This week in Dish, we delve into Oktoberfest, the German celebration of beer, beer, and more beer. We look at four local eateries where authentic German means boots of beer and bratwurst. The first, Old Heidelberg, is a chalet-themed restaurant that's been slinging sausages since 1991. We also investigate the Ambry, a dark and winding restaurant that plays host to a hearty cast of beer-drinking regulars. For homey food that tastes as great as it sounds, we like Old Vienna. And lastly, Checkers Old Munchen is a great combination of party and grub. Read an excerpt after the cut.
Ordering beer in a giant boot is like entering into an unspoken contract, the terms of which are your pride. Finish a whole one and you'll be the toast of your colleagues. Fail and you'll face ceaseless ribbing, slights against your manhood, and unparalleled shame.
There was no better example of this than watching two guys in soccer jerseys drink from a pair of two liter boots at Old Heidelberg German Restaurant (900 State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale). Each piece of faux footwear looked like a translucent version of a 62-hole Doc Martin's boot, only with a keg's worth of foamy lager sloshing around inside. Guy Number One had taken to his like a champ, draining the massive vessel to the ankle in mere minutes. But Guy Number Two wasn't faring as well. Thirty minutes into the contest, he'd barely put a dent in it. By the time he reached the midcalf mark, his blustery friend was onto his second boot, and his entire entourage was calling him the kind of names you wouldn't repeat in front of your hausfrau.
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