THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 134

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 134

…after Francine self-parks her new bulletproof baby from Buckaroo Bob, they go up to the 20th floor where Braden King’s room is; Pediatric CCU

“Uncle Roy told us you that you drive a Corvette?” Deke McKinney is confused about Francine picking them up in an eight-seat APV (armored personal vehicle).

Buckaroo Bob Bumfort Sr.

“Two seats, three people, one license and stranger danger, all add up to me using this APV. That’s why it took me so long to pick you up. I had to park the ‘Vette, go to my GMC dealership and test drive something more sensible and safe.”

“Buckaroo Bob Bumfort?” Gus has seen his car commercials way too many times.

“‘Where they will lasso you a great deal every time’, yeah that’s my dealer.”

“Can we visit Braden in the hospital Miss Bouchette?” Deke asks.

“Please call me Francine {not Aunt Francine} and it is getting pretty late, visiting hours are over.”

“You must have connections there,” he insists.

“Okay, but only if he is awake,” she cannot resist.

Aunt Francine caves in like a new-favorite-non-relative-relative should. So after she self-parks her bulletproof baby from Buckaroo Bob, they go up to the 20th floor where Braden King’s room is; Pediatric CCU.

Once they see that he is alright, albeit hooked up to every medical device known to man, Deke jokes, “Don’t they have an old folk’s floor in this place?”

“Come here you wisecracking whippersnappers. I have been worried sick about you two…  I mean you too Miss Francine!”

“You mean worried about “everything in the Universe” Braden and that’s what put you in the hospital,” Francine goes over and kisses him on his forehead.

“I am so proud of you guys… and you too Francine.”

“And how about our Uncle Roy? You should have seen him fly his chopper right on top of the bad guys, then the Coast Guard guys came up and rounded ‘em up like a bunch of stray calves!” Gus gushes.

“Not before you went and took off. They had guns you know,” Braden has been piecing together events by conventional means.

The Simpsons Policeman GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY“How is the food up here?” Francine wants the boys to settle down before they get home; amped-up on Mountain Dew, M&Ms, chips… and a day full of shoot ’em up hijinks.

“Hot dogs, pizza puffs, mac & cheese, and Kool-Aid, that’s pretty much it, but I managed to talk my way onto an adult menu and some takeout from BBQ Heaven.” Braden has many reasons to be grateful.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 134


page 126

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 81

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 81

..the flavor of the food is analogous to “the chef” telling you that calamari tastes just like chicken or the wisdom of  Popeye the Sailor coming up with scientific evidence that spinach gives you superhuman strength.

singing-chef-vickie-wade

Singing Chef by Vickie Wade

“Not bad, but lay off speaking in gobbledigook {Newfoundlian}. Because I can’t read your lips,” Celeste insists.

With his initial inhibitions decreased, two different colors are selected, Alpha Centauri-amber and dark matter-mauve. A longer rendition of what sounds like an alien remix precedes the arrival of his selection, again whooshing open, exposing a 2-dish assortment of steaming nourishment. It is unrecognizable, but it isn’t moving and is marginally aromatically tempting.

Cupbearer to the King

Again, with the aid of the air-water-food scrutinizer, “Enzyme modified something, xanthan concentrate, autolyzed extract, and hydrogenated disodium phosphorate. gobbledigook {you first}

“Where are the knives and forks?” Celeste asks pretentiously.

“Use your fingers until and when I can find the right colors to push. You know we cannot be sure how these guys consumed their food; for all we know they may stuff it into their stomachs through a navel valve.”

“Assuming they have navels.”

“Do you want to do an autopsy on one of them?”

“Not before we eat Sam… you don’t want me to lose my dinner, seeing I am eating for two.”

“Or more.”

“Stop yourself and eat!”

Describing the flavor of the food is analogous to “the chef” telling you that calamari tastes just like chicken or the wisdom of  Popeye the Sailor coming up with scientific evidence that spinach gives you superhuman strength; to each his own.

“Eat, eat, there is plenty more!”

When cast in that subjective light, the food they sample aboard the NEWFOUNDLANDER is an acquired palate, as opposed to Grandma Sally’s home cooking. Overall the adage cliché “never look a gift-horse in the mouth” applies on this distant planet and you are going to run out of your own food.

Sampson makes mental notes of all his happy-finger combinations while using Doctor Yum’s magical-meal-maker-machine, as he calls it. They can only hope to get better at working it… perhaps some Italian? —

— Energized and ever curious, the two-remaining visitors on Mars press on to the depths of the alien ship…


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 81


page 76

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 131

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #131

…“We had one lady who claimed that cigars were causing her husband’s poor health. I guess he had trouble breathing.”

“What nonsense,” Statler posits, “sounds like good old fashioned consumption to me?”…

Bad Habits by Dion Ja’Y

The Tallahassee folks on to good food & important friends.

Loyal Campbells-001“We make cigars, among other commodities, Mister Statler,” Herb pulls a Loyal Campbell from his tweed jacket pocket, handing it to their sponsor.

“There is nothing like a good cigar after a good dinner,” he bows his head in gratitude, passing it under his nose, looking at the wrapper ring. “Is that you?” He asks of Willy, referring to the representation on the ring.

“Yessir, it is.”

Herb continues his thought, “Yes, well, if you can imagine this, we had one lady who claimed that cigars were causing her husband’s poor health. I guess he had trouble breathing.”

 “What nonsense,” Statler posits, “sounds like good old fashioned consumption to me?

    They finally gain a private room, apart from the commercial banquet facility. About sixty guests are presently mingling, including the Presidential host. He seems completely at ease, appearing to have shed any and all problems of his life and the world in general. Gone, for the moment, are worries about his dear frail, convalescent Ida. The Boer War in South Africa and “Boxer Rebellion” fade to the background, especially since he has a second in command to rely on. Teddy Roosevelt, whose motto is, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”, is the perfect second term Vice-president; young, capable and right there for the Republican party should William McKinley choose not to run for a third term.

Two long tables flank the room, each filled to capacity with every manner of salad, entree and gourmet dish. If any in attendance goes home hungry, the onus is on them.

The President sees Statler, as well as his Florida friends enter, capping his mental list of invitees. “May I have your attention,” he clinks his brandy snifter with handy silverware. “I see my table has arrived, so without further ado, please indulge your selves in God’s generous blessings!”

Tallahassee-001

The crowd needs little of the prompting, having already staked out their seats, at one of the six circular oak tables, as well as exactly what crystal plate or dish in the buffet they are going to attack first.

McKinley wraps his arms around as many of his Southern folks as he can, separately or at one time. They follow his lead to the feast. “Do not forget to bring your plate. I so enjoy being able to serve myself, don’t you. Ummmm, this looks good, shrimp cocktail. Doesn’t this rice look special…, Florentine is it not, Lady Ferrell?”

Martha, who waits directly behind, answers, “Pilaf with almonds, I believe,” having the unique opportunity to correct a President.

Jacob Haley and Jacques Francois help Willy and Amanda sort through the culinary montage, when they’re not screening the room for potentially single females.

Alfrey is attached to the Endlichoffers, which is no surprise, but is helpless in consoling Ziggy about the apparent oversight of schnitzel or Hasenpfeffer.


Alpha Omega M.D.

“No apologies – this is from 1941”

Episode #131


page 120

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #71

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #71

…Willy and Herbert exchange sideward glances, neither having seen so much as a smudge of soot on him….

Just two adult visitors (Herbert & Willy) and their host (John) retire to Hillside Estate, just as the setting sun dips below the tree line, glowing dimly all the way.

"Wooly"

“Wooly”

Martha is faithfully waiting outside her San Luis Lake castle with Agnes at her side, along with Wooly the sheepdog who is sleeping at their feet. And though they are accustomed to the prolonged absence of the head of the house, they do not rest until he is safely home. They have anticipated guests for the night by, so they need to prepare the spare bedrooms. Ever since the unexpected loss of the irreplaceable Olla, mother and daughter take up the care for the house, no one therein is having the will to find another upstairs maid.

“We were wondering if the doctor kidnapped you, perhaps to harvest your organs,” Martha says, with a hint of sarcasm with a pinch of resentment.

“They are old, Martha dear. I help them whenever I can. Today I cleaned the front room ChimneySweepingchimney. I can feel a chill coming soon and I don’t want their house to burn down. It would be ashes in a blink of an eye.”

Willy and Herbert exchange sideward glances, neither having seen so much as a smudge of soot on him.

“Should we make you men some supper? You must be famished,” she offers dutifully.

There have been giant strides in the area of cooking, but it remains the single most missed chore of Laura Bell’s former jobs; the menu.

White_Lies  White_Lies  “As a matter of fact, Frieda made her famous wiener schnitzel and insisted we stay, right my friends?” John prompts.

“Oh my, yes, a true European delicacy it was,” agrees and adds Love. He is mildly suspicious of John’s liberty with small details.

“Let’s go inside and enjoy some Indian spiced tea. John, would you start a fire in the den… or is our chimney not fit for a autumn fire?”

“Certainly dear” he ignores the snide addendum to the request. “Say, where is James?” he wonders.

“I will give you three guesses and the first two do not count.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #71


page 65

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 198

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 198

…Wouldn’t you know, both liver & onions and  meat loaf are not a part of today’s menu…

Pabst Diner Menu-001

The would-be diners look at each other and say jointly, “We’ll have the fish fry.”

“That is locally caught perch with rye bread and a choice of coleslaw or french fries,” the waitress, a young woman with a farm girl look, recites by heart.

Guest check-001

“Can we have both,” asks Ace. “We are starved. It’s been a long drive.”

“Chicago… that will be $1 dollar extra.” She is unintentionally ambiguous.

“Is the dollar for coming from Chicago or the extra food?”

She ignores the question as stated, “We get a lot of folks from Chicago in here, but you two are way more polite than most; you don’t even sound like you’re from the north. I’m good at guessing where a folk is from.”

“Give it a shot darlin’. I’ve got an Alexander Hamilton here that says you can’t guess what states we are from.”

She looks around, after seeing there are no other customers, then offers, “The lady looks like a true Southern Belle, maybe Georgia or the Panhandle.” She looks at Ace from his head and stopping at his feet, “You sir are from Texas.”

“Tallahassee, Florida,” CC raises her hand, while Ace adds, “Austin, Texas and I bet my rattlesnake boots gave me away.”

She grabs the $10 Silver Certificate and stuffs it into her apron, “Do you want tartar sauce?”

“I like you, you, you are ____,” prompts Ace?

“Polly, Polly Pabst.”

“I like you Polly Pabst, but I wouldn’t play poker against you; you’re cold.”

“I have a mortgage to pay.”

“We are headed to Oconomowoc; do you have a name of a good place to stay for a couple days?” Constance is planning ahead.

“Cooney is only 20 miles away…we have a cute motel on the north side of Eagle, you can’t miss it. Are you two married?”

The would-be overnighters look at each other and say jointly, “Yes-no, no-yes.”

“I ain’t being nosey, just that the older gentleman running the place used to be the preacher over at the Lutheran church and his wife is a bit of a prude.”

“We thank you for the head’s up,” Constance locks arms with Ace as they head out. “What is the Saturday Special?”

“Hasenpfeffer stew.”

“What kind of stew is that?”

“German for good, let’s go dear.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 166

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 197

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 197

…they traverse the un-glaciated sliver of land named the Kettle Moraine State Park; bluffs, hogbacks, escarpments and kettles…

ROAD TRIP-001Thanks to a State Farm Travel Atlas and Ace’s keen sense of direction, they do not get lost on the twisting 130 mile trail through the Dairy State. Once they pick up Highway 67 outside of Lake Geneva, all signs count down the mileage remaining until you reach the city with the 5 letter Oconomowoc-001‘O’s in it. The road sign reads:

There are only 3 towns of note on this two-lane highway, an indication that there isn’t much else along the way. “You don’t go to Yellowstone Park to see skyscrapers,” the driver makes an analogy.

But not before they traverse the un-glaciated sliver of land named the Kettle Moraine State Park; bluffs, hogbacks, escarpments and kettles give it an out-of-place feel. “Are we still in the U.S.?” asks the passenger, even though she is the wiser.

Pabst Diner-001“Can we stop for a cup of coffee?” At 108 miles out of they have reached the inconspicuous berg named Eagle, 500 some odd folks who thrive on people traveling by automobile, hence the two filling stations, a general store and the Blue Ribbon Diner.

“I bet you that restaurant has coffee and a good home Pabst Diner Menu-001cooked meal,” Ace guesses. “Liver and onions, that’s what I’m hoping is on the menu.”

“Eeeuuwww!” Connie holds her nose. “I’ll settle for meatloaf and mashed potatoes.”

They stroll through the wooden screen door and discover a place frozen in time, like it hadn’t changed, even the stools at the lunch counter, since the 1920’s.

Wouldn’t you know, both of their menu wishes are not a part of the handwritten chalkboard list that includes homemade: chicken soup, pot roast, clam chowder and today’s special, the Friday Fish Fry.

“Liver and onion Special is on Sunday,” the cook (with long ears) reports from the back.

The would-be diners look at each other and say jointly, “We’ll have the fish fry.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Kettle_Moraine

Forever Mastadon


page 166

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 113

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 113

…That’s what Ace ‘deserves’ for ‘borrowing’ an Army airplane and ‘ditching’ the General’s daughter before the New Year’s kiss…

… For now, it’s on to smaller and Alabama things…

shrimp“Well Mr. Nobody, how about I treat you to a dinner that will knock it out of the park,” CC tops off the baseball comedy-act wordplay, in favor of a night on the town at her favorite seafood restaurant on Mobile Bay, where you’ll never walk away hungry and shrimp is king. She can’t help but comment on the other contrast between North & South not related to crustaceans, “It is so nice to wear normal clothes for a change.”

“When I first saw you at Meigs, I thought you were an Eskimo.” Ace Bannion jokes.

“I had to buy every stitch of winter clothes after we got to Chicago; nobody told me how cold it gets there… oh make a right turn at Texas Street, then a left on Old Water Street.”

“You must be talking about The Original Oyster House on the Boardwalk; they have a surf ‘n turf that I would trade my pilots’ license for.”

“If you’re flyin’, I’m buyin’!”

Meanwhile… At Brookley AFB, 0600 departure time…

“Civilians are required to wear life jackets Miss Caraway,” the copilot of the military transport orders.

“This is an airplane, not a boat, how about a parachute.” Logic doesn’t always apply to the armed services.

“If we have to ditch over the ocean, this baby turns into a boat.”

“How comforting… why doesn’t he get one?” she points across the wide fuselage at Ace.

“The General says that your pal Bannion needs be a good swimmer.” That’s what he ‘deserves’ for ‘borrowing’ an Army airplane and ‘ditching’ the General’s daughter before the New Year’s kiss.

“I am.” He is.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 99

A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 2

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A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 2

…They gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing…

Strictly coincidental {we think}and a day off in the Stardate of 2052.91, the Space Family contingent out on Eridanus in the Epsilon Eridani star system {as seen from their home planet in the constellation Orion’s Belt}, they too have fashioned a Thanksgiving feast – as near as possible that is.

Like many of the holidays those wacky Earthlings celebrate, it is mostly lost on the Eridanians. But doesn’t stop Sammy Mac from including his in-laws, Ekcello & Fortan {if she were not in a state of suspended animation}, in the festivities.

Much has happened in the last Earth year {yet to be reconnoitered with an Eridanian Cycle}. Though separated by 10 light years, the McKinneys have had contact with Crip and Gus, somewhere around “home” and that is ample reason to be thankful.

Ekcello should be thankful for having snapped out of his temporary funk, even though the rest of conscious Eridanus is dominated by the Null.

Skaldic the Null is invited as well & appreciates much. “Skaldy” as Sampson refers to him, has embraced each & every solitary slice of life ever since his rise to Eridanus prominence. His contribution to this day is one of the few wild animals on the planet {far Null side}, a nasty predator that when properly prepared tastes like chicken {what?}

Deimostra has thoroughly researched the Thanksgiving holiday and has made the proper connection between man-alien and the God of the Great Expanse.

“I am thankful for Ekcello for making us feel at home – to Skaldic for providing the protein for our meal…”

“Real meat!” her father interjects.

“… and for the hope of perhaps seeing Earth for the first time in person and meeting my brother Gus.”

Celeste McKinney has had firsthand experience with seeing Earthly-loved-ones by way of hyperphysical transmigration and hugs the 1st child of space for all she’s worth.

As a group, the Space Family McKinney has a laundry list of gratitude:

Deke McKinney gives the blessing, “Thank you Dear Lord for my wonderful family, our hosts here on Eridanus… and is that you inside   ⃝      ?

On a planet where music is king, they sing:


A Space Family Thanksgiving =

Earth/Eridanus Part 2


A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 1

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A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 1

…They gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing…

To say that the Space Family McKinney is spread out as far as the eye can see is a monumental understatement. King Ranch is Texas big, but even there, you cannot see from one end to another… as compared to wherever in God’s Universe the other Mckinneys are.

Braden King, the Crippens: Roy & Francine and of course the McKinneys: Gus & Mindy are all together, which is rare considering their considerable reach among the planets of the Terran System.

The reason: the commitment to preserve one of the most overlooked holidays that ever was… having been trampled by a herd of goblins & ghouls and that jolly red man in the red & white suit… Thanksgiving.Related image

That very day, a fresh tom turkey had been secured by one Gus M., not with a laser rifle, but an old fashioned double barrel 12 gauge shotgun. The East woodlot is teaming with the large wild birds, though getting close enough to actually bag one is not an easy feat.

“There is nothing like a fresh turkey, Gussy! Thank you for taking time out from shooting disruptor beams at aliens ships to provide us with this wonderful treat.” Francine Bouchette-Crippen has commandeered the kitchen from the ranch chef for the day, who gets to cross the border to celebrate a Mexican version of Thanksgiving, likely involving a pig w/an apple stuffed in its mouth.

“He still smells like gunpowder Francine. He refuses to take a shower because he might miss the kickoff of the Houston Texan’s game!” Mindy McDonald-McKinney bemoans the New World Football League, though she secretly roots for the London Royals because she thinks Prince Harry’s oldest son is cute.

Prez Roy bemoans something entirely unrelated to the holiday, “Harper Lea Bassett has taken down the NASA exhibit in the West Wing. What will that **%@!g woman do next, convert the Oval Office into a hair salon?”

“Roy Crippen! You forgot to re-calibrated the convection oven! It’s still 25 degrees shy of reality, so it looks like we’ll be eating at 5:00 instead of 3:00.”

That was intentional on purpose. The football game would not be over at 3 o’clock.

He and Braden King do a fist bump.

Gus McKinney just sits back and laughs. He gets a kick from the “old” guys.

The fact of the matter is that the Earth will keep on spinning regardless of the exact time of their dinner. Another fact is that they are truly missing a huge chunk of the family in the persons of Sampson, Celeste and Deke {they have yet to meet Deimostra}.

Some facts must be kept in perspective, like the annual celebratory dinner aptly named Thanksgiving. They have each other and a God who deserves the recognition.

The Texans lose in overtime.

Gus McKinney gives the blessing, “Dear Lord, thank you for this wonderful meal, my loving family… and is Lorgan really YOU in disguise?”

Together they sing:


A Space Family Thanksgiving =

Earth/Eridanus Part 1


Beer Garden Heaven USA – WIF Travel

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THE  BEST

BEER GARDENS

IN AMERICA

Radegast
RADEGAST | COLE SALADINO/THRILLIST
barleygarden
BRILLIANCE PHOTOGRAPHY

BARLEYGARDEN

ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA

A fairly recent addition to the ranks of America’s finest beer gardens, having just opened in April 2017, Barleygarden’s made what could have been a fairly stale suburban outdoor shopping plaza/ mixed use development… legitimately cool? Part of that legitimacy comes from owner Kraig Torres, whose Hop City has been making Atlanta beer drinking craftier for years now, and having big-time local chef/butcher Kevin Ouzts in the kitchen turning out charcuterie-centric grilled cheeses doesn’t hurt, either. Throw in a two-tiered open-air patio and the fact that you can take to-go drinks throughout the development and… maybe the suburbs aren’t so bad?

 

bangers austin
BANGERS

BANGER’S

AUSTIN, TEXAS

With over 100 beers on tap and 30+ house-made sausages, the sprawling, perpetually thronged Banger’s isn’t just one of Austin’s best beer gardens. It’s also one of its best beer bars. And one of its best booze-soaking sausage parties. And its best dog-friendly drinkery. And a great brunch spot. And… look, this is is a must-visit spot no matter how you slice it. But you should be slicing it with a couple hundred other thirsty revelers on a patio lit by hanging lights on a cool Austin night. Oh, it’s also one of the best places to hang out on a cool Austin night. Did we mention that this place rules? Or that they have a fantastic brunch. Or firkin tappings? Or…

Radegast
COLE SALADINO/THRILLIST

RADEGAST

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

Now pushing a decade of ably providing Williamsburg residents (and guests) with all the liters of beer, beer-absorbing brats, similarly functioning pretzels and time-passing card games they can possibly handle, Radegast remains a favorite of the neighborhood and, more (or less?) importantly,Thrillist editors. There’s live music daily (which may or may not include an accordion player jovially foot-tapping on your table). There’s a retractable roof ensuring that your biergartening plans remain steadfastly weather-proof. There’s a good time to be had, every time.

VBGB Beer Garden
VBGB BEER HALL & GARDEN

VBGB BEER HALL & GARDEN

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

Being located adjacent to the NC Music Factory makes VBGB an essential Charlotte stop if you’re headed to a concert. But even if it was located next to a ferret-breeding center (good lord, no!), this sprawling beer garden would be a must-visit. Beers flow from 30+ local-centric taps into 12-, 18-, and 34-ounce glasses, the latter of which could seriously hinder or help your abilities to play giant Jenga, Connect Four, and chess. But if you really want to channel your inner Maverick, there’s also a five-court volleyball sandbox where you’ll be too busy executing wayward spikes to lament the fact that there’s no Goose (Island) around to help you out.

 

sheffields beer garden
WILL BYINGTON PHOTOGRAPHY

SHEFFIELD’S

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Sheffield’s has evolved as an establishment over the years, evolving from a craft-centric dive to… a craft-centric dive with a BBQ-based menu and a bar-within-the-bar dubbed “Beer School” that has its own tap list. But changes aside, the welcoming beer garden has remained its constant spiritual center (yes, even in the punishing winter). The shade-giving cottonwood trees and vine-covered walls make it feel like you’re enjoying a beer in a friend’s backyard… if your friend happened to have the space to stock some 200 varieties of beer, including 40 on tap. No one has friends like that, which is why Chicago has Sheffield’s.

Park & Field
PARK & FIELD

PARK & FIELD

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

When Park & Field in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in winter 2016, it was abundantly clear that the colder months would just be a prelude to the real debut for the vintage-channeling sports bar, thanks to a simultaneously sprawling and cozy 6,000 square foot patio. OK fine, they didn’t necessarily wait entirely to use that outdoor space, thanks to some fire pits and Adirondack chairs, but beer-garden life is inarguably better when the sun is shining and you’re clutching a cold Half Acre and maybe some s’mores (yes, they still use those fire pits in the summer).

MECKLENBURG GARDENS

CINCINNATI, OHIO

Even tougher than Angela Merkel’s shoulder pads, this historic spot has survived for nearly 150 years — and not without a fight. When Prohibition came a-knockin’, Mecklenburg employed the services of a bootlegging boat to keep its customers hydrated. When it entered a ’60s slump, the management turned the place around into a Mobil (now Forbes) four-star restaurant and got the building on the National Register of Historic Places. And when debt closed its doors in 1982, it patiently waited for the current managers to come along and restore the place to its Bavarian glory. A story like that deserves a liter of Spaten. Lucky you, they’re happy to accommodate.

Truck Yard
TRUCK YARD DALLAS

THE TRUCK YARD

DALLAS, TEXAS

The grand beer garden tradition gets a healthy dose of ‘Murican influences at this 15,000 square foot space, styled with the finest trailer-park decor touches like crappy lawn chairs, spare tires, and scrap metal art. Even better? Food trucks slinging tacos and pizza are parked there every day, so you can go ahead and have another Shiner. Or another Community Mosaic IPA. Or another frozen trash can punch — beer gardens don’t have to be ALL about beer, you guys.

BAVARIAN INN

FRANKENMUTH, MICHIGAN

Frankenmuth is one of those weird wormholes of a town where most of the city is emulating a place halfway around the globe. But holy shit do they do it right. This is, in fact, a place sandwiched between Lakes Huron and Michigan where the men don lederhosen and the women squeeze into dirndls while carrying enough liters of beer to make a CrossFit enthusiast buckle at the knees… and that’s before they bring out an all-you-can-eat fried-chicken spread. Excessive? You betcha. But when you’re sitting on the humid patio of the massive property’s Schnitzelbank Bier Garten among hundreds of contented people with bellies full of beer and over-salted chicken, nothing else really matters… especially when the live polka band makes the rounds like a lederhosen-clad mariachi band.

The Rathskeller
THE RATHSKELLER

THE RATHSKELLER

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

“Rathskeller” translates to “basement beer hall,” but you’ll just have to overlook that as you resist the taxidermied charm of the moose heads lining the interior walls. The real attraction here’s the outdoor area, loaded with picnic tables and featuring a band shell for live music and plenty of thirsty Hoosiers. The beers are large, the people drinking them are friendly, and heat lamps stand guard to ensure the drinking continues deep into the night, even when the weather’s not ideal… weather seldom keeps a Midwesterner from a beer.

 

beer park vegas
ANTHONY MAIR

BEER PARK

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

You had to figure beer gardens would manifest themselves a bit differently in Vegas. Case in point: This Bud-sponsored, second-story oasis in Vegas. Because it has 100 beers available, including two dozen taps. But you should get bottles, since the tables have built-in ice troughs to keep them cold. The grounds are outfitted with turf. The open-air bar is surrounded by flat-screens. And there’s pool, cornhole, and giant Jenga. It’s like a high-tech biergarten theme park, and it’s incredible.

 

Estabrook Beer Garden
ESTABROOK BEER GARDEN

ESTABROOK BEER GARDEN

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

If you want to visit a quite literal beer garden, we direct you to Estabrook, a spot located in Estabrook Park along the Milwaukee River that’s so legit, it’s out of the public transit’s reach. (The official site recommends arriving by “foot, bicycle, automobile, kayak, or canoe.”) Estabrook prides itself on being a truly public beer garden, so patrons are encouraged to bring their own picnics or even steins. And if you’re not into providing your own food supply, complete the full-on Wisconsin picture and hit up the Friday fish fry.

 

the pharmacy nashville
MIMOSA ARTS

THE PHARMACY BURGER PARLOR & BEER GARDEN

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

Slinging some of Nashville’s best burgers along with a murderers’ row of some of the finest German and Belgian beers available in Nashville, the Pharmacy would be a great bar even before you stumble onto the beer garden. This is a place that takes the “garden” part of that word mighty seriously, with tons of crowded tables shaded by overhanging trees and rows and rows of greenery. And at night, the place takes on an almost ethereal glow under the hanging lights. It’s kind of likeThe Secret Garden, though considering it’s always crowded, we’re guessing that the secret got blown long ago.

 

Bayou Beer Garden
BAYOU BEER GARDEN

BAYOU BEER GARDEN

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Surrounded with palm trees and rocking multiple flat-screens, the sprawling Bayou Beer Garden is like a glorious melding of beachside bar, sports-centric drive-in theater, and raucous New Orleans beer bar all rolled into one. The place rocks 180 global beers to choose from — including 24 rotating taps — that you can pair with everything from amped-up crab-cake bites to Disco Fries loaded with roast beef debris. And if for some reason you wandered into a beer garden with somebody who hates beer, the nearly identical adjoining Bayou Wine Garden helps you split the difference.

 

Prost!
PROST!

PROST!

PORTLAND, OREGON

Portland’s blessed with tons of great beer served at picnic tables. But Prost! has long been the king of local biergartens. It’s not just the fact that the dog-friendly outdoor deck is equipped with its own bar that serves up a wide array of German beers in its proper glassware, though that’s a huge plus. It’s also situated next to a food cart cluster where you’re welcome to go grab a sushi burrito or vegan BBQ if the excellent schnitzel from Prost! doesn’t do the trick. The joint — located on the wildly popular Mississippi drag of Portland hipness — also hosts a glorious Oktoberfest party, and the owners recently bought the entire property and the adjoining cart pod. If you don’t live in Portland, that just sounds like good business. In a neighborhood where beloved businesses are razed daily to make room for condos, it means that the carts — and the biergarten — represent a longtime anchor in a neighborhood whose identity changes with more regularity than this institution’s taps.

 

bohemian beer hall
FLICKR/WALLY GOBETZ

BOHEMIAN HALL & BEER GARDEN

QUEENS, NEW YORK

Established in 1910, this Astoria institution has seen more beer-soaked nights than 35 frat houses combined. The place is owned and managed by a Czech and Slovak community group, and those influences are apparent in dishes like the fried muenster and drafts like Staropramen. Oh, and in the absolutely massive beer garden — the Czechs and Slovaks like beer, in case you haven’t heard.

BIERGARTEN

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

After six years in business, Biergarten has established itself as a big dog in a city that isn’t exactly hurting for great spots to drink beer outside. The extremely limited beer selection (don’t fix what ain’t broken) leans Bavarian, and comes by the liter or half liter. Food’s less traditional, with brats and currywurst holding court next to burgers and pretzel dumplings. And everything here is served up on a massive patio with a lone centerpiece tree holding court over everything from Friday movie nights to raucous happy-hour drinking.

 

Lowry Beer Garden
LOWRY BEER GARDEN

LOWRY BEER GARDEN

DENVER, COLORADO

Sure, this beer garden is situated on the grounds of a former Air Force Base, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get sweeping views of an old B-52 bomber (courtesy of the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum next door) from any of the 225 seats outside. Colorado cools off when the sun goes down, but two outdoor fire pits, 16 taps of Colorado’s finest suds – Avery, Odell, and Left Hand among them — and a panoply of “creatively topped” brats and burgers — like the B-52 Bomber with double bacon, mushrooms, onions, and blue cheese — will keep you plenty warm if the beer doesn’t during one of the venue’s many outdoor concerts on a cool summer night.

rhein haus
COURTESY OF RHEIN HAUS

RHEIN HAUS

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Now that lawn darts have been outlawed, bocce ball has become the de facto sport for launching potentially injurious projectiles toward competitors, and it’s the game of choice at this Seattle institution. That mostly goes down at the courts inside this 420-seat beer hall, while the massive outdoor biergarten lets you cool off/calm your pulse after almost being beaned by a wayward ball over German-centric pints in the packed, sunny (well, it’s Seattle, so that’s relative) biergarten. Indoor or out, it’s the perfect collision between German food/drink and Italian sports that you never knew you needed.

 

american fresh beer garden
COURTESY OF AMERICAN FRESH BEER GARDEN

AMERICAN FRESH

SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS

You don’t necessarily expect to pair a trip to a top-flight beer garden with a trip to Legoland and maybe some sensibly priced khakis from J. Crew, but such is the existence of American Fresh, the cool kid in Somerville’s otherwise somewhat corporate-feeling Assembly Row development. Run by Somerville Brewing Company, it augments plentiful craft drafts with a funky, colorful space flanked by shipping containers supplying merch and sustenance (don’t miss the pretzel). Also, this beer garden’s equipped with a heated tent, and thus impervious to Nor’easters.

 

Dacha
DACHA

DACHA

WASHINGTON, DC

Opened back in 2013 by a couple of Russians with an affinity for German beer (you know, before “Russian” appeared in every fifth news headline), Dacha has become a DC day-drinking must thanks to an airy mural-backed beer garden where you can rest easy knowing you’re in equally good hands if you’re feeling like downing a crisp lager from das boot or helping yourself to something hop heavy. In a similar vein, the menu blends beer garden musts like pretzels that are equal parts large, soft, and delicious with less expected fair like rabbit croquettes and beer-braised goat poutine.


Beer Garden

Heaven USA

– WIF Travel