6:51 PM

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.

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