Celebrating Oktoberfest at Pala Casino Spa and Resort
Back in October, just outside of San Diego, Sarah and I were invited to Pala Casino Spa and Resort to check out their Oktoberfest, one of the new annual events they’ve been adding to their entertainment lineup. It was definitely one of the best weekend getaways we’d had in a long while.
Not two months before heading down to Pala, Sarah and I had returned from a two-week long river cruise in Europe, with most of the stops in Germany. To say we had a ton of beer, sausage, and sauerkraut is putting it mildly. So, you can understand why it was a hard ‘yes’ when we received the invitation. As this would be our first time visiting the casino resort, let alone our first event there, we weren’t really sure about what we were in for. However, once we arrived, it didn’t take long to figure it out.
When you first walk into Pala, a huge wall of floor-to-ceiling windows is the first thing that grabs your attention. Through them you have a clear view of their stage and event space. On this particular day, we could see rows upon rows of tables being set up, with blue gingham tablecloths and white tent tops. Bordering those tables was what seemed like an endless amount of stations, all serving a different kind of food or beer. We still had a few hours to go before things got started, so we went off to explore the casino. Still, it was hard not to keep coming back to watch through the windows like a couple of children waiting for a shopping spree at a candy store.
Finally, 1pm rolled around and it was time to head outside—that’s right, we only had to wait until 1pm and it still felt like an eternity. Upon checking in, we were given 10 tickets each so we would be able to try as much beer and wine as we could reasonably want. Not too shabby considering the entrance fee was only $45 a person. Figuring out where to start was definitely a little overwhelming with so much to try. We decided to just grab the first beer we saw and take a little tour to see what was up.
Food Menu for Pala Oktoberfest
- German Pretzels & Beer Bacon and Cheddar Bread
- Bratwurst with Sauerkraut
- Knockwurst with Sweet & Sour Cabbage
- Weisswurst German Potato Salad
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pickled Red Onions
- Potato Pancakes with Applesauce (or Sour Cream & Chives)
- A desert station featuring: Pear Strudel, Apple Strudel, Peach Strudel, Black
- Forest Cake and Apfelkuchen (German Apple Cake)
While we walked we were entertained by the familiar Oktoberfest songs, performed by an authentic band. As it turned out, the event went even further back than we realized. There was an entirely different area on the other side of the pool featuring traditional German wine and desserts. For the rest of the afternoon we essentially revisited our recent river cruise. I can’t say for sure just how much sausage, sauerkraut, and potato salad we had, but we definitely did some damage. And for the beer! I think we fell in love with nearly every one we tried. There was something there for every kind of person, which was perfect because it made food pairings that much better. Overall, it was a pretty awesome day.
As I mentioned before, Pala’s recently been adding annual special events like this to their entertainment lineup, beginning with their Starlight Food & Wine Festival the year before. After the great experience we had with Oktoberfest, we’ll definitely be trying to get down there for the others. Stay tuned.