There’s certainly no shortage of sausage-fueled beer halls in this city, but as chef Josh Nebe points out, there’s more to German cuisine than jagerschnitzel and sauerkraut.
Most days, you’ll find Nebe in the kitchen at Radiator Whiskey (and formerly at Unicorn), but tomorrow, January 16, he’ll be heading to Kedai Makan, where he’ll be cheffing a multi-day popup showcasing his “more approachable, less archaic” twist on German dishes while the KM team heads to Malaysia. This isn’t Nebe's first rodeo—he launched Dackel over the summer in a series of monthly dinners at the tiny take-out-only eatery—but, at eight days spread over two weeks, the longest he’s done. And one step closer to his ultimate dream: opening his own sophisticated, modern, Pacific Northwest-y German restaurant.
“As much as any German loves their beer and wants to have a good ol’ party, there so much more to it than the stereotype,” Nebe says. “We sit geographically in the same style of region that Frankfurt sits, so why not? I can get the same things here that they can get in Germany. And here I can have a little more fun with it because no one really knows what German food is.”
Dackel’s menu will feature dishes largely unfamiliar to Seattle diners—dishes like labskaus, a corned beef dish from Hamburg Nebe says is traditionally made with beets and served with pickles and a fried egg. His version includes a playful twist on beet salad with dill, a soft-boiled egg, plenty of good pickles, and smoked trout.
For now, Nebe says Dackel is simply a labor of love [read: he’s not quitting his day job any time soon], but he says in a year or two he’d love to have his own place. He talks, too, about introducing German schnapps to a city already enamored with beer.
Sample the fare during Dackel's popup January 16 and 23 from 4-11; January 17, 18, 24, and 25 from 4-midnight; or January 19 and 26 4-9.