McMenamins Corvallis in Summer and Autumn
Saturday 14 January 2017 — Category: Dining Out
For my beer, what else could I order but their Corvallis-brewed Monroe Oktoberfest? According to the brewer:
“Traditionally, Oktoberfest beers are brewed in the spring and cellared until the fall harvest festivals. This version was fermented with a Kölsch yeast for three weeks at 58 degrees. Most ales ferment closer to 70 degrees and for a shorter period of time. Copious amounts of Vienna and Munich malts provide the rich malt aroma. The balance is malt-forward with a moderate hop bitterness.” Measurements: 5.8% ABV • 22 IBU
My notes from that day read: “Pretty good, not bland, not too hoppy ... I would have it again next Oktoberfest.”
There was some big mix-up between the waiter and the kitchen. Apparently some or all of our meal was supposed to be cooked on an outside grill — I would suspect the sausage — but the grill was not set up yet. So after waiting quite a while, the waiter came to tell us that he was just told they had not made the meal yet, and that it would be coming in a while. No problem, we were not in a hurry and we could wait.
So I ordered pretzels and cheddar fondue to tide us over in the meantime, but even that was taking so long that eventually I had to tell the waiter that if it didn’t come soon, it would come with our meal and then we would not want it. He was apologetic and nice about it all, and gave us the pretzel fondue for free. I wasn’t too bothered by it, so I remained pretty nice as well. The pretzel fondue was really good as usual. Catherine and I each had one pretzel, and I took the third one home to freeze.
We had ordered two different items to share. The King Oktober Dog — Olympia Provisions Terminator kielbasa with grilled onions and sauerkraut relish — had a king-sized $11 price.
Even spendier ($13) was their Schneuben Sandwich: breaded chicken schnitzel, Swiss cheese with sauerkraut and 1000 Island dressing on grilled rye bread. The menu said it came with fries or tots, but it was actually a small bag of kettle chips, which was OK with me. This sandwich was an interesting and tasty variation on a traditional Reuben sandwich.
I thought the sausage would be the better of the two, but actually we both thought the schneuben was better. But in the end, I think that a real corned-beef reuben is better yet. Nevertheless, trying something new, and even the bad service, is all part of the adventure. I’m just sorry it was Catherine’s introduction to McMenamins, because it’s probably the worst services I have had at any of their 54 locations.
If they were not going to serve the special Oktoberfest food until later, like, maybe after 2:00, they should have said so on their Web site and on the little Oktoberfest menu. Even before we got our meal, we heard our waiter tell another server that customers can’t order what we ordered until later. So why did they advertise that the party started at their 11:00 AM opening? Things were pretty confused and disorganized.
Also, on the menu it said that “various fruit juices” were available. But when I asked about it, the waiter said they didn’t have any. But then he came back and said they did. I guess he asked someone. So Catherine was able to have some apple cider after all.
To top it all off, when I asked for my just-for-fun Oktoberfest stamp, the waiter wanted to put it on Page 4, as a Brewfest Experience. I’m sure he wasn’t supposed to do that, because this Oktoberfest party was definitely NOT a McMenamins Brewfest. He said that that was what he had been doing for other customers. Uh oh ... bad boy!
Fortunately I already had a proper Brewfest stamp in my Passport — see McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse 2016 Brewfest for all of those details. So he put the stamp on Page 30 (Brewfests), even though I think it should have gone on Page 32 (Birthdays & Events). Because an Oktoberfest is NOT a Brewfest, despite the identical last syllable of the two words!
It seems like this nice waiter could have really used a good manager. And some proper training. Maybe he was new. Maybe his manager was new!
During my three McMenamins Corvallis visits, I took a total of 31 photos. The best 16 can now be viewed in the new McMenamins Corvallis 2016 album.
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