OK you probably think I’m going to use the expression I had the Wusrt time, or it was the Wurst festival I’ve ever been to, or it was the Best of the Wurst, but I wouldn’t do that to you. You expect a lot more and I hope I’ll give it to you.
As you know this was my first visit to New Braunfels and Wurstfest and even though I didn’t get to explore New Braunfels the way it should be, Wurstfest was fantastic. From the festival grounds to the food, to the music, I had a blast. Let me break it down for you so next year you can enjoy it with ease.
Parking: Plenty of it and most parking was $5. We parked in the Lions lot across from the main gate. Now, we got there at around 1PM on Saturday and we barely got a spot, so you may want to pull into the first lot you see. We left around 5PM and the traffic was serious, but it looked like as many cars were leaving the lots as were looking to park.
Tickets: When we arrived there were approx 40 people waiting in line to buy tickets. When we left, there were 2 lines of 200 people waiting to buy tickets. BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE.
Food: They had just about every type of wurst on a stick, on a bun, in a stew, in a wrap etc. Plus every type of German food imaginable. They even had German turkey legs. How did I know they were German? They were wrapped in Lederhosen. But I think the busiest booth (besides the beer booths which were everywhere) was the potato pancake booth. Now, I didn’t taste the potato pancake, but it looked awesome. Yes there were deep fried Oreo’s and Funnel Cakes and pizza, but not for this Perosn einen Blog unterhaltend.
Music: There was so much wonderful music my oom-pah pah was kaput. You had the choice of two outdoor tents and the main hall. We did it all and even danced. We chicken danced, rolled out the barrel, drank from the barrel and then waited in line for the second most important line at Wurstfest. The restroom line. One of the groups performing were the Sauerkrauts. (Take a listen to "(Gotta Have A) Jalapeno" and "Tic Toc and the Pennsylvania Polka".) Great music, great lyrics and lots of fun. They also performed on my smoked wurst sandwich. Only at Wurstfest.
Don’t miss the Wurstfest’s Salute to Sausage Golden Anniversary October 29-November 7, 2010
The Gruene Historic District is located within the city limits of New Braunfels. I only spent a few hours in Gruene but I will be back for one of the many events they have each year. It might just be for the Gruene Music and Wine Fest, Oct 2010 (www.gruenemusicandwinefest.org) or for Christmas Market Days (www.gruenemarketdays.com) this Dec 5-6 (or both).
One of the things I did while I was in Gruene was have dinner at Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar. This was the #1 recommended restaurant for Chicken Fried Steak (see previous blog comments). The Gristmill is open 7 days from 11 am.
We got there around 6PM and got right in (after about 15 minutes I was told the wait was close to 1 hour). We were seated outside overlooking The Guadalupe River. The perfect atmosphere for my search for the best Chicken Fried Steak. I learned that the restaurant can seat 1,100 in 10 distinct dining areas, and has a staff of 185 in the summer. So I placed my order, grabbed my knife and fork and waited patiently for it to arrive. Before I knew it, it was gone. My CFS had a thick peppery batter, with a very tender piece of meat and a wonderful white gravy on top. OK, so for all of you who claimed it is the best CFS, as of this post, I agree. It’s the best I’ve had.
After dinner, we took a peek at the Gruene Music Hall which was rockin, stopped in to a few stores and went on our way.
When visiting a smaller destination that has a major festival or event that you are interested in, you have to plan two trips. One trip to see the festival or event and the next one to experience the destination. It’s very difficult to do both at the same time.
The Best Chicken Fried Steak (so far)
1. Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar, Gruene
2. Elm Creek Café, Lincoln