Fall Foodie To Dos

Festivals that raise funds for good causes or simply raise glasses and steins to beer, food and polka are on tap this weekend and into October.

Autumn offers a wide range of food-world events, for sure. There are competitions, another collaboration of star chefs and a celebration of apples at a premier farm market.

For starters: Welcome to the “haus” parties.

At Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, 527 Lake Avenue in Asbury Park, a third annual Oktoberfest kicks off Friday, September 29 and continues through Sunday, October 22 with a celebration that includes not only brews, eats and polka bands, but a ceremonial keg-tapping on opening day. Highlights include chef Ryan Cook’s Oktoberfest menu, with schweinshaxe (pork shank) for two, weekend pig roasts, and roast chicken. In addition, the beer list will include extra imported German and local craft Oktoberfest beers. The Shore’s biggest biergarten expands into neighboring Press Plaza for a Munich-style tented strassefest (street festival) Columbus Day Weekend, which is Friday, October 6 through Monday, October 9. That holiday weekend will be capped by a four-course dinner starting at 6 pm, October 9 for $40 per person. For more information and reservations, call 732-997-8767 or visit either of these Web sites: asburybiergarten.com or celebrateoktoberfest.com.

At Pilsener Haus & Biergarten, 1422 Grand Street in Hoboken, a seventh annual Oktoberfest also starts Friday, September 29, with a keg-tapping of local brewer Ramstein’s Oktoberfest beer and polka courtesy of John Stevens & Doubleshot, and continues through Sunday, October 22. Chef Martin Schaub’s special menu, offered throughout the fest, also includes a traditional schweinshaxe (pork shank) for two, as well as arctic char, roast suckling pig and the chef’s popular Black Forest cake. The beer list will offer extra local and imported Oktoberfest brews. Live polka bands will perform every Friday and Saturday during the fest, including new-breed bands such as Bavarski and the Bratwurst Boys and the Grammy-nominated Alex Meixner (who is on tap the evening of Friday, October 13). That night’s menu will spotlight various birds and seasonal vegetables as well as cocktails created for the festival. For more information and reservations, call 201-683-5465 or visit pilsenerhaus.com.


13th Annual ChiliFest of Atlantic Highlands: The benefit sponsored by the local Front Porch Club has become a region-wide event featuring several dozen chilies created and cooked by chefs and home cooks, then judged by an appointed panel. This year’s event, with proceeds going to the Henry Hudson TriDistrict Education Foundation, takes place from 2 to 9 pm Saturday, September 29 at the Sandy Hook Bay Catamaran Club, Center Street near Avenue D, in Atlantic Highlands. (Rain date: Sunday, October 1.) In addition to the chilies, the event features Carton beer on tap, a Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum Bar, live bands and kids’ activities. Tickets purchased before the day of the event are $35; at the door, $40. Kids are $5 and those who prepare and enter chili dishes are admitted free. Tickets are limited. To purchase, visit frontporchclub.com.


Dearborn Apple Festival, 2170 Route 35 in Holmdel. From 11 am to 4 pm Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1. Featured: a wide variety of apples from the region, as well as house-made foods using apples. 732-264-0256 or dearbornmarket.com.

If at first you succeed, do it again.

This past August, the fish-focused collaboration between star chefs Anthony Bucco, executive chef at Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County, and David Viana, executive chef and partner at Heirloom Kitchen, was a sell-out. So the duo’s partnering again, this time with The Bird Dinner, to be held at Bucco’s Chef’s Garden at the resort’s Grand Cascades Lodge, 3 Wild Turkey Way in Hamburg. The multi-course dinner will be held starting at 7 pm on Sunday, October 8, and feature duck hearts, chicken liver mousse, duck ham, stuffed quail, Scotch hen’s egg, guinea hen, turkey and leek pie, and partridge. The cost is $105 per person, beverages included, but not tax and tip. Seating is limited; call 855-977-6473 to reserve.


Slurp. Sip. Repeat. Ramen Eating Competition: A benefit for No Kid Hungry, this second incarnation of the contest hosted by Ani Ramen House and sponsored by Sun Noodle will take place from 7 to 9 pm Monday, October 9 at the new Ani Ramen, 218 Newark Avenue in Jersey City. The contest is open to those 18 and older; the entrance fee is $50, which is the minimum donation to the No Kid Hungry benefit. Enter by e-mailing [email protected] by Monday, October 2. The contest will be livestreamed on Ani Ramen’s Facebook page. Prizes, including a $1,000 dinner for 10 at Ani Ramen, will be awarded. Phone: 201-408-9811.



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