Grab your lederhosen, we’re going to Oktoberfest!
Did you know The Austria Club of Vancouver is located in Richmond? You too can buy a ticket to one of their dances, enjoy a plate of home-cooked schnitzel, drink beer, and dance the night away!
For awhile now, I’ve been trying to think of a Richmond adventure I could recruit my friends Kyle and Jeff for. As the picture below indicates, they are fun. As soon as I discovered the Austria Club, that was it – Oktoberfest it would be! Not only do they both love meat, potatoes, and beer, but I knew they’d fully embrace the evening, whatever it turned out to be.
The Austria Club has a very active membership, though we were definitely the young ones in the crowd. The hall is decorated in an alpine style, with a small stage, large dance floor, and dozens of tables.
All dances at the hall are open to the public, but we didn’t know it’s best to buy tickets ($10) ahead of time. Luckily, the ladies who greeted us at the door found three seats for us at table #7!
This wasn’t a messy, nothing-but-beer-and-shouting kind of party. Of course, plenty of beer was consumed, but people were dressed up, there’s a fantastic band, and everyone danced the night away. And I mean properly danced. It was great to see, though it took awhile for us to work up the courage to get out there too.
We joined in for the men and ladies circle dance; all the women form a circle in the middle and move one way, while the men form an outer circle and move in the opposite direction. When the music pauses, everyone stops and dances with the person opposite them.
I did one round, then managed to get pictures of Kyle, Jeff, and their respective dance partners. Every lady in the hall wanted to dance with these two!
There’s music, there’s beer, and of course there’s also food. Several no-nonsense ladies ran the kitchen, and after buying a meal ticket at the bar, you can get yourself a plate of schnitzel, potato salad, bread and butter. I think there was also green salad, but she didn’t seem to think we needed that, the young hooligans we are.
This wasn’t fancy food, but it came on a piping hot plate and tasted wunderbar. Schnitzel is a classic Austrian/German dish, and is made by pounding a pork or veal cutlet, dredging it, covering it in breadcrumbs, and frying it. This schnitzel was tasty, but the best thing on the plate was the potato salad. It was creamy, lemony, and so, so good.
There was also dessert (various cakes and cheesecakes), but since they don’t have an ATM and we only had a limited amount of cash, I skipped the sweets and saved what we had for beer. You gotta do what you gotta do for Oktoberfest.
Speaking of beer, there was a beer-drinking competition. Despite all of Jeff’s stretching….
Then, at about 10pm, they started bringing around freshly baked pretzels. On a giant stick! Austria is awesome!
We had two, and they were salty and delightful.
After the party ended, we made our way back to Lansdowne Station, and I decided we should try No. 9 Restaurant again.
We had more beer, tan tan noodles, and honey BBQed pork. Best post-Oktoberfest meal ever.
Thanks to the Austria Club for such a great party, and to Jeff and Kyle for being the best Oktoberfest adventurers I could have asked for. If you’re keen to get in on this schnitzel and waltzing, the next dance is October 27th. Cheers, and happy Oktober!
Bring plenty of cash!