Bridgeport is now home to Harlan Haus, a German-inspired beer hall serving brews, brats, wursts, pretzels and more – it's Oktoberfest, year-round!
Harlan Haus opened in mid-January in the Park City's historic People's Bank Building. The location is great. It's a block from the train station, there's pretty ample street parking, and it's open late, making Harlan Haus a perfect place to meet up after a concert or game at Webster Bank Arena (and eventually the Harbor Yard amphitheater).
Service was slow the night I visited, but it was within the first few weeks of opening, so we'll cut Harlan Haus some slack. The beer, food and atmosphere more than made up for that drawback.
I had the Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen to start. It was sweet and easy drinking. Our group split the Bavarian pretzel and the fried pickles, which were both heavenly, buttery and paired well with the crisp beer.
Harlan Haus is not just a beer hall, it's a foodie emporium. Snacks like the pretzel and pickles came with gourmet dipping sauces, like the addicting gruyere fondue (pretzel) and spicy bacon mayo (pickles). The menu is quite varied – next time I'm getting the mushroom and goat cheese toast!
(Excuse the photo quality – the lighting wasn't conducive to taking great pictures).
It took a while for the next round of food to come, so in the meantime, I tried the Radeberger pilsner. The clean and herbal beer complemented the heavy, savory food.
Next up was the main course. I ordered the cheddar brat with a pretzel roll (best extra $1.50 I've ever spent). Brat, wurst and sausage orders come with two toppings – I opted for cheddar ale sauce and caramelized onions, plus a side of Belgian-cut fries.
I have been to several Oktoberfest celebrations and German beer halls over the course of my life, and this was the best brat I've ever had. So simple, yet all the flavors – the cheddar sauce, the salty brat, the sharp cut of the onion – combined for a delicious dinner.
Harlan Haus's own Honey Kölsch, which is brewed for the beer hall by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, rounded out the meal. They also serve a Hofbräu Dunkel.
The smooth Kölsch had a sweet honey finish, so there was no need for dessert (though the dipped ice cream sandwiches sounds delightful).
Until next time, Harlan Haus – Prost!