needs. You will also enjoy your meal on real China plates with real silverware and proper glassware. The price for the VIP package varies $60 Sunday - Thursday, $80 Friday - Saturday. I visited the event two different days and experienced it both ways and I would truly recommend the VIP package.

One major change for this year was the event is no longer just one weekend but two weekends and the entire week in between. In addition to the longer event, they have also greatly improved on the entertainment which was really the only thing that I had a problem with last year. This year they are sticking with mostly German bands. The only exception is the Elmhurst Jazz Band that actually fits in quite well with the event since they had a set list of songs that you would hear in Munich.

This year I really have no problems with the event and, in all honesty, the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest is probably my favorite Oktoberfest event in the Chicagoland area. It truly embodies all that is Oktoberfest and really brings me back to Munich.

Keg Tapping
Alpine Thunder
Keg Tapping
Stein Holding Competition
Keg Tapping
Alpine Thunder playing the bells
Keg Tapping
VIP Appetizer
Keg Tapping
VIP Dinner Plate


Ceremonial Keg Tapping


First Ein Prosit

Reviewed By: Scott Rzepka

Oktoberfest Review - 2012 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest

2012 Glendale Heights Oktoberfest

September 13 - 16, 2012
101 East Fullerton Avenue, Glendale Heights, Illinois, United States Admission: $8

Overall: 86%
Authenticity:
Beer:
Food:
Entertainment:
Accessibility:

Food:
  • Pork Shank Dinner with sauerkraut and dumplings
  • Kassler Rippchen Dinner with sauerkraut
  • Half Roasted Chicken Dinner with German potato salad
  • Schnitzel Sandwich with Grilled Onions on a German roll with potato salad
  • Frikadelle with onions on a Kaiser roll
  • Bratwurst on a German roll with mustard
  • Footlong Frankfurter on a German roll with mustard
  • Large German Pretzel
  • Homemade Bread Dumpling with Gravy
  • Homemade German Potato Salad
  • Homemade Bavarian Red Cabbage
  • Homemade Sauerkraut
Beer:
  • Hofbräu Oktoberfest
  • Weihenstephan Hefe Weiss
Wine:
  • German Red - Schlinkhaus Dornfelder
  • German White - Schlinkhaus Riesling
  • German White - Piesporter Spatlese
Other:
  • Root Beer
  • Soda
  • Bottled Water

Entertainment:
  • Die Lustigen Musikanten - Alpine Thunder
  • Judges Night Band
  • Rico
  • Paloma
  • The Jazz Community Band
  • German Troop Dancers
  • Strong Arm Contest
  • Egerlander Dancers
  • German American Children's Choir Group
  • Ziggy with the Perlen
  • Amusement Rides
  • Pony Rides
  • Face Painting
  • Hay Rack Rides
  • Pumpkin Patch and Plant Sale


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Tent The Glendale Heights Oktoberfest was almost essentially Oktoberfest to a T. The tent, tables, atmosphere, food and they even had tableside servers. The only thing this Oktoberfest was missing was the music.

My friend Adam and I went on Saturday, September 14th around 6:00pm. The parking for the event was more than ample. They utilized a large field next to the tent and there were a number of workers directing traffic and telling people where to park. They had a really large tent with both indoor and outdoor seating on authentic biergarten tables! We were also lucky to have a $2 off admission coupon which was available on the website.

Tent The seating was very similar to that in Munich. The tables were beer garden style, open seating where ever you would like (except in VIP of course). We found a seat near the back because we knew two more people were showing up later.

It took a little time to get our waiter but things were rather busy in the tent. Once we did get him we each ordered a beer with a souvenir glass stein. They had half-liter Hofbräu or Weihenstephan glasses for $15 that included the beer. Refills were $7 which was the same cost of a regular beer.

Along with the beer, we each bought a large Bavarian pretzel with mustard for $5 each. The beer was delicious but the pretzel could have been better. It was about the size of a regular dinner plate which I don’t consider to be “large” compared to the pretzels in Munich and it was over salted and dry. The mustard was good and did help with finishing the pretzel. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything else to eat at the event but the menu was appealing. It included Pork Shank Dinner with sauerkraut and dumplings, Half Roasted Chicken Dinner with German potato salad and many other authentic Oktoberfest dishes.

The food was provided by the Schnitzel Platz German restaurant off North Ave. in Glendale Heights. They also were the main sponsor and it showed because the decorations in the tent were superb. The whole atmosphere of the tent was very reminiscent of Oktoberfest in Munich and the waiters and waitresses walking around were also a very nice touch.

The only real problem I had with the event was the music. When we showed up it seemed like the last German band just finished playing. Between sets they did play Oktoberfest music but then the rest of the bands for the night were nowhere close to Oktoberfest. The next band was a Jazz band then the headlining act was Rico, a band inspired by “innovative rock, soul, jazz, afro-Cuban, blues, funk, reggae and hip-hop pioneers.” The band was good but not right at all for the event.

All in all, the event was a lot of fun and so far this year, has brought me the closest to Oktoberfest in Munich. I hope to come back next year to the same atmosphere with hopefully better music. If that is the case then the Glendale Heights Oktoberfest will soon become my favorite Oktoberfest in the area.
Tent

Tent

Reviewed By: Scott Rzepka