I think it was four or five years ago at Oktoberfest that I ducked under a table as a large steel pole came whizzing by my head when the main tent came crashing down. Amidst the crowded chaos, bloodied people and pounding rain I headed for shelter. I was eating a brat at the time and still had the little paper boat in my hand. The bun was soaked so I cast it aside and took one thing with me as I headed to the nearest tent and helped the hundred or so others taking cover there hold the tent down. That item in my opposite hand that wasn’t holding on to the tent…my Siegi’s bratwurst, sans bun, still a bit of mustard and kraut attached, still good. True story.
Thousands of people experienced that crazy disaster on corporate night and thousands more came out in support the next two nights. Thankfully, Tulsa’s beloved Oktoberfest continues to thrive. One of the reasons for this has to be the brats. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say how much they love the brats, sausage and potato pancakes at Oktoberfest and how much they look forward to that one time of year they can get the good stuff. Well, I got something to tell ya… If you don’t already know this, you can get the goods any time you want! Siegi’s Sausage Factory and Deli and the newly added Siegi’s German Restaurant is the place! Listen kids, if you only have Siegi’s once a year from that great but limited menu, you’re doing yourself a BIG disservice. There is so much more! Their location at 81st and Sheridan is more than worth the drive for all of you mid/downtowners that refuse to venture to the southside. The sausage selection is impressive and they’re all good. There’s also reubens, wonderful schnitzel and strudel to be had; and a freakin burger with pastrami! However, one thing that impresses me even more than all that homemade food is the drink list.
Me being the booze geek and this being the sommelier’s blog, it’s about time we got to the liquid side of things. I love Siegi’s simple drink menu and I’ll tell you why. I can’t tell you how many niche or regional themed, restaurants I have been to (Tulsa and out of state) that still only offer the standards (Bud, Beringer and so on). Typically, there’s hardly anything on the drink list that pairs with or is classically consumed with that region’s food. Siegi’s is different. The beer list is made up of the classics like Spaten, Paulaner and Fransiskaner. As far as wine, there are several good German Riesling choices, from dry to the richer, sweeter spatlese. Austrian Gruner Veltliner, a classic with kraut, starts off the white list along with a rich, honeyed Austrian Pinot Blanc. Beyond this, an Austrian Zweigelt (similar to pinot noir) and a German Pinot Noir from the Reinhessen are offered – by the glass! I’d challenge anyone to drive through OK, ARK, KS, even MO and find a Gruner, Zweigelt and German Pinot by the glass. You just don’t see it, especially around here and I love it! There’s only one thing that explains the decision to go against the grain like that; to put wines on the menu most people have never heard of… passion. Passion for the product they serve, the authenticity of the restaurant and the heritage of the food. I greatly respect the decision to not just sell the same old thing and make easy choices; the decision to do it right.
Needless to say, Siegi’s is a Tulsa institution and I sing their praises when I have the opportunity. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Oh, and if you’re wondering where else to find some of those great Austrian & German wines and beers on the list, just come see me.