Best Of 2020

Best Double Dose of Meat and Oats: Glier’s Goettafest

When Glier’s Goettafest took to the Newport riverfront last summer, it did a full Coachella (minus the ultra-expensive musical lineup and plus lots more goetta), and encompassed two weekends and eight days, running July 25 to 28 and Aug. 1 to 4 at Festival Park on the Levee. That was the first time the annual celebration has expanded in its 18-year run. Goetta — a log of pork and beef, whole-grain oats, onion and spices — is our city’s most popular regional dish after Cincinnati-style chili. And chances are high that you’ve been ordering Glier’s brand goetta from local restaurants; the Covington-based company claims to sell the most goetta in the world and has played a large role in maintaining goetta’s popularity since the sausage kitchen and smokehouse opened more than 70 years ago. Not unlike scrapple, livermush or haggis, the meat was made to stretch and is generally considered a breakfast dish. But Goettafest makes its vendors think outside the omelet by requiring each of them to have an entirely unique menu. That means the food variety at the festival is incredibly diverse. You’ll find goetta fudge, goetta pizza, goetta Rangoon, ice cream topped with crumbled goetta, goetta on a sick, deep-fried goetta balls and the ever-popular grilled goetta donut sandwich. In addition to eats, there are carnival games, live music and even a refrigerated goetta vending machine on-site in case you want to take goetta home. So why the double dates? The only complaints Glier’s says it ever received about Goettafest are that it is always too busy and people with strollers or wheelchairs can’t easily navigate the crowd, so the solution was to stretch the party out longer with the hope that attendance wouldn’t be so heavily concentrated. It must have worked because they’re doing it again this year: July 30 to Aug. 2 and Aug. 6 to 9. Glier’s Goettafest, Festival Park on the Levee, Newport on the Levee, Newport, goettafest.com.