Oh yeah, we’ve all heard it a million times. We’ll just be sitting there with the goofiest grins on our faces as we talk about it; so naive to the fact that most people have no clue what goetta is. As soon as we finish our pride-filled speeches, we look over to our friends/relatives/complete strangers that we want to brag to about that wonderful, delicious substance; only to be met by the dumbfounded looks upon their faces. Then it hits us… do we even know what the #$!* goetta is?!
Of course it has to be a meat… right? It certainly smells like meat when you cook it… but why are there what appear to be oats in the meat? It’s like someone woke up one day and said: “You know what? I’m going to drop some oats and spices into this sausage and it’s going to be great!” Or, maybe it was just another one of those wonderful accidents? Whatever it was, we wanted to find out what this “goetta” was comprised of. Here are some quick facts we picked up as we went along:
1. No Sausage, No Problem
As was with many great foods we enjoy, Goetta was, at one time, a food that was only consumed by the poorest of German immigrants, who were trying to ration out their meats. What started as a food for the impoverished quickly rose to fame as many started selling goetta in their restaurants for breakfast and lunch. The rest is history.
2. Where The Hell Did This Stuff Come From?
While Glier’s claims to have been the developer of this interesting creation, some still say that goetta dates all the way back to the earliest part of the 20th century. We’ll always stick to the idea that it’s a Cincinnati original, because there’s no doubt about the fact that we love it best.
3. Goetta Burgers Exist!?
Just when you thought goetta couldn’t get any better, there’s now an option to buy pattied-out versions of our favorite breakfast food. They even add in more unique spices into their burger formula to make it have a taste that will go well with all of the burger toppings we’re used to. Our personal favorite to enjoy a Goetta Burger? Definitely with BBQ and bacon.
4. Only in Cincinnati…
Add it to a list with our chili as one of Cincinnati’s unique foods. You won’t find anything with the name “goetta” throughout the rest of the country. You definitely won’t find it being made anywhere else in the world. Just a heads up: people will look at you like you’re insane if you go anywhere else and ask for it. If you’re addicted to goetta, you should probably stay in Cincinnati…
5. Even Germans Don’t Know…
Don’t call it a “German Breakfast Food,” because most people in Germany don’t even have a clue about it. The German-American immigrants around here were the only ones to ever experiment with sausage in this kind of way. “Cincinnati’s Breakfast Food” has a better ring to itA�anyway.
As it turns out, goetta is a lot simpler than what some people think. It’s composed of pork, beef, pinhead oats, and spices. That’s it! It’s essentially just a sausage that hasn’t been patted into a patty nor rolled into a casing, and is, instead, blended in with oats and secret spices. Don’t kid yourself, though. We all know that every restaurant and company has its own way of preparing and enhancing what seems to be simple. So, where does one go about eating the best goetta in the city?
Find out on the next page…
1. Glier’s Goetta Festival
Often credited with the creation of goetta, Glier’s has been working its magic for almost seventy years. They now features everything from “hot” to “turkey” styles of goetta. This staple of Cincinnati has grown so much that there are now semi-annual goetta festivals held in the honor of its work. Yes, people pack the riverfront every year just for a chance to enjoy some of the most interesting ways that goetta is prepared. This is a goetta-lover’s dream. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried some Goetta Mac & Cheese.
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2. The Echo
What a massive lump of goetta… If you’re looking for more than just a sample size, then you have to order the German Great Breakfast from this little diner over on the West side. It may look like too much goetta to begin with, but you’ll find that you can never have quite enough.
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3. The Anchor
Let us give you a little lesson in Drunk Food 101: The Goetta & Cheese Omelet is the best drunk food you’ll ever find, and the Anchor Grill is going to give you the best to ever exist. Sure, you may have to bring cash because they don’t take cards, but they never close and have a loyal following. It probably has something to do with that omelet…
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4. Nectar Restaurant
You want some classier goetta, you say? Well, you’re in luck. Nectar has a Goetta Bahn Mi that will fill your needs for something fancy. Combined with salami, vegetables, and aioli; this is perfect for anyone with a refined palate. It may not be enjoyed in the most classic of ways, but it’s still amazing.
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The Goetta Grilled Cheese here was so exciting that we had to go home and get a change of pants. Grilled cheese is already good enough on its own, but throw goetta on there, and you’ve achieved heaven on Earth.
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So, as you can see, there are plenty of places to get some goetta that are probably right next door. Taking the time to grab a fresh plate, or just making it yourself, is one of the best ways to get in the true spirit of celebrating Cincinnati’s rich heritage. We have plenty of unique qualities in Cincinnati, but few are comparable to goetta. We could spread it all over the country, but then we wouldn’t be able to claim it as our own. Goetta, we love you.