Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beers & Brats @ Red Lion Tavern: An LA Street Food Fair Alternative

Likes 15K other Angelenos, we made our way to Downtown LA this past Saturday for the 1st Annual LA Street Food Fair. Even though we got there before the event started at 11am, there was already a mile long line snaking through the block. As we waited in line for about 30 minutes in 80 degree weather, my mimosa buzz was already wearing out. I looked at LB, our ESP was working overtime, we knew what the line meant. An hour to get in, another 1-2 waiting in line at the food truck, not to mention long bathroom lines. Ludo's Fried Chicken was not enough incentive to get me to waste all that precious time when I could be enjoying the unseasonably hot winter day with an adult beverage in hand. No Thank You, LA Street Food Fair. You're not worth all that. We got on our iPhones to let our friends know the change in venue. Beers, outdoor patio, close to downtown... The Red Lion Tavern was an obvious choice.

Red lion Tavern, located in Silverlake, is one of the few beer gardens in LA. I hadn't been back in over 5 years. From what I recall, it's the place to be for Oktoberfest, albeit extremely crowded then. They have a dark bar when you first walk in as well as the beer garden upstairs. It's old-looking, casual and non pretentious - a true gem in LA.

They have a pretty good selection of German beers. Our choice included Spaten Oktoberfest Marzen, Spaten Optimator doppelbock and Warsteiner Dunkel. My favorite was the Dunkel which was dark and smooth.

Sausage Platter bite, size pieces of bratwurst, knackwurst, smoked bockwurst, pickles and pepper. I love little bites and variety so this was my favorite dish. They are also cut up into tiny portions which is perfect for nibbling.

Turkey Bratwurst sausage served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes

The Saturday special was Nurnberger Bratwurst pork and veal sausages, served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes with gravy

Smoked Bockwurst- beef and port polish sausage, served with sauerkraut and German potato salad. Liked the sausage but thought the potato salad was a bit too tangy. Personal preference though.

Side of spaetzel. Looks more like french fries than spaetzel.

Red Lion Tavern was a good call. The beers and sausages were great and the beer garden was a fun location to hang out with a group of friends. It was a great day to be sitting outside, enjoying sunny Cali weather while the rest of the country was hit with snowstorms. It was also a great day to be consuming beers and brats while 15K other Angelenos were waiting in long food truck lines.

Hits: sure beats the lines at LA Street Food Fest, sausage platter, beers
Misses: there was one lady manning the bar and tables
Rating: ***

Red Lion Tavern
2366 Glendale Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 662-5337

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