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A New Airstream Kitchen Helps Dacha Bring Its Full German Food Menu to Navy Yard

Fried pickles, schnitzel, and sausage platters arrive in Southeast this week

Dacha’s 23-foot polished airstream is outfitted with a smoker under a powerful hood.
Dacha/official photo
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Dacha Navy Yard recently parked a vintage Airstream trailer with a built-in mobile kitchen at its huge beer garden in Southeast, giving chef Jerome Grant the ability to expand the German food menu at the outdoor space with room for 700 people. Starting Wednesday, August 25, the Navy Yard menu will match the original Dacha in Shaw by adding dishes like fried pickles with tzatziki crème, currywurst, traditional schnitzel platters, and doner kebabs.

A wooden board topped with a pretzel and meats
A $36 “Sausagefest” plate combines a cross-section of popular orders like a monster pretzel, sausage smorgasbord, kraut, roasted potatoes, mustard, and pickles.
Dacha/official photo

The new menu made in a retrofitted, 1970s-era trailer replaces much of the barbecue-centric selection that was prepped in a makeshift kitchen. Co-owner Dmitri Chekaldin says he’s wanted to serve the same menu at both locations since opening Dacha Navy Yard in 2019.

Dacha Navy Yard’s revamped menu includes a trio of pulled pork sliders, dressed with apple slaw, blister shishitos, and marinated onions, along with a “sausagefest” platter served on a monster pretzel with kraut, roasted potatoes, mustard, and pickles. Dacha’s take on a Cobb employs bratwurst and sour beer ranch dressing. A section of mains also includes ribeye skewers with roasted potatoes, toasted multigrain, field greens, and adjika, a spicy Georgian dip made of peppers and nuts.

Grant also runs Jackie, the New American bistro next-door to Dacha Navy Yard that serves duck-topped peanut butter and jelly toasts, half-smokes with banana ketchup chili, and grilled sirloin steaks drizzled with oxtail jus.

Québec-based Custom Airstream designed Dacha’s new trailer. Madonna recently rented one of the models from Chicago-based LuXeStream for a summer barbecue. For a minute, Chekaldin thought he was going to have to loan out Dacha’s rig to the pop legend. “The owner called me and said, ‘Do you mind if we rent your trailer to Madonna?’ I thought he was pranking me,” he says.

A table setting with champagne and schnitzel
Dacha’s traditional schnitzel with potato salad, mustard vinaigrette, and cranberry jam ($27).
Dacha/official photo

Dacha Navy Yard opened with a 34-foot Airstream cooler that now dispenses beers, spritzes, cocktails, and wine. There’s also a vintage Lada station wagon parked on-site that complements the beer garden’s riverfront camping ground vibes. “This [Airstream] completes our chic trailer park,” Chekaldin says.

Dacha is planning an epic, pirate-themed Oktoberfest party this year, complete with an official keg-tapping ceremony, live bands and contests to win “pirate booty”.

“This year has been so difficult with so many guidelines and lockdowns. People want to be free to travel and go wherever they want to go,” Chekaldin says, adding “dogs and pirate outfits are cutest thing ever.”

Dacha Navy Yard

79 Potomac Avenue Southeast, , DC 20003 (202) 919-3800 Visit Website