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! ****

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oktoberfest 2009!

It’s that time again, Oktoberfest season is right around the corner and I for one am getting excited. Unfortunately I was not around last year for the Döner Bistro’s first annual Oktoberfest, but I have heard a LOT about it. I’ve not only heard about it from all the employees, but from customers. Just about every day at least one person tells me what a great time they had last year and how excited they are for the next one.

From what I’ve hear, last year’s Oktoberfest was a beer-mug-banging good time. Over a thousand people came, exhausting the three portable toilets to the brink :-)  What would you expect from such an event?  The German band Alte Kameraden played for the crowd all four nights with traditional Oktoberfest music.  Fellow Dönerista Carol had this to say about the occasion: 
 "Aside from being surprised by the turnout, I felt that the atmosphere was very friendly, which made my job seem less like work and more like a social outing. The feedback I got from customers showed that they liked the experience, because they felt welcome, had fun, and met new people."
All the customers I have talked to have shared Carol’s sentiments exactly; Oktoberfest was an overall good time.  All 22 kegs ran dry by Sunday and left in their wake many happy customers and an equally satisfied Döner Team. 
 This year proves to be just as exciting, but with a few changes. To make things flow a little easier for everyone there will be buffet style food serving and a much bigger tent for everyone to relax under.  We’ve ordered 30 kegs this time around plus a reserve just in case. With more beer also comes more security; this year we will have a bouncer Friday and Saturday night checking IDs at the door (you will only be able to use the front entrance) and giving out wrist bands to the over 21 crowd. 
Alte Kameraden will coming again for your listening pleasure, but only Thursday night from 6-9pm and Sunday from 1-5pm. The other two nights we will be playing traditional/pop music DJed by Timo himself.  I’m looking forward to the sing along songs, most of all Country Roads :-)  Between the music, beer, food and friends there is sure to be something for everyone. 
Speaking of food, for all of you who have not been to Oktoberfest before, here’s a little heads up. No Döner during Oktoberfest.  Döner is the number one fast food in Germany, but during Oktoberfest the menu is more traditional. For all of you who have wondered why we don’t have sauerkraut and potato salad, you’re in luck! Here is the menu:
Looks good doesn’t it?  Its $10 for your food, $3 for a pretzel or fries; easy. 
 Something else to look forward to: merchandise! This year we will be selling all sorts of goodies like t-shirts, hats, buttons and beer cozies for the steins that look like lederhosen and dirndls. Funny! Don’t forget to bring your stein, but if you do never fear, you can always buy a new one :-) 
 Excited yet? I sure am. Come ready to party and bring all your friends; it’s sure to be a weekend to remember. I can’t wait to see you all there!
 And don’t worry; we are doubling the number of portable toilets :-)
 Party on!! 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

German Army Beerfest 2009!

Last night I went to the German Army’s annual Oktoberfest with the Döner Team. I had no idea what to expect having never been before, but apparently their Beerfest is a big event in the German community. The way it was explained to me is that in order to get tickets you have to be either a) a really big deal or b) know someone to get you on a list that will get you on another list that will get you tickets. Complicated right? After last night I can see why people covet these tickets; I have never seen so much beer and German food in one place before in my life.

We got there around the time the gates opened and there was already a line forming to get in. We found our friends, got in line and soon I was following Timo and Nicole inside where they knew the perfect place to sit. Everything was all taking place in an airplane hangar at Dulles Airport and it was soon apparent why; 2,000 people don’t easily fit into spaces smaller than airplane hangars. The German Army did a very creative job with the decorations. All the walls were draped in camouflage and there were gigantic parachutes hanging from the ceiling accented with Christmas lights and balloons.

There were two bands entertaining the beer drinking, lederhosen and dirndl wearing masses of Germans and Americans. On the left of the stage was Alte Kameraden (Old Comrades), the very same band that will be playing for our Oktoberfest next month and on the right was the German Army’s band. They flew in from Germany just for the event and another performance in DC, sightseeing all along the way. Both bands were fantastic, it was a perfect mix of traditional German oomph and tunes everyone could sing along to like Country Roads (my personal favorite).

Between all the singing, dancing and drinking, a wonderful time was had by all. Germans know how to throw a party, that’s for sure! :-) I meet all sorts of cool new people, danced with a member of the band and enjoyed myself immensely. I saw and lots of our awesome Döner customers in attendance which got me excited for our own Oktoberfest. More details about Döner Bistro’s Oktoberfest on their way!

We got there as the gates were opening and were some of the last groups to leave around midnight. I can only imagine; if this Oktoberfest was so amazing, think of how much fun our Oktoberfest will be with all our friends and neighbors! This is the start of Oktoberfest season for me, I’m going to Lovettsville’s this weekend, and I have a very good feeling that October 15th through 18th in Leesburg will be the best one yet. I hope to see you all there with steins in hand and a big appetite :-)



Thursday, September 3, 2009

I wish every Thursday was this exciting: Elliot in the Morning

The ballots are tallied and because of you Döner Fans, Döner Bistro finished #4 in the competition! But don’t start celebrating; it's not over yet. All through September the top restaurants will continue to be critiqued and under cover judges will be visiting to get a better idea of what they are all about. Stay tuned in October when the winner is announced. Thank you again for your votes and support, it means a lot to see how many people took the time to vote Döner!

As some of you heard, last Thursday we were on Elliot in the Morning. That was an exciting day; here are more details of our trip.


The day started like any other, only earlier. I met Timo and Nils at the Döner promptly at 6:15 am; Leesburg was still asleep. They had Elliot in the Morning playing in the restaurant and I still could not believe I was actually going to the place it was broadcasting, how exciting! I milled around aimlessly doing as I was told while the guys got the food ready. They had been there a whole hour before I showed up so I didn’t dare complain about being tired. That’s what I call commitment.

Soon it was time to go and away we went! The drive to Rockville seemed extremely short, but then again I was in a tired daze the whole way there. Before I knew it we were waiting in the lobby of the DC 101 building waiting for Kyle to come and get us. In no time he arrived and up we went to the top of the building and into the studio.

Timo and Nils are old pros at this having brought food to Elliot five other times in the past. We were put in a room neighboring the room Elliot was broadcasting from and were able to watch them do the show through a huge window. Comedian Mitch Fatel was the guest and we listened to him and Elliot talk. They chatted about the upcoming Kiss concert while Timo and Nils got the food ready and I ran around taking pictures. Once all the Döners were put together and the Currywurst was ready we brought in the food to hungry radio hosts and then sat back and relaxed until Elliot called Timo in to chat.

See Timo on Elliot in the Morning on youtube HERE

See the rest of my pictures are on facebook HERE


Back at the Döner it was just about opening time. It was cool listening to people tell me about how they heard about us on Elliot in the Morning and just had to come over to get a Döner. My shift flew by and soon it was time for me to leave for the day.

But my Thursday was far from over. That night I meet up with the whole gang and headed to Clarendon, VA to check it out as a possible location for the new restaurant.

It was a fun night spent with awesome people; the perfect way to top off a full day. The trip left me excited for the future of the restaurant and wishing I spoke German :-)

Clarendon, Virginia; future Döner Bistro location? Only time will tell; stay tuned in for more information about restaurant openings and cool events to come.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Since last I wrote...

Guess what?

Thanks to you Döner Bistro is currently the number 5 German restaurant in the country. Thank you so much for your votes! But, don’t stop now; the competition continues through September 1st. Keep voting Döner! Start each morning with a vote for Döner Bistro and help us bump up to the #1 spot. Remember, you can vote once every 24 hours and your votes not only bring us one step closer to winning but bring you closer to the free food celebration party :-)

VOTE at: http://www.bestgermanrestaurant.com/details/629.html


Celebration with Döner Bistro!

Last month Döner Bistro was fortunate to play host to a special moment in the life of James Martin; his bachelor party. He had sampled, as he calls it, the “delicious Hefeweizen” when visiting a few weeks prior with his then fiancée Tiffany, a good friend of mine. On July 25 myself and the rest of the wedding party gathered in Lincoln VA and despite rain clouds, James and Tiffany Martin were married, completing each other’s lives. The delighted duo are now living in Denmark where James goes to school for Music Performance. On behalf of everyone at the Döner Bistro I would like to thank James for partying with us and wish the couple a bright and happy future together.


Interesting fact:

Ever wonder why you see Döner spelled two different ways? I’m here to clear this up for you, because I for one was very confused before it was explained to me. It’s actually quite simple. Whenever you are writing Döner and the umlaut (ö) is unavailable, add an extra ‘e.’ This is why you see it spelled ‘Doener’ in the URL for the website, other places online and on our new Twitter page It’sDoenerTime.

Easy right? You learn something new every day!


Ever listen to DC 101 on your way to work? If so you should tune in Thursday, August 27th around 9am and hear us chatting on Elliot in the Morning. Timo, Nils and myself are getting up bright and early to venture off to Rockville MD to update Elliot on Döner Bistro news. Call us at 866-2-ELLIOT to talk to us!


Don’t forget to vote!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Best German Restaurant in America Contest

Greetings Döner fans. A lot has been going on since we last updated this blog. Firstly, here is some information from our latest news letter to get you all up to speed with the exciting things going on in Döner land.

Secondly, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Maria and I will be keeping you up to date on Döner news and events in this blog as well as on facebook and myspace. I am a recent graduate of West Virginia University and I am extremely excited to be writing for the Döner Bistro. I’m a Dönerrista by day so come by sometime, get yourself some food and say hi!

Thanks for reading,


The question is this: Do you know of a really great German restaurant? The answer is YES, the Döner Bistro of course ;-) GermanDeli.com, a leading online German food store is putting on a competition to find the best German restaurant in America. Show us your support at: http://www.bestgermanrestaurant.com/details/629.html and VOTE!
Remember, you can vote once every 24 hours. If everyone reading this newsletter votes at least once we will have a fantastic chance of winning the title of Best German Restaurant in America!

To show our appreciations, the Döner Bistro will throw a party if we win. Free food for everyone! Now get out there and vote Döner!

For more information about German Deli: http://www.germandeli.com/
For more information about the contest: http://www.bestgermanrestaurant.com/

New Products:

Looking for dessert after finishing a delicious meal at the Döner Bistro? Well now we can indulge your sweet tooth with ice cream! Häagen-Dazs is one of the sweet treats we offer. Come out and try our new flavors because everyone knows there’s nothing better on a hot summer evening than a cold ice cream (and a beer)!

If you are joining us for a drink we have more good news. The Döner Bistro now has EKU 28 beer in stock. EKU 28 is brewed in Kulmbach, Germany, is an amber color and has a bit of a caramel taste to it. Come by and give it a try, but remember that we limit this beer to one per night per customer (11% ABV).

Join the Döner Team!

We are still looking for fun, hard working individuals to work the register as well as cook our delicious dishes. We welcome anyone willing to help us out but would love people who can stay with us after the summer months, through the fall and into the future. Working at the Döner Bistro will give you the opportunity to learn new skills, work with interesting, fun people and meet all our wonderful regulars in the Döner community. Come by today and pick up an application to become a part of the team.

Employee Corner

Our employees have had an extremely exciting month. Manager Nils Schnibbe and his wife Natalie welcomed Liam Nilsson Schnibbe into the world on June 24th. Liam is happy and healthy and so are his sleep deprived parents. Come on by the Döner and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of little Liam and congratulate his parents.

In other news, Dönerrista Kelsey Threatte recently embarked on a year long research trip to the Middle East. Kelsey was selected for the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship out of college students from all over the country and will be learning how poetry empowers Arab women in their daily lives. We all wish Kelsey the best of luck in her year of self discovery and adventure and look forward to her triumphant return next summer.

Last but certainly not least we would like to congratulate Teague Nicholson for his recent graduation from Heritage High School. Continuing his educational journey, Teague has been accepted at Shenandoah University to major in music education with a focus in voice. Never fear 500 Miles fans, although Teague is going off to school he will still be working at the Döner. Everyone here at the Döner Bistro wishes Teague much success at Shenandoah and in everything he does. Congratulations!


Stay tuned for more information about our new website. Soon you will be able to peruse our menu online with mouthwatering pictures and descriptions…

Create a closer connection with everyone at the Döner by following us on Facebook and Myspace. Join the Döner Bistro Community on Facebook and share your favorite items on the menu, chat with like minded individuals and share pictures. We look forward to hearing from you.


Your Döner Team

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DOENER BISTRO quick announcement

On the 28th of March 2009, Hamburg Doener celebrated it's first anniversary at the Mighty Midget Kitchen on 202- A Harrison Street, SE in Leesburg, VA. At the same time it was the first day open with our new name - DOENER BISTRO

We will add pics and videos of this historic event shortly!

Thanks to all who made the party even more than just a blast ;-)

The Doener Bistro Team

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2008 -What a year!

It has been exciting from the beginning to the end, filled with new experiences, heart beating moments and a truck load full of surprises:

Remember the fuzz about Hamburg Doener taking over the Mighty Midget Kitchen? That was our start into 2008. Still indulging ourselves in the celebration of new year, we received urgent emails from local newspapers to comment on Leesburg's first scandal of the year - How the heck could we do that to the BBQ guy? The town got involved and things got heated up. After a few weeks the issue sort of solved itself - people got to know Hamburg Doener had nothing to to with the famous BBQ business leaving  Leesburg's landmark, while town officials recognized it was not their issue after all.

Within three month we were able to remodel, restore and revive the Mighty Midget Kitchen and made it the smallest Doener Kitchen in the World!

We stripped, cleaned and insulated the Midget, painted, air conditioned and equipped it with custom equipment, which we somehow had to fit in the 6' by 8' metal building :-)


The inside area got an overall paint job, the bar was 'homemade' and even the airplane seats were custom fitted into a bar table-seating area by Timo and Nils. From sanding to wallpapering, from welding to online ordering - we multi tasked our way through those days and nights of January till the end of March 2008. 


During those month Timo, Nils, Natalie and I not only cemented our friendship, we also made a lot more friends along the way. I would like to mention Gordon and Julie who gave us not only unbelievable helpful physical, but also emotional support and Gordon's, Natalie's and Nils' parents with whom we were able to build  special relationships during those month. Oh, and not to forget, a big thank you to Kyle (and of course Johnny and Ham) for the detailed tile work on our mob sink...

Time was right to open up -so we though- along came a violation notice for our composite decking material with which we resurfaced the existent concrete slap. Not knowing what we have gotten ourselves into we started going to the monthly BAR meetings where hours of heated discussions started even a notion to dismiss the BAR. Well, that stuff went on until the 18th of August when staff finally decided the material was appropriate if we hide it from the public right of way ( that's why we planted those nice Arbor Vitae trees up front and along the side)....

Since we somehow had to open though, we spontaneously decided on opening on the 28th of March 2008 after receiving the GO from the Health Department (which was a story of it's own).

For a month we had to deal with not being allowed to use the inside area other than having customers pay at the register. We were prohibited from using our seating area, the soda fountain, the draft tower nor any of the new equipment in that room. Thinking of it now, there was a certain renaissance feeling to it. Back to the roots or rather back to the truck- feeling if I now look back on having customers get their sodas out of our big cooler located outside. With selling beer though, that just had to be handled differently...

During regular business days our customers made every effort worth. Their interest in our project, their smiles, mindfulness, constructive criticism, ideas and encouragement along the way mobilized the whole Hamburg Doener crew . Everyone from cashier to cook still reflects the excitement our customers bring into our door by feeling the importance of their work though them.

We are blessed with such a unique team created in 2008 though especially Nils' daily mentoring and hard work.

Energized and excited, we celebrated the European Soccer Championships, our first Oktoberfest and Leesburg's first German ChristkindlMarket together with a vibrant crowd of customers and friends. Seeing team members and customers dancing with each other, singing and banging their glasses or Steins together just had to make us proud! - Mission accomplished :-)


Our last focus of the year was set on the wintertime. Scary, if you mainly depend on 58 seats outside, can only seat eight people in the inside area and all your hopes for being able to provide shelter for your customers from the winter weather conditions through a tent are shattered because of time consuming, old-habited bureaucracy.

After experiencing declining customer volumes steadily measurable on the daily weather forecast, we received a helping hand just on the edge of our frustration. Gordon MacDowell was so kind to offer us part of his MacDowell Custom Kitchen showroom, for us to be able to expand our inside seating capacity. Within only nine days we knocked down walls together, build a door frame, sanded, painted wallpapered, installed flooring and were ready for happy holidays!


Just the right time for Dave Pepper, who still encourages others to bring their instrument, sing a long or just bang on the tables to his fun spreading shanty songs played on Fridays and Saturdays, to start a musical freestyle tradition...

New Year, our Grande Finale for 2008, around thirty customers and friends gathered at the restaurant to celebrate the start of 2009 – most residents probably heard us around midnight ;-)

Prost Doener Community – Let's rock 2009!


Your Hamburg Doener Team

written by Nicole

Monday, January 5, 2009

Elliot in the Morning early Thursday

We will be back on ELLIOT IN THE MORNING on Thursday. They are back on air since today Jan. 5th. And what better way to start the new Year with our real deal Doeners. Make sure you tune in on Thursday Jan. 8th between 8 and 10 on DC 101.1!

I'm excited to see the new studio and I hope Elliot will let Timo use the brand new microphone...

For more info go to http://www.eitmonline.com/

See you inside...