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Oktoberfest Invades Balboa Bay Club

A little taste of Germany in Newport Beach.

When it comes to Oktoberfest, you have a couple of options: Throw on some lederhosen, grab a schnitzel and guzzle a stein of your favorite German beer (extra sudsy).

Or do it Newport Beach-style at the , dining like royalty in the First Cabin restaurant.

With option No. 2, the club's award-winning chefs treat you to a special Oktoberfest menu as authentic as the traditional fare in Germany. In fact, many of the ingredients are imported from the homeland.

Austrian-born Executive Chef Josef Lageder uses recipes from his childhood, when he cooked in the kitchen with his mother. "The Oktoberfest celebration was a time of cooking together," he said. "I too, enjoy passing down this tradition to my daughters." 

Each dish can be paired with a beer shipped directly from Germany. The list includes Paulaner Bier, Erdinger Weissbier and Innstadt Oktoberfest "Stadl" Beer. A selection of German wines is also available. 

Here are some of the dishes Lageder has cooked up: 

  • Starters: marinated herring, tomato and celery root salad, cucumber salad, lentil soup with applewood smoked bacon and sliced Wurstchen.
  • Main courses: paprika goulash, wienerschnitzel, Bavarian bratwurst, Munchner sauerbraten (tender braised beef served with red cabbage), and slow-roasted pork shank with mashed potatoes, red cabbage and caraway jus. 
  • Dessert: warm apple strudel served with vanilla bean ice cream. 

Everything on the menu is first class. After a tour of Europe last summer, by far my favorite food was in Germany and the chefs at the Balboa Bay Club do not disappoint.

Try the hot Bavarian pretzel. It's a perfect segue into your German dining experience. Ask for hot mustard and begin with one (or more!) of the German beers. The Paulaner was my favorite. For entrees, the paprika goulash is stunning, with pockets of hidden flavors that erupted in your mouth.

I also recommend the Bavarian bratwurst served with sauerkraut, potato salad, horseradish and mustard. And don't forget the strudel. It made me want to book the next flight to Germany. 

Prices range from $3 for the pretzel to $31.50 for seared veal medallions.

This is the 201st anniversary of Oktoberfest, which reportedly originated in Munich, Germany, to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese.

The Balboa Bay Club's Oktoberfest menu is offered through Oct. 31 for lunch and dinner

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