Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Grunauer family is in an Oktoberfest state of mind

Posted By on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Nicholas Grunauer has big patio plans this weekend
  • Nicholas Grunauer has big patio plans this weekend
Nicholas Grunauer has big patio plans this weekend
The Oktoberfest festivities don't officially kick off at the Grunauer Restaurant in the Crossroads until 4 p.m. Friday, but the tent over the patio will be erected early that morning so that chef-owner Peter Grunauer, son Nicholas and daughter Elizabeth can begin arranging the long communal tables.

"We're hoping to be able to seat at least 150 people on the patio," says Nicholas Grunauer, "and the bands."

Grunauer, Kansas City's first Viennese restaurant in decades, is expecting a big and raucous crowd for its two-day festival of beer, bratwurst and kaiserschmarrn.

Kaiserschmarrn? It's a dessert that literally translates as "the Emperor's mishmash," which Nicholas Grunauer compares to a "slightly dry bread pudding." (Other culinary sources compare it with a baked, caramelized pancake.) It's not on the regular dessert menu at Grunauer, but the two-day Oktoberfest will feature its own menu, including sauerbraten on rye, a farmer's plate with smoked pork, pork shoulder, bratwurst, bacon and homemade sauerkraut. Goulash, too.

"We'll serve the traditional Grunauer menu inside," says Nicholas, "and the Oktoberfest menu outside."

It will be a late-night menu, too: The kitchen will serve Peter Grunauer's Oktoberfest menu on Friday from 4 a.m. until 1 a.m. and all day -- from noon to 1 a.m. -- Saturday. Outdoor seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The featured bands, on both nights: Kevin Hiatt, playing polka music, and Nuthatch 47. A third band, Music Festhaus, plays only on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m.

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