A (tiny) slice of Oktoberfest in FL

A year ago, we were in Germany with good friends.  Wish, wish, wish I was there now.  I couldn’t resist throwing in a photo, or two.  The guys were in Munich, the girls were in Freiburg in the black forest on an awesome tour.

But alas, we’re not. We’re in Sanford, FL – love the gate – just saying.  It’s a nice entryway to downtown Sanford, such a big difference when a friend of mine was the city’s horticulture manager in the 1980s.

First stop was lunch at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe‘.

Eric wasn’t excited at my response when the hostess asked ‘Inside or out?”.  He naturally said inside (air conditioning!), but I’m definitely a fan of outside eating.  Besides – more like Europe, right?


Their menu is very casual, like reading a newspaper with lots and lots of food mentioned.


While I went for a coke, Eric got a beer.  I had a sip and it was mighty tasty – a hint of grapefruit.  If this place was closer to home and I wasn’t so tired, I definitely would have ordered (a small) one.


Naturally, we needed to start with a pretzel……………


…………….and potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream.  Anyone see a mickey shape?


I got the sausage platter option, picking Nurnberger wurst (2) and Mettwurst.

Nurnberger – well seasoned grilled Franconian brats.

Mettwurst – applewood-smoked grilled bratwurst.

Sauerkraut and spatlze mit gravy were my sides (no, I did not use the wrong word, mit means with).  Next time I don’t need to order the spatzle – nothing wrong with that choice, just not worth the calories when there are other options for sides.


Eric ordered Jagerschmitzel with potato dumplings and red cabbage.

Jagerschmitzel – pork cutlet with a rich hunter’s pan sauce of brown gravy, wine and sautéed mushrooms & onions.


The weather was absolutely great – very surprising for Florida right now.  There was a nice breeze and the temps were only in the 80s.   It’s been hot and muggy lately, and we’re (just) a bit tired of it.  At least we’re not breaking temperature records like other places in the Southeast.   As I mentioned above, Eric wasn’t a fan of sitting outside, but it was a good decision.

Monday, was a very quiet day in Sanford.  Our previous visits have been on the weekend and couldn’t find any close parking (today, plenty of spots on main street).  We found this interesting art option walking around downtown.


The above butterfly was placed perfectly for adults while the one below was for little ones at ground level.


I couldn’t resist a quick snap with the floral background.


After walking a few blocks (and finding our usual haunts closed 😦 )  we bee-lined to the German deli associated with Hollerbach’s.


There are a plethora of German grocery items lining the shelves. Now how many times do you see plethora used – really?

Along with some fresh (and tasty!) deli items in their cases.  We got some of the Mettwurst to bring home for our own German meal later in the week.


Looking around, I saw a beer that brought a smile to my face:  Radeburger.  During a German ‘tour’ we booked in 2007, the tour operator had enough clout to have the brewery open for our tour group, on a Saturday no less.


This beer brought a smile to Eric’s face.


Of course, I was curious, what is ‘Festbier‘.

  • In the 1970s, Paulaner Brewery in Munich started experimenting, searching for a style of beer that was malty, but less heavy and lighter in color then Marzen (the original style of Oktoberfest beer).
  • Festbier, the name can only be used by breweries in Munich and only 6 breweries are given the honor of pouring this at Oktoberfest.
  • It is a safe bet that a beer labeled as Festbier from Europe is going to be true, while one brewed in the US is not a sure bet.

And yes, Festbier hopped into Eric’s basket of deli goodies and came back to our house.

With my recent crazy schedule, this was a nice day trip to truly ‘get away’ from it all. This sign in the cafe’s window says it all.


Translated it means ‘Where comfort/contentedness/relaxation Happens’.









One thought on “A (tiny) slice of Oktoberfest in FL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s