by Kristin Casagrand
After two weeks of steakhouses, I thought I would change it up a bit this week. This week’s restaurant is one near and dear to my heart because it represents my family’s heritage. I have grown up in a family of crazy Germans and delicious German food cooked by my grandmother (Oma in German). So of course, it is only fitting that I write about the Biergarten restaurant in Epcot.
Upon walking in the door, you are greeted by a native German-speaker wearing a dierndl or lederhosen and escorted to your table. The tables are arranged in high to low levels surrounding a big stage and dance floor at the focal point of the room. At least once during your dining time, a traditional German band will come out to play on the stage. Brave souls will fill the dance floor to swing each other around to the oompa music. When I go with my whole family, we pretty much dominate the dance floor since my family includes authentic German dancers who aren’t afraid to show their moves. The overall environment of Biergarten is fun and engaging. Throughout the night, you may be encouraged to raise your large (as big as your head) mug of beer and chant “tickey tockey tickey tockey oy oy oy.” Hopefully my grandparents don’t read this or I might be disowned for butchering the spelling of that chant. The dining experience is meant to imitate Oktoberfest, so it is a good time.
The food at Biergarten is served buffet-style with hot and cold stations lining the back of the restaurant. My go-to favorites are spaetzle (German noodles), chicken schnitzel, and Sauerbraten (pot roast) with gravy. I also can’t get enough of the pretzel breadsticks! They serve a wide assortment of things, but some other highlights are bratwurst and the apple strudel! For picky eaters- don’t fret! They serve mac n cheese, potatoes, and regular chicken too! I appreciate Biergarten more for its cultural experience and fun, rather than the caliber of the food. Don’t get me wrong, the food is great and it surely satisfies, but I personally like Oma’s home cooking better. If you want a fun dinner, feeling like you are in Germany for the night, Biergarten is for you!
½ cup bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 (one) egg yolk
¼ cup warm water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 pounds apples, sliced
½ cup melted butter
4 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
¼ cup raisins
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1. Mix together the bread flour, all purpose flour, and salt in a mixing bowl using the dough hook on a mixer.
2. Slowly add the egg yolks, oil and warm water on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl, but slightly sticks to the bottom of the bowl.
3. Remove from the mixing bowl and place in a sealed container covering with vegetable oil.
4. Place dough in refrigerator overnight.
5. Remove from refrigerator and gently wipe off the excess oil from the dough. For best results, place a clean, lint free towel on the kitchen counter and gently pull the dough with your hands until the dough is paper thin, shaping into a rectangle.
6. Once you have stretched out the dough, place 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs on the long end of the dough closest to you approximately 3 inches wide.
7. Mix together apples and raisins and place on top of bread crumbs. Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over apple mixture. Sprinkle remaining breadcrumbs over apple mixture.
8. With a pastry brush, brush melted butter on the dough that is exposed.
9. Grabbing the towel with the side where the apple mixture, roll the dough to the other end making sure that the apple mixture inside is even. Brush the outside of the dough with more of the melted butter.
10. Bake at 400ºF degrees for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
11. Let cool at room temperature for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, then slice with a serrated knife into 8 equal portions.
Kristin Casagrand is a student currently studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kristin has taken many a family vacations as a child driving 24 hrs, cramped in the back of the car and fighting with her sister to get to Disney (definitely worth it though). She looks forward to sharing “A taste of Disney” with everyone each week.