Tucked away in Lacey sits a restaurant that is known for its schnitzel, bratwurst, sauerbraten, rouladen and doner kebab.
It’s the German Diner on Martin Way, and it will celebrate five years of business next month, said Mirjam Spring, chef and owner.
Spring, who grew up in a town near Frankfurt, Germany, came to the United States in 2011 and opened a German restaurant in south Florida. She later wanted to be closer to her sister in Lacey, so she relocated and opened German Diner in space once occupied by Bavarian Corner at 8910 Martin Way E.
German Diner is perhaps best known for its schnitzel, a breaded pork loin that is pan fried and served with a variety of sauces. And none of it is pre-made, Spring said, adding that the schnitzel is “made fresh per order.”
That might add to customer wait times, she said, but it’s worth it.
“I like to serve fresh food,” she said.
If you order the schnitzel, you can get a side salad, or perhaps you would like to try pan-fried potatoes, made with bacon and onions? If so, that’s the bratkartoffel.
▪ Sauerbraten: A roast beef, marinated in vinegar and red wine. It’s served Fridays and Saturdays, according to the menu.
▪ Rouladen: A beef roll that’s stuffed with pickles and bacon. It’s served Saturdays.
▪ Krautwickel: A cabbage roll stuffed with ground beef. It’s also served Saturdays.
There’s also bratwurst — Spring said she buys her brats from Uli’s Famous Sausage in Seattle — and chicken and lamb doner kebabs, which look a bit like a gyro. The bread for her kebabs comes from San Francisco Street Bakery in Olympia, she said.
After all this, which beverage goes best with German food?
“A cold, German beer,” said Spring, who imports pilsners, dark beers and others from Germany. Her wines are domestic whites and reds.
And after all that, how about dessert?
Among them: Black Forest cake or German chocolate cake, although her German chocolate cake has no coconut. Spring thinks that German chocolate cake was slightly Americanized with coconut. Hers is just layer after layer of chocolate on chocolate cake. And it’s topped with even more chocolate.
And for those who are still undecided about sauerkraut, Spring just might look into the eyes of that fence-sitter and say:
“Try our sauerkraut.”
- Owner: Mirjam Spring.
- Location: 8910 Martin Way E., Lacey
- Employees: 5.
- Hours: 4-8:30 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays; 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
- Online: Find German Diner on Facebook.