DANBURY, N.H. - If your craving for wiener schnitzel, lederhosen, and yodeling won't wait till Oktoberfest, head to the Inn at Danbury in Danbury, N.H., this weekend for the fifth annual Best of the Wurst fest.
The inn's restaurant, the Alphorn Bistro, recently won its third consecutive award as New Hampshire's best German restaurant. Many of the recipes come from owner Bob Graf's Swiss grandmother, including veal, chicken, and pork schnitzels (thin slices of meat dipped in egg and bread crumbs, and then fried) and sauerbraten (beef marinated for a week in red wine, vinegar, juniper berries, peppercorns, and bay leaves and then braised).
There will be a big selection of German bottled beers, Spaten and Warsteiner on tap, and wine tastings including Rieslings that aren't even sweet. But food's only part of it. The staff dresses in traditional garb, and accordionist Mike Kaelin, a state representative who has been called the best yodeler in New Hampshire (how many do they have anyway?), roams from table to table, playing drinking songs. He takes requests from the customers, many of whom swap stories about their days in Germany.
Expect to share a group table and be prepared to sing along; there are plenty of choruses, and you won't believe how many people know all the words.
5th annual Best of the Wurst Festival, May 23-25, Alphorn Bistro, 67 NH Route 104, 603-768-3318, 866-DANBURY (326-2879), innatdanbury.com. Reservations required for the musical dinners with seatings Friday 4-8 p.m., Saturday 1-7:45, and Sunday noon-5:45; call for specific times. Prix fixe appetizer and main course $25-$30, desserts $6. Parking is free.