In Las Vegas you can see the world in the blink of an eye. An escape to Paris, New York, Egypt, or Italy are all within blocks of each other. All you have to do is cash out, walk to another casino, and you could be on an entirely different continent—well, at least that’s what casino owners would want you to believe.
On a recent trip to Vegas, I decided to take up some sightseeing. I’m not much of sightseer, or even tourist for that matter, but I know for most people, Vegas is all about a means to escape; an escape from their everyday life or job, or maybe even a spouse. On this trip, it seemed to me like it was a means for more cash to escape my wallet than I had planned.
One of the best escapes I found was an escape from Vegas itself: the Hofbräuhaus. A traditional German biergarten, built as a faithful reproduction of the original
Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Stepping through the doors of this beer hall will transport you halfway around the world, leaving the rest of Las Vegas behind. There are no flashing lights, bells, or decks of cards, and unlike everywhere else in Vegas, not a slot machine in sight. The traditional beer hall is solely intended for one of my favorite things: drinking beer, and that’s exactly what I did.
Although it was late in the afternoon on a weekday, there weren’t as many patrons as I would have expected, but those who were there surely appeared to be enjoying themselves as large glass steins of foamy brew were in abundance on the table in front of them.
The hall seemed truly authentic; the vaulted arches in the ceiling were adorned with traditional painted decoration while simple tables and benches mimicked the tradition of the original Munich beer hall. For evening entertainment an authentic German band is set to play on a small stage to one side of the restaurant. In true Munich tradition, there is a dedicated beer garden area, although there were a few liberties taken in its recreation. Extended past the beer hall is an indoor version of a beer garden complete with foliage and a fountain to recreate the outdoor feel.
To add along to the beer hall’s authenticity, the staff was extremely enjoyable and eager to please. Our waitress wore a traditional dirndl, cleavage and all, and even spoke to her fellow coworkers in fluent German. In fact, from what I gathered, any staff conversations were all in German.
During my visit there were three choices on tap: the traditional Dunkel, a smooth, dark Bavarian lager; the Hofbräu Original, a full-bodied golden brew; and a citrusy Hefe-Weizen. Both the original and Dunkel were served in the signature heavy signature Hofbräu glass steins, while the Hefe-Weizen was served in a traditional weizen glass, similar to a pilsner.
To accompany their brews, the restaurant has a full menu filled with traditional German fare including various wurst plates, a Jägerschnitzel complete with spätzel, and a slew of meats, cheeses and jumbo pretzels.
I will offer anyone who intends to visit one caveat, a jumbo pretzel, while delicious, will lead to rapid consumption of any one of the beers on tap. This may mimic the repetitious buy-in process at any one of Las Vegas’s gaming tables, but rest assured, this easily much more enjoyable.