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!!