AUTHOR: linda TITLE: A Study of Oktoberfest: Part 1 of 3 DATE: 3:39:00 PM ----- BODY:

October is one of my favorite times of year, when the weather grows colder (or, just as cold but sunnier than a San Francisco summer), and city dwellers seek the comfort of beer and bar, meat and potatoes, and OKTOBERFEST, that warm, uber-euro holiday for everybody, like St. Paddys and Cinco de Drinko. A little more reason than usual to populate your favorite watering hole.

Oktoberfest is the reasons I found myself out last night (and a weeknight at that) at Toronado Pub's Oktoberfest kick-off, celebrating with Spaten Oktoberfest beer on tap, live performances by The Internationals, and catering by Rosamunde Sausage shop.

Because I happen to be a proud German, and in the spirit of curiosity and social experiment, this will be the first of three installments of a study of Oktoberfest.

The best thing about Oktoberfest is that warm and fuzzy friendliness that comes with the gathering of random stein-wielding revelers, who dabble with a little German garb, drink a little more than usual, come up with each necessary move of the revoltingly-silly 'chicken dance,' and find themselves sharing stories with strangers about a shared favorite subject: BEER.

My first time at Toronado was just as great as I'd heard; cozy, plenty of table seating, vintage wall hangings... just enough to hold interest till the booze kicks in. My table neighbor told me all about GOOD magazine, I met a Rick who didn't realize he was wearing a cap emblazoned with an "R" (for Rutgers), and after a few bottomless pints of Spaten, it was time to push off.
Overall: excellent atmosphere, despite a little rough around the edges.

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