Walhalla Heat

It was a beautiful fall weekend and there’s a town name Walhalla (the first L is silent if you want to say it like a native) just up the road. Wonder what they might have going on in October? Oh look it’s Oktoberfest! Yes, please.

The 43rd annual Walhalla Oktoberfest is something I was not going to pass up so head towards the foot of the foothills I did. It’s a nice festival held at a local park that has plenty of room for rides, I mean full on fair rides not something Joe Bob threw in the back of his F150 and set up in 20 minutes. Sorry went off on a tangent, in addition to rides there were vendors, informational booths, an oompah band, a beer tent and a lot of food options. I had beer and bratwurst on the brain so the other options were just points of interest. I walked the whole area just to get the lay of the land before stopping by the Knights of Columbus Kraut Haus. It won’t be a shocker at this point but the I walked away with a sauerkraut laden brat and headed to the beer tent where I got a German Oktoberfest Bier and a souvenir stein.

I was quite satisfied with my choices. It was the second best brat I’ve had in Walhalla (the one last year at the Founders Day celebration was outstanding). This was all good but the actual highlight of the day was here.

I saw the sign first and thought “This is some bold marketing right here”. I mean I figured I’m going to be cremated rather than buried but bringing out the furnace operator for a meet and greet was either genius or macabre. Well turns out it was a hot sauce tent. I was more engaged with that revelation. They had 10 or so different flavors and the proprietor made sure I tried most of them. When I walked up a couple was sampling and I got to hear this exchange.

After looking at the bottle, reading the ingredients and asking for a sample the guy looked at his wife and said, “this is pretty good even with the cantaloupe.” “Oh my God, you’re allergic to cantaloupe!” Was his ladies response. “That was 4 years ago, I’m probably better now.” Well the small taste probably wasn’t going to send him into anaphylaxis but he doubled down and bought a bottle of that particular hot sauce. There might have been some eyerolling from his wife.

My turn to try the sauces and the proprietor made sure I tried most of them. They included 3 award winners and her personal favorite, which wasn’t an award winner only because they didn’t enter it. Her samples were teeny tiny pieces of cheese on the end of a toothpick dredged through the chosen sauce.

Now while I was mulling over one of the options these two young lads walked up and after ascertaining these were hot sauces the older of the two tried one of the medium heat level sauces, his little brother though was bolder and went straight for the hottest one in the bunch and asked for a sample of that. Ms. DD asked him if he was sure, twice, and also asking me to be her witness she questioned him on it and then gave him the sample. The little kid was game I’ll say that for him. You could see it on his face, his eyes teared up and he went flush but he was going to die before he admitted it was too hot for him. His big brother was pretty cool and said “Hey let’s go get a drink” like it was a thing he just decided they needed to do.

Anyway I walked away with these three tasty sauces. I am trying to figure out the best pairings for them beside teeny tiny pieces of cheese on a stick.

I don’t know what’s next but a good friend found a Georgian restaurant in Greenville that will be featured in the not too distant future.



Last week was busy and resulted in posts for successive weeks.

The surrogate for Germany was the Old Town Rock Hill Oktoberfest.  It was held downtown at Fountain Park which is the same area they have the Food Truck Fridays.  I parked a little further out than I do for the FTF’s expecting a larger crown but I needn’t have.  There were more people leaving as I got there than there were arriving, not a great sign.  I have to admit I was disappointed as well.

As I walked up I could hear the band playing something that wasn’t quite German but there was definitely some “oompah” in there.  The first tent in line was the ID check and beer ticket tent and what’s Oktoberfest without a beer?  I got a souvenir stein because I needed one more thing to try to fit in a cabinet.

For the price I would have expected it to come with at least one beer ticket but nope they were sold separately.  Well I had a couple of beer tickets and a mug so I figured I was at least partially set.  So here was my first disappointment.  I was really hoping for a biergarten and I’ll not lie I was hoping for fraus walking around with multiple liter steins in each hand serving up good German bier.  Alas that was not the case.  There were a couple of beer trailers and the one with the better beer had a line that was quite long but I persevered and wound up with a Dream Chasers Waxtoberfest beer.  That was enough to get me through my next disappointment.

There were only two food vendors, a pizza truck (WTH?) and the Wurst Wagen which had a line to rival the beer trailer.  How they could have 20 plus food trucks monthly for Food Truck Fridays and only two vendors for a once a year event is beyond me.

The one positive of standing in the line for my wurst was that I got to meet the winner of the wiener dog race.  For a 4 time champ and 2 time second place finisher Oscar was pretty humble and didn’t care for posing for pictures so you’ll just have to accept my description.  He was a solid brown dachshund with some white around the muzzle showing his veteran status and a pretty laid back demeanor for the holder of so many trophies.

The Wurst Wagen had a decent selection of sausages; weisswurst, bratwurst, knockwurst & kielbasa with sides of bacon potato salad, chips or sauerkraut.  I went with the weisswurst and sauerkraut.

The sausage was good but not really hot enough.  The guys were relying on a steamer they were keeping the sausages in to heat them up as they were precooked.  The problem was they were moving them so fast they didn’t have a chance to get very warm before getting served.  The taste was good and the German mustard and sauerkraut were good accompaniments.  I had just enough beer to make it through the meal and a couple of songs from the Foothills Oompah band.  I spent my second ticket on an Old Mecklenburg Mecktoberfest which tasted more like a good German beer than the Waxtoberfest, which had a hint of fruitiness to it.

That was good for a few more songs as the sun set and the fountain to my left got lit up.

Despite the disappointments it was a good evening and I can hope that next year will be better but I’ll let you know either way.