It’s Waynesville’s Ohio Sauerkraut Festival weekend.
Now in its 48th year, the Sauerkraut Fest is one of the more unique food-themed festivals in our region. Like most things, it started humbly as a community dinner and a way to bring people together. Since then it has grown into a large festival featuring more than 450 vendors and more sauerkraut dishes than the eye can see.
Sauerkraut pizza, Reubens, cabbage rolls, baked goods, sauerkraut mac and cheese and other inventive creations will all be served up. There’s also plenty to tempt those who don’t have a taste for the sour flavors that fermented cabbage produce.
“Sauerkraut is unique. It adds so much flavor for example to the sauerkraut pizza. The Eastern Star Masonic Lodge actually spins the sauerkraut. It removes all that tartness, and it with the other flavors on the pizza is an excellent item to try,” said Barb Lindsay, office and event coordinator for the Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the Sauerkraut Festival. “I think sauerkraut has put Waynesville on the map. We are known for other things, but first will be the festival.”
If you can’t make it to this charming festival, there are places in the area to enjoy this German-inspired cuisine anytime you like. Here are a few of our favorites:
WHERE TO GET AN AMAZING REUBEN
A lot of restaurants in town feature fantastic Reubens.
Some Reubens I’ve enjoyed recently have come from Flyboy’s Deli in Oakwood (“The Liberty” Reuben, $7.99), The Dublin Pub ($8.99) and Canal Street Arcade and Deli ($8.75 for a medium Reuben sandwich). There are plenty more on other menus, and it is a great way to show your appreciation of the kraut.
UNIQUE SAUERKRAUT DISHES
If you are looking for a dish that puts the sauerkraut in the spotlight, here are a few suggestions:
Sauerbraten from The Amber Rose
1400 Valley St., Dayton
937-228-2511 or www.theamberrose.com
I’m a sucker for Sauerbraten ($19), a traditional German pot roast dish. The Amber Rose version does not disappoint with a hand-cut, eight-ounce grilled flank steak marinated in German spices served with herbed spaetzle and homemade sauerkraut. If you like Eastern European food, you will be very glad to have found this restaurant. If you haven’t tried it before, it’s flavorful and hearty, perfect for cold weather and the holiday season.
Seasoned Sauerkraut from Rip Rap Roadhouse
6024 Rip Rap Road, Dayton
Rip Rap Roadhouse offers a dozen sides to pair with different entrees and sandwiches. Refreshingly one of them is seasoned sauerkraut. A single side will set you back $2.25, and if you can’t get enough of fermented cabbage, a trip here will take care of your cravings.
The Golden Lamb’s Famous Sauerkraut Balls
27 S. Broadway, Lebanon
513-932-5065 or goldenlamb.com
Pork and beef brisket are slow roasted with spices and blended with sauerkraut. The resulting mixture is rolled, panko breaded and deep-fried and served with a house mustard for dipping. The crispy brown balls that emerge from the fryer will set you back $9.29 and are worth every penny.