Friday, April 17, 2009

Mighty Midget Kitchen - Leesburg

The Mighty Midget Kitchen is a Leesburg landmark, originally crafted in 1946 from the metal fuselage of a WWII B-29 bomber. Relocated about a block from its former location, it now serves German food as part of a restaurant and entertainment complex called Hamburg Döner on Harrison Street, directly across from Tuscarora Mill.

There were seven of these metal structures made in the late 1940s by a company in Glendale, California. Most were used as food stands, but at least one served as a newsstand. This is believed to be the only one of the set of structures left.

For nearly 50 years The Mighty Midget was popular as a hamburger, hot dog and fries outlet. The Mighty Midget closed in 1994 and was moved from the juncture of Loudoun and Market Streets to location a block away in 1996, when it resumed operation as a restaurant. In 2001 a new tenant arrived: B’z BBQ. Its ribs and pulled pork were cooked on a BBQ smoker in back of the building. Proprietor Brian DeVaux offered ribs only on Fridays and Saturdays, but his pulled pork was available every day. B’z BBQ closed in December, 2007.

In late March, 2008, the Mighty Midget reopened as “Hamburg Döner,” where it sits on a deck outside the restaurant proper. Since 2006 Hamburg Döner had operated out of a food truck at Leesburg’s Virginia Village Shopping Center, and the vacant Mighty Midget Kitchen tempted owners Nicole Marschall and Timo Winkel to make a permanent home for their popular food offerings. Today they welcome the public by keeping alive the local tradition of the Mighty Midget, for which the locals retain a heavy streak of nostalgia. Hamburg Döner serves the German take on the Turkish döner sandwich, which is made with hot meat atop salad covered in sauce, served on toasted flatbread; this is the most popular sandwich served in Germany today. Other selections include German bratwurst and schnitzel. The restaurant also offers German beers, some indoor seating and outdoor seating at German biergarten tables, relocated directly from Germany.

On March 28, 2009, they celebrated their one year anniversary at the Mighty Midget Kitchen at 202-A Harrison Street. That day was also the first day of operation under their new name – Döner Bistro.

Open from 11:00 a.m.; closed Mondays.
Live music Fri/Sat from 7 pm. 703-779-7880

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