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Oktoberfest München / Münchner Frühlingsfest Hippodrom Tent

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Theresienwiese 80336 München

Beer + Munich = Oktoberfest.  The world renowned two-week festival held in Munich attracts millions of visitors every year.  The atmosphere is exuberant and highly charged.  People come to drink liters of beer, sample Bavarian delicacies and sweets, enjoy a trip on the various amusement park rides, and chat with friends, loved ones, or completely random strangers.  But if you aren’t able to make it to the world’s largest fair in the fall, the Frühlingsfest (Spring Festival) also takes place in the exact same area in the spring.  Although not as electric and teeming with crowds, Frühlingsfest will give you a clue as to what Oktoberfest is like.  In other words, Frühlingsfest is rightfully named the ‘mini Oktoberfest.’

During Oktoberfest, visitors have a chance to check out one of several beer tents (last year, there were around 14).  Inside, a particular type of beer is offered as well as a variety of food items.   Even though you will not have as large of a selection of locally brewed beers as you would during Oktoberfest, you can still find a couple of tents at the Frühlingsfest – the Hippodrom and the Augustiner Bräu festival hall.  Seating at one of these beer halls usually consists of wooden benches.  There are also boxed seats, separated from the other tables.

 

One of the first tents people see as they walk through the festival grounds during both Oktoberfest and Frühlingsfest is the Hippodrom beer tent.  Although not the largest on site, it is definitely one of the more popular tents during these festivities.  Here, you will find a mixture of young and old as they cheerfully sing beer songs and dance merrily with one another inside the colorful red, yellow, and green tent.

 

The beautiful waitresses wear their traditional dirndls, the men lederhosen.  During both festivals, a live band plays loudly inside at center stage, amplifying the air  At times, when the tent is heavily packed (particularly during the evenings), the place can also be unbearable as the area gets engulfed with smoke from the large number of smokers.  That being said, the best time to visit during Oktoberfest and Frühlingsfest is early in the morning and afternoon when the masses haven’t yet made it for lunch.  Reservations are absolutely required past 6 PM.

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Aside from ordering a Maß (liter) of beer here, which comes from the Spaten brewing company in Munich, you can also order one of the dishes off the limited menu in the Hippodrum tent.  The menu features various items eaten during German Brotzeit, including a Bavarian cheese specialty Obaztda.  Of course, you will also find several different types of sausages, such as the traditional Bavarian Weißwurst with sweet mustard.  Pretzels are also highly recommended – the large pretzels are gigantic!  Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten, and duck find their way on the menu.  But a really popular dish to eat during lunchtime in the beer tents happens to be Hendl (roasted chicken).  Not only is it popular, but also a nice change from the pork dishes.

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Officially listed under the menu as ‘Mittagshendl mit Alfon Schuhbecks “Bayerischen” Brathähnchengewürz und warmem Kartoffel-Gurkensalat,’ this delectable dish is essentially a half roasted chicken served with a warm potato and cucumber salad.  Priced at 9,10 € during lunch hours (before 3 PM), it’s certainly a good dish to choose while having a drink.  The chicken is juicy and tender; the skin full of flavor and, without a doubt, the best part.  Some parts of the bird, particularly the wing, are crunchy.  The other portions are fall off the bone tender and can be taken apart quite easily.  The spices used are not overwhelming at all.  Unfortunately, they do not penetrate the white meat of the chicken well.  A simply squeeze from the lemon wedge will solve any lack of flavor.  Overall, the roasted chicken ranks as one of the best.  The potato salad is also a perfect side accompaniment.  Topped with chopped chives, it is simple and flavorful but not overpowering.

Oktoberfest is certainly a one of a kind event.  It’s definitely a must if you ever plan on visiting Germany.  However, if you simply cannot make it during the fall, the Frühlingsfest is a nice alternative.  Come for the nostalgia, the atmosphere, and the great entertainment and fun.  But more importantly, come for the beer and authentic Bavarian cuisine.

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Summary:

The Hippodrum beer tent at the Oktoberfest and Frühlingsfest is one of the most popular tents on the festival grounds.  Serving Spaten beer and a fair amount of authentic, traditional German cuisine, Hippodrum is the perfect place to be to enjoy the festivities.  Reservations highly recommended (essentially required during the evening).  Good service even under pressure.

Oktoberfest usually begins in late September until early October; Frühlingsfest in April until early May

 

Overall – 5 stars

  • ½ Mittagshendl mit Alfon Schuhbecks “Bayerischen” Brathähnchengewürz und warmem Kartoffel-Gurkensalat (Roasted Chicken with Alfon Schuhbecks chicken spices, served with warm potato salad) – 5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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http://www.muenchen.de/Tourismus/Oktoberfest/7548/index.html
http://www.hippodrom-oktoberfest.de/
http://www.hippodrom-fruehlingsfest.de/
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Written by geschmack

April 30th, 2010 at 11:45 pm