>> Sunday, January 17, 2010

73-11 Yellowstone Boulevard
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 544-2400

Forest Hills may not have a beer garden the likes of which Astoria does, but with the arrival of Manor Oktoberfest, we're slightly closer. Manor Oktoberfest easily has the most unique beer selection in the neighborhood and, with the available sizes ranging from your everyday bottle to a 2-liter "boot", you can get happily sauced.

Manor Oktoberfest originally began as a small bar/cafe at the Atlas Park shopping complex. I asked the manager there if they were planning to close that one now that the larger Yellowstone site has opened. He told me that the small space will remain despite the expansion.

Despite Manor Oktoberfest trying to make its mark as a beer hall, and despite being one of the few bars in the neighborhood without a giant Bud Light logo glowing in the window, you should read this more as a review of the restaurant than of the bar. I'll merely mention that, from my point of view, I'd prefer going here to hang out and have a beer than almost anywhere else in the neighborhood.

Bro and I showed up at 10pm on a hungry Friday night. It was admittedly late for dinner, but the kitchen doesn't close until 11, thank goodness. Manor Oktoberfest is not small. The bar area, which has its own little loungey section by the windows, was fairly crowded, but the dining area, with its exposed brick walls and countless beer steins on display, was relatively quiet. In keeping with its attempt to be a beer hall, the booths are huge. Bro and I were led to one that could easily seat 8 people. Manor Oktoberfest, unlike almost any other bar (or even restaurant) in recent memory, is inordinately bright. It's not as bright as a fast food restaurant, but it's brighter than my apartment. Anyway, I ordered a liter of an unpronounceable (to me) dark ale and we proceeded to figure out our dinner.

We began with a hearty helping of carbohydrates. Bro ordered Pierogies. For those of you who don't know what they are, first, for shame. Go order some. They're a fried dough stuffed with mashed potatoes and served with sour cream (I like mine with both sour cream and apple sauce). These were smaller than the ones I'm used to having, but they were very good nonetheless. My appetizer was Potato Pancakes, served with apple sauce. Watch the roof of your mouth. These things, while tasty (of course), will scald you.

They make no pretense about this being a fancy place, as the pics of the food can attest. There is no art here, just German comfort food. Bro ordered the Jaegerschnitzel, a breaded pork cutlet that's been pounded as flat as a pancake, fried, and then served under a mushroom sauce over fried potatoes. I liked this a lot, and so did he. But it's heavy and half of it was taken home to be eaten the next day. My choice was the Sauerbraten, thin strips of beef, covered in gravy and served on a bed of spaetzle with a small side of pickled cabbage. Not a bad dish per se, but I preferred Bro's dinner over mine. It was also unfinishable.

Bro and I had been to Manor Oktoberfest one weekend recently for lunch and grabbed some sausages. Bro tried the Kielbasa, serve on a bun with sauerkraut and potato salad. I tried the Oktoberfest Bratwurst, also on a jumbo hot dog bun and with a small side of potato salad. Both were great, though I preferred the Bratwurst. Similar in shape to a giant hot dog but with a smooth spiciness that hotdogs don't have. Hot dogs are boring by comparison.

Entrees ran us somewhere in the upper teens, but there's also a large sandwich, hamburger and salad menu to choose from that's slightly less pricey. Appetizers are between $6 and $10. We stumbled out of Manor Oktoberfest so full that dessert didn't even cross our minds.

Manor Oktoberfest is closed Mondays.


Anonymous,  January 20, 2010 at 12:36 PM  

Would anybody the price ranges of their beers?

Jon Parker January 20, 2010 at 7:30 PM  

Beer bottles start at $5, half liter is $6, the 1 liter is $11, and the 2 liter is $24... if memory serves. I should have included that in the post.

Laura Lutz January 23, 2010 at 8:28 PM  

So based on your review, we went there tonight...and really enjoyed it! Thank goodness...I was getting so tired of the Cabana-Nick's-Uno's hamster wheel I was on! We got the Bratwurst and the Jaegerschnitzel - both on your recommendation - and loved them both. The sauerkraut had a fresh, not-too-vinegary flavor. Also, on the beer end, the selection was one of the best in FH. You could keep with the theme for any of the draught beers and, for those who wanted something non-Germany, the bottled selection was mostly comprised of local brews, which was a great touch.

Kid-friendly too - the frankfurter on the kids' menu was as big as my daughter.

Thanks for steering us in the right direction!

cattyinQueens January 26, 2010 at 12:36 PM  

I'm pretty excited about this one...but I have one question: why is German food kind of expensive (for what it is) everywhere? I mean, I like it, but I always expect it to be a bit cheaper--perhaps that's just my wrong-headed expectations?

Anonymous,  January 27, 2010 at 10:01 AM  

The most expensive entree is filet migion @ $25 the average is just $17 which include two sides Not EXPENSIVE at all.

CattyinQueens February 4, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

Sorry, Anonymous. I was trying to make a relative claim--that german food seemed expensive for what it is (i.e., sausage, cabbage, potatoes). But yeah, $25 for an entree isn't expensive. I just think that for $25 I want different kind of food.

Anonymous,  March 9, 2010 at 3:11 PM  

I think its really affordable and the food is delicious. I don't really know anywhere else you can get such huge portions for the price. And the beer selection is outrageous.

Also, I attended a private party for 40 people in the back room. Service was attentive and there was a beautiful ambiance. I'm going to be holding a party myself there in September!

Anonymous,  March 9, 2010 at 8:21 PM  

I went there with my girlfriend and we had an amazing time. We ordered the jagerschnitzel and a sauerbraten with a few liters of franziskaner and everything was delicious. I'm definitely going back with some more friends!

Thanks for the review!

Anonymous,  March 17, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

The staff is so accommodating and courteous. The food is absolutely fabulous. Take your friends and family. The price is just right. . A great experience!!

Anonymous,  July 18, 2010 at 6:07 PM  

The food and beers are absolutely delicious. You can come here with friends or with your family and have a great time everytime. The prices are reasonable and the desserts are great.

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