Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe is located in downtown Sanford. They have more than 50 different German beers and wines, along with great food and memorable desserts. One can expect to have a good time at this small downtown venue but go there early or expect a long wait time for a table.
Chef-owner Theo Hollerbach approaches us with great warmth, big smile and holds tall-filled boot. With his arms opened wide, Chef Hollerbach welcomes our group with a 2 liter boot filled with ice cold beer.
“Stand up! Stand up!” he exclaims, “You all have to finish this boot. You cannot sit down until it is all gone!”
He draws in the crowd with his presence and involves the neighboring guests for the beer battle-cry of… “Zicke zacke zicke zacke hoi hoi hoi! Zicke zacke zicke zacke hoi hoi hoi!”
All eyes on us, as in me, Al, and Ricky (Yes, Ricky of Tastychomps.com), and now we are pressured to take down the boot. I do not drink beer so this was a real challenge for me. Many of you, who know me, are mostly likely SHOCKED by the fact that I would be chugging away at this boot, however, you would not be surprised to find that I gave up pretty early.
Dissatisfied by our performance, Chef Hollerbach takes possession of our boot and shows us the ropes. There seems to be a technique of drinking a boot where it calls for good posture, a nice grip and slow twist of the wrist to avoid, what he calls, an unannounced wet t-shirt contest.
You might think this place sounds like a crazy bar in Sanford but it is actually a really fun place to take your friends and family. They welcome all ages to join them on their weekend festivities with loud accordion music and the occasional yodeling. Chef Hollerbach claims the music gets better as the night progresses and after gulping down a good amount of beer from the glass boot, the music actually does sound better.
The menu is overwhelming which makes it hard to decide on what to get; although with food come flying out of the kitchen, it makes it pretty easy to pin point to my server, “Put me down for that!”
Their pretzel comes fresh with a crisp crust, warm center and a heaping mountain of seasoned butter, which we found out the hard way. (We thought it was cheese at first). We split this pretzel up between the four of us and after having one bite, I was fighting the urge to consume the entire pretzel myself. Trust me, it is worth it.
To be continued….
Most of these pictures were taken by Ricky Ly but his fiance’ did the rest. ;o)