Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hallo Döner Fans! It's nice to meet you...

Nice to meet you Döner fans!

Hi everyone!  It’s nice to ‘meat’ you  today !  My name is Jessica and I am a new fan/friend/family member of the Döner Bistro in DC!  I am a woman of many identities, Californian, lifetime student, world traveler, consumer of all things culture, and, most relevantly – a diehard Döner aficionado.
Frau Merkel slices up one of Germany's favorite foods (Today's Zaman)

I was born and raised on the coast of California, the land of ever ripe avocados and burrito’s the size of small children.  My family adopted our German half into our crazy brood with the marriage of my aunt Linda to one Herr Michael Sossenheimer.  Growing up I would play German games with my cousins, eat German food with the family and laugh about the time my grandpa got drunk at a wedding and tried to pronounce “Ich Liebe Dich” in front of the German half of the family.  My first trip to Germany was when I was 14, on a ‘camping’ tour from Frankfurt to Switzerland.  

It was a few years later however when I had my first sweet bits of Döner in between hiking in Schwarzwald, my fist discotheque, spaghetti-eis and total culture shock.  After a day strolling the streets of Stuttgart my German sister Verena took me to a Döner shop in an ally way.  Although not 100% convinced of the legality of said shop, I am never one to shrink from adventure.  One bite and I never looked back.  Succulent lamb, deep aromatic spices, cooling yogurt  and cucumber, spicy pickled vegetables…. to say the least I was hooked.
Ahh Berlin, the sweet smell of summer, bier and Döner (Jessica Bell)

Fast forward to my mid twenties (where I still reside) and you will find me in a sweaty Döner shop in Schöneberg underneath my Berlin apartment chowing down on my still favorite hand food – the juicy, complicated, epic Döner.  I find the Döner to be a beautiful representation of the European spirit of multiculturalism, a tribute to years of immigration, emigration and re-conceptualization of identity.  What are the favorite foods in Germany? Döner, kebab, curry wurst  and Bier (some things will never change).  As a student of politics, culture and identity, this intersection between traditional practices, changing demographics and newly created though processes is like the way that spiced meat, yogurt and fluffy pita go together – perfectly.
Follow me on the Döner bistro blog, facebook and twitter as I delve into the delicious realm of food, culture and newly formed identity  all wrapped up in soft buttery bread and served with and ice cold  Weihenstephan Pils while we dream of Berlin in the spring!

Prost - Jess
It's so good...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Oktoberfest 2010 - Bier-Boot-Fun, Chicken Dance and Lederhosen

Wow, time flies! Who can believe that it’s been one and a half months since our third annual Oktoberfest celebration? The one good part about the time quickly passing is it means we are just a little over 10 months away from our fourth annual installment :-)

For those of you who missed out on the fun (and missing out is putting it lightly), the ones who would not mind an aided recall, or for the ones who just want to walk down the memory lane, in the following a glimpse into the revelry that was again an Oktoberfest to remember:

What else was expected at Döner Bistro than party alarm right from the start, this time with a new band and a new tradition: Bavarian duo “Liab’ und Schneid” performed for the first time ever at the restaurant Thursday evening and rocked the Bier-Boot Party (which we consider – thanks to all participants – an institution at our annual celebration already). For those of you not familiar with it, the Bier-Boot Party involves a group of people (sometimes friends, sometimes later beloved strangers) sharing a glass boot-full of liquid goodness ;-) The goal of the game is not to be the second to last person to drink, since that means you pick up the tab for the round. Believe it or not, the ladies rocked the competition! The game was such a blast, that re-plays were on for Friday and Saturday night with knots of people around the competition table cheering on all participants!

On Friday we all celebrated the start of the weekend with an after-work party steamed up by DJ Timo playing the newest Oktoberfest hits and all time classic disco songs. It was exciting to see most party-rockers dance through the night until closing time – Thanks everyone for heating up the tent :-)

On Saturday, known to be “Family Day”, the young ones got things started by showing off not only their cute Bavarian dresses, but also their moves to the traditional music mix. And even some four-legged family members joined in on the fun…

Walter came by again this year to ring his bells twice and let everyone join in by singing the Edelweiss song. He explained the story of Oktoberfest (did you know it began as a wedding ceremony?!?!) and entertained everyone by showing off his dancing skills by spinning around with his wife – Thank you Walter! !

The Chicken Dance and YMCA played throughout the day really brought everyone to their feet! As usual, “Who the (Heck) is Alice” called for a lot of vocal cord action – a fanfare of raucously celebrated Oktoberfest magic that brought us a well-earned little noise complaint just before closing time at 12am ;-)

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but what a great end it was! Since our friends from the “Alte Kameraden” Band closed out Oktoberfest with a rousing four-hour performance.

Every last morsel of food was quickly gobbled up. As usual, our menu featured platters of weisswurst, bratwurst, schnitzel and Bavarian meatloaf with sides of potato salad and savory sauerkraut, as well as our imported pretzels and authentic potato pancakes with apple sauce (new this year). Sometimes it’s best to be last, though, as some of you got double meat portions and extra brötchen to make up for the food that had already run out...

Of course, the BEER was one of the most popular attractions! More than 1,500 liters of Hofbräuhaus Oktoberfest Bier was consumed that weekend.

That is one big old truckload full of the “liquid gold”!

…But since (we mention this for you portable restroom avoiders out there) “you do not buy beer, you rent it” our well-lit Port-a-Potties were still reportedly “the cleanest” one customer had ever seen :-)

Thanks everyone for your patience in manning the lines to open and close your tabs - especially on “crazy crowded Saturday” when most of you were standing rapped around the Mighty Midget for an hour or so due to the stampede of eager Döner-Oktoberfest-Lovers ;-) Thank you also, for supporting Teague who rocked the register by himself nearly seamless from beginning to end during most of this year’s celebration!

Well, the countdown is on!! Until then, raise your steins to good times past and good times to come!

Your fellow Döner Bistro Team

FUN FACT: Some of you think we celebrate Oktoberfest too late, as in Munich the festival is celebrated at the end of September, but this is just due to better weather conditions around that time. The original Oktoberfest celebration came to life exactly 200 years ago on the 17th of October!!! Well, aren’t we a punctual bunch of celebrators ;-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

3rd annual Oktoberfest coming up

Start to prepare yourself for what we all have been anticipating since the 19th of October 2009:

Döner Bistro's 3rd annual Oktoberfest Celebration from the 14th till the 17th of October 2010 under the big fest tent on 202 A Harrison Street. As you know, this is your favorite restaurant's biggest event of the year and we invite you, your friends and family to join in on this "Bavarian craziness" once again.

We have no doubt that this year is going to be as much as a blast as it has been previously. Again, it is going to be a celebration dominated by the colors white and blue, with Hofbraeuhaus Bier on tap and yummy Sauerkraut dominated dishes - which you know we would not serve otherwise ;-) As usual, Döner, Falafel and the rest of the bunch will get a well earned break during the Fest, but will return immediately once the "spook has past"...

In the following a few Oktoberfest Tips:

- Opening day, Thursday, is going to be an ideal day if you want to show up with a big group. Our Bier-Boot-Party starts at 4pm and ends at 9pm. Authentic background and "Schunkel" music is provided by Bavarian duo "Liab' und Schneid". So bring your office colleagues and all other people you would like to share a boot with. There is one main rule you should know about: The one person before the last one to finish the boot pays the due!

- Do not forget your dancing shoes on Friday and Saturday 'cause DJ Timo is in da tent, playing today's Oktoberfest hits. On Saturday, his mix includes more of the traditional songs. So come Friday night to shake your hips to modern German fun and funky music and get ready to "schunkel" and sing with your bench neighbors on Saturday.

- The "Alte Kameraden" band will return to us on Sunday and give you an Oktoberfest finale that will transfer you (and due to their massive performance possibly all of Leesburg) to Bavaria. Come early and hear them play from 1pm to 5pm!

- Steins and other commemorative items are available for purchase, however you are encouraged to dress Bavarian style and to bring your own Stein if you have one.

- If you have never been to one of our Oktoberfests before, click on facebook, myspace and scroll down to the Oktoberfest 2008 blog entry to take a look at pics, stories and videos to get the feel for how to behave ;-)

- Last but not least, plan ahead and carpool or get a pregnant lady, your kids or someone else you know who could be a designated driver to pick you up. There will also be taxi cabs available - Please make use of one of these possibilities and you and we as your host will have a more fun and carefree time...

Price Talk (all specials are tax included):

The event is free as usual! You start out by going inside to order and open a tab. You will receive a coaster which is your receipt for your tab. We will also give you a wristband if you are over 21. All food platters including Sauerkraut and Potato Salad with your choice of meat (Bavarian Meatloaf, Weisswurst, Bratwurst or Schnitzel) are available for $15. Beer prices are the same as last year with $10 per 1Liter Stein filling (or buy one of our Steins for $12 and get the first filling for $8) and $6 per half Liter cup. Pretzels, Potato Pancakes and Fries are available for $5

In case you favor one of our bottled beer or wine over our Festbier on tap, you can purchase it for regular price.

Well, let's leave it at that for now and if you want to know more or have questions, please sent us an email to info@doenerbistro.com. You can also stay in the loop by becoming a fan on facebook (if you are not already) and/or follow our tweets.

Ein Prosit auf die Gemuetlichkeit!

Your Döner Bistro Team

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Germany in the World Cup

World Cup fever is over, but the memories will last forever! We had quite a turn out for the games and a great time was had by all. I’ve never been a huge soccer fan myself however I could not help but get into the games when the restaurant was packed to the breaking point with face painted, Bitburger drinking fans urging the ball toward the goal with their spirited shouts.

The team USA fans had a good turnout, filling our Biergarten to the brim, but it was the Germans fans that really brought the house down watching our inside and outside TVs. Who knew so many Germany fans lived in and around little old Leesburg VA? Young and old came out to support the team, so many people that it made it quite a challenging feat to maneuver through the crowds, one that we, the staff, were more than happy to overcome. We had all hands on deck for the games and most of the time I could not understand a single word anyone was saying. It was like I was magically transported to Germany, and I did not even have to sit in the airplane seats to get there ;-)

Even people’s pets were getting into the action. I kid you not, I saw a dog with the German colors painted on his head; it was adorable. I saw all sorts of decorative accessories in the crowd, besides face painted dogs; Flags worn as skirts, leis in the German colors, an assortment of hats with soccer balls coming out of them, scarves despite the heat, medals and smiling faces.

Everyone had a great time. With every win came jubilant shouts and lots of chanting. I’m sure the entirety of Leesburg could hear the racket we were making, that is, until Germany lost. But don’t be sad soccer lovers, Germany still placed 3rd overall which is extremely respectable. You’ll get um’ next time :-)

The World Cup may be over, but summer is just beginning. The TV outside is staying put so come on by and enjoy any of our cold beers and enjoy the summer from our biergarten. We have plenty of treats to keep you cool and content this summer, so bring your friends!

Some other exciting news I’d me amiss to not mention; German Deli’s search for the best German Restaurant in America is on once more! Remember last summer how you all helped us win 4th place in the competition, well we need your help again this year to try for the number one spot. Voting is a little different this year, go to BestGermanRestaurant.com to sign up and vote for Döner Bistro. Remember, same deal as last year, if we win we’ll have a free food party for everyone! So get out there and vote Döner!

Well, that’s it for me. I am moving to England soon to pursue my Masters degree, so this is my last blog post. It has been a pleasure keeping you all informed about our events and specials. I have meet so many wonderful people this year who I am going to miss more than I can say; to say it’s been fun would be an understatement. So farewell Döner fans! Have an amazing summer and I’ll see you in a year!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Döner Bistro!

Hello everyone!

The sun is out the snow has finally melted and spring is here. It’s been months since last I wrote and so much has happened! A few weeks ago marked the second anniversary of Döner Bistro, and boy what a year it has been. I have been working here since May so I can tell you first hand that it’s been an exciting year. Here is a little recap of the year’s events!

*This year we were able to launch our new website after lots of a hard work by Timo, Nicole, Tibor and myself. If you haven’t checked it out yet go to doener-usa.com and have a look! A few fun things on the website: check out the ‘About’ tab and see a comic strip history of the restaurant illustrated by my brother James. Also, take a look at the ‘Location’ tab to see our new webcam in action.

*In October you will be sure to remember our wildly fun Oktoberfest. The rain and chill in the air brought Doener-Friends closer together and encouraged some to exercise the most creative dancemoves. Go HERE to read more about what went on. We are already planning for the next one which will be held October 14th to the 17th. Mark your calendars!

*December was full of holiday cheer, Gluehwein and Marzipan Stollen. Yum :-) Our friends Alte Kamaraden came to play a Christmas concert for the first weekend of the month to kick off the season. The second weekend was our German Christkindlmarket to go along with all the holiday festivities happening all over Leesburg. Thank you so much to everyone who came out that chilly December day and also to all our wonderful and creative vendors for making this event such a 'Christmas Wonderland'!

*Something I haven’t mentioned on this blog yet: Doener Bistro has become the first establishment in Leesburg to become a Virginia Green Certified restaurant! VA Green is a statewide program set up by the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the enviomental impacts of Virginia’s tourism Industry. Doener Bistro does everything from using biodegradable cups, straws and take out boxes to using food trays made of 100% recycled materials to make sure the restaurant has as little impact on the environment as possible. My faovorite eco-friendly aspect of Doener Bistro is the decking. The Biergarten is made of composite decking which is made to 50% out of 100% recycled materials and is made to look just like real wood. Check us out on Virginia.org HERE. We have also found another way to stay Green. With every purchase of our new water bottles ten cents goes toward saving the environment. Go to drinkgive.com to learn more.

*This year has also brought with it some new menu items. We are always trying out new German beer to keep our bottled beer selection new and interesting. Right now we have a Schlenkerla Smokebeer and a new Eggenberg Pils; come on by and give them a try! Another new addition to our drink menu is wine by the glass. We currently have a 2007 Pinot Gris, 2008 Riesling, and 2008 Tempranillo . Just in time for summer we have two new drinks, Redbull and Prosecco or a Champagne Cocktail with Lemon or Strawberry Sorbet. The strawberry cocktail is my new favorite drink; you really need to try it!

*Food wise we would like to introduce a new kind of Currywurst. Along with the cut up beef sausage you now have the option of skinless pork sausage as well as your choice of mild or hot curry powder.

This past year we have survived hot summers and more snow than an area should ever get all at once and have still managed to have a fantastic time. Thank you to all our loyal customers and regulars for making all our events so much fun. If you enjoyed yourself at any of our events this year you can pat yourself on the back: you are the ones who made this year as successful as it was! Here’s to another year of Döner eating and beer drinking and to many more to come!



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Heads up, seasonal events coming your way

Since last I wrote it’s gotten cold, much colder. But with the cold also comes the holiday season, and you know what that means. Christmas is coming and we are prepared to get you in the mood. Walk inside the restaurant and smell Glühwein, our hot, spiced red wine, which warms you from head to toe. Every time I walk in the smell reminds me of Christmas trees and cookies right out of the oven. Soon we will be expanding our menu with Marzipan Stollen, a fruitcake covered in powdered sugar, as well as split pea soup with bacon and sausage. Stollen and Glühwein together are the epitome of Christmas in Germany, so I’ve heard, so I cannot wait to try the combination for myself. As always we also have hot chocolate and tea as well as coffee; whatever you need to have a happy, cozy holiday season.

Here is our list of events coming up at Döner Bistro this December:

It’s going to be a fun month. The first weekend our good friends the Alte Kameraden (Old Comrades) band will be playing a Christmas concert. They are the same band that played for our Oktoberfest and we can’t wait to hear their version of all our favorite Christmas songs. I really love this band; they are all extremely friendly, incredibly talented and really know how to get the crowd in the Christmas spirit. Their CD will also be on sale so you can play their fine music for your own Christmas celebrations. Get a Glühwein to warm yourself up as you listen and let Alte Kameraden warm your heart.

The second weekend is going to be full of goodies town wide that would make even Ebenezer Scrooge get into the Christmas spirit. At our restaurant we will have crafts, art, kettle corn, wreaths, jewelry, Christmas ornaments and all sorts of wares that would make perfect stocking stuffers and gift ideas. All our vendors will be under a tent decorated for Christmas with lights and greenery, just like the real Christkindlmarket in Germany. I would suggest stopping by to check out our vendors while you are out Christmas shopping, you might find just what you’ve been looking for.

That same day the entire town of Leesburg is celebrating the season. The annual Christmas parade will march right down Harrison Street starting at 10am and from 11am to 2pm there will be all sorts of festivities going on in the rest of town such as a Holiday Rock n' Roll concert at the Tally Ho, ice carving, games, rides, carolers and carriage rides. Many businesses in town, including us, are participating in a gift exchange and Santa himself will be running around town with goodies galore. It’s going to be an exciting Saturday in historic downtown Leesburg!

The third weekend is my personal favorite: Tuba Christmas. I may be a bit bias since I am a mediocre tuba player myself, but seriously, you can’t miss this. If you have never seen and heard a band made entirely of tubas and euphoniums playing your favorite Christmas tunes, you have not lived. Another cool thing about Tuba Christmas; anyone can play. Dust off your old tuba you haven’t touched since school and come play with us! If you want to play, come around 1:30 to get set up and register. If you are coming to give it a listen, we will start playing at 2.

Don’t forget, all our events are outside, so make sure to bundle up accordingly.

December is going to be awesome. I for one cannot wait.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Döner Bistro’s second annual Oktoberfest; recap

Where do I even begin? Should I start by writing about people dancing on tables at 2pm on a Thursday? Or, about our faithful customers ignoring the rain storm that was the weekend and partying with us anyway? Or should I start with how the band was staying an hour longer on Sunday because they were having such a good time? Where do I begin?

I will start by saying that Oktoberfest was a total blast, and I think I can safely say that everyone who attended would agree. The weather was less than desirable, but it did not keep our customers down for a second. We did our best to keep the benches dry and I think Jordon swept enough water off the patio to last him a lifetime. With the help of our closed in tent, a massive space heater and copious amounts of beer, everyone managed to stay warm and have a good time. Another way people stayed warm; dancing. Döneristas Carol and Brittany danced the night away in between pouring beer and serving food. And like I mentioned, dancing on the tables started early on Thursday and lasted all weekend long.

The entire weekend really reminded me of the German Army Beerfest, but in a much more intimate setting. The other day I overheard Teague talking about the event, saying that when people stepped into our Oktoberfest it completely transported them to Munich. I can defiantly see that; our tent was full of jovial people, many speaking German, talking to their neighbors regardless of knowing each other and festive Döner team members getting refills. The Hofbräuhaus banners didn’t hurt either :-)

Alte Kameraden and DJ Timo were the icing on the cake, leading the crowd in drinking cheers and giving everyone a reason to get up and dance. I saw many a tiroler hat, real ones and the ones we sold, as well as dirndl wearing women turning heads. All of this came together and transformed the Döner Bistro into a little piece of Bavaria in the middle of Historic Downtown Leesburg Virginia.

Personally, besides the fact that I now hear ‘Ein Prosit’ in my sleep, Oktoberfest was above and beyond what I was expecting. I could not take two steps in any direction without running into someone I knew and I actually saw some old friends I haven’t talked to in years. Every time my shift ended I was sad to leave and every morning I was excited to come back. How’s that for job satisfaction?

But now it’s come to an end, but don’t be sad. Only 365 more days till next year’s Oktoberfest! And now Döner’s back in action to satisfy your cravings and tickle your taste buds. Today’s a chicken day, come on out!

Thank you all so much for coming out and I’ll see everyone around the restaurant,


See the rest of my pictures on facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2344594&id=25808219&l=dcf4479fff

****PS. Miss the Weisswurst and Meatloaf already? You’re in luck, we have leftovers! We are selling packages of Weisswurst for $15, Meatloaf for $20 and Sauerkraut for $1 per pound. Hurry to the restaurant to get your hands on these once-a-year Bavarian specialties! ****