Oktoberfest celebrated across Jersey Shore

Sous chef Douglas Marandino, of Rio Grande, displays bratwurst with roasted potato and pickled onions and a selection of German beers and wines at the Washington Inn in Cape May.

Germany has a celebration called Oktoberfest that includes great food, plenty of beer, and rousing music. Why should we celebrate it any differently in New Jersey?

In our area, celebrations range from small Oktoberfests to gigantic Oktoberfeasts, no one-size-fits-all approach from our local restaurants and casinos.

If part of the fun of Oktoberfest is drinking beer, most of the fun is tasting all the different seasonal brews available. And nothing goes better with beer than a plateful of assorted sausages.

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Raise a glass to Oktoberfest 2012.

Dogtooth Bar & Grill, 100 E. Taylor Ave., Wildwood, 609-522-8383. Starting at 1 p.m. Oct. 13, Dogtooth's party celebrates both Oktoberfest and the last of the nice weather with its annual Last Blast party. Drinks: $1.50 Miller pints, $1.50 Budweiser pints and $3 Kona Longboard pints available all day. Happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. Pig roast platter with corn on the cob and cole slaw ($7). Live music from 3 to 7 p.m. with Big Whiskey; Lenny G after 8 p.m. Giveaways such as Dogtooth 2012 Last Blast T-shirts. Plenty of free parking at the corner of New Jersey and Taylor avenues in Wildwood.

Mickey & Minnie's, 733 W. White Horse Pike, Cologne, 609-965-1877. Appetizers: smoked filet of trout, potato latkes, zwiebelkuchen onion pie. Dinner specials: sauerbraten, weinerschnitzel, schweinbraten rahmschnitzel, bratwurst, German wurst sampler, jagerschnitzel, huhnerschnitzel, schnitzel Christian. Desserts: schwarzwalder kirsch torte, apfel strudel, peach kuchen. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. German beer and wine available.

Gregory's Restaurant & Bar, 900 Shore Road, Somers Point, 609-927-6665. Gregory's "Best of the wurst" celebration will begin with lunch Friday, Oct. 5, offering its Oktoberfest menu for lunch and dinner until early November. This special German menu will feature such items as southern German sauerbraten, various schnitzels, bratwurst, kartoffelpuff's (potato pancakes), roast pork, liverwurst on rye and Hunter chicken (with a burgundy and wild mushroom sauce). In addition to the food, Beck's and Sam Adams Oktoberfest beers will be on tap, plus many other imported German beers including weisse and dark. Gregory's has been a local pioneer of Oktoberfest celebrations dating back to 1980.

The Washington Inn, 801 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-5697. Through Sunday, Oct. 7, the wine bar will be offering a grilled sausage and rosti potato menu for $20. Choices include a traditional veal sausage called Bockwurst, a duck and shallot sausage or a grilled pork bratwurst. Beers include a Stoudt Brewery Oktoberfest and Paulaner Oktoberfest beer.

Renault Winery, 72 North Bremen Ave., Egg Harbor City, 609-965-2111. Grape-stomping "wurst" festival is noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, rain or shine. Free admission. German food. Knockwurst, bratwurst, Kielbasa will be served with German potato salad and cabbage. Sauerbraten or roasted pork with egg noodles.

The Dutchman's Brauhaus, 2500 E. Bay Ave., Manahawkin (on Cedar Bonnet Island), 609-494-6910. Every Thursday until Oct. 18, offering an all-you-can-eat German buffet from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. along with early-bird dinner specials. The celebration will feature a roaming accordion player and lots of Oktoberfest beer, raffles and prizes.

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