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Ben & Nick's: Oktoberfest comes but once a year

patrick | Oct 17, 200211:39 AM

OAKLAND, Oct 15.

My favorite local pub has done it again. I am continually impressed by (and grateful for) the high quality of this unassuming pub's food. And for the month of October they've got a few German specialties. We tried one on a sort of whim and were blown away, and have since gone back to sample the rest.

They are (and I wish I'd stolen a menu to remember the German names, which are fabulous):

- Beef+Pork meatballs in a lemon caper sauce
- Smoked pork loin chops
- Braised beef rolls (stuffed with (!) bacon and pickles)

Each one comes with either mashed potatoes or german potato salad, and some kind of cabbage or sauerkraut. The potatoes and the potato salad are also masterful.

The meatballs were mild and tasty, and the lemon-caper sauce was just exactly the right tartness to set that off.

The smoked pork chops were heavenly -- smoky so that the scent is half the sensation of the taste.

The best of all has to be the braised beef rolls, which sounded a little odd to us but were absolutely sublime -- a tender-yet-chewy roll of braised beef, wrapped around some kind of tangy pickle slice, bacon, and some spices.

Along with all this fabulous food, they're serving a wide range of German beers, including some great weissbiers. Between this and the Toronado/Rosamunde connection in SF, I am in beef/beer heaven lately.

The specials continue through the rest of the month.

Ben + Nick's is on College Ave just below Rockridge BART. Open every day, bless them.

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