Dingfelder’s, the Capitol Hill Jewish deli, has come together piece by piece. In the summer of 2018, we got the first tastes of the “perfect pastrami” and corned beef sandwiches. A year ago this month, hey, Dingfelder’s celebrated 2019 by introducing the novel concept of indoor seating at the corner of 14th and Pine.
2020? It is time for Dingfelder’s bagels.
“We’re starting out slow,” chef and owner Vance Dingfelder says.
It’s the Dingfelder way. For now a weekend only addition, Dingfelder’s bagels, Vance says, are being perfected. “I like the consistency, I like the crust. I like how they last when stored in a brown paper sack,” Dingfelder said.
But he especially likes them hot. And that means he’s taking a slow approach.
“Doing it this way, we can control how often we make bagels. I like hot, fresh bagels. But you have to sell them enough. I would like to guarantee that no bagel is more than an hour old,” Dingfelder says. It’s a lofty goal.
To make it work, Dingfelder is buying his bagel dough from Blazing Bagels but doing the baking and preparation in-house at 14th and Pine. There are currently six varieties that he hopes to stretch to nine including plain, sesame, onion, poppy, pumpernickel, cinnamon, blueberry, and everything.
Dingfelder’s joins a Capitol Hill bagel scene currently dominated by tiny E Madison walk-up Westman’s Bagels which just marked its second birthday on the street. E Olive Way’s Eastern European and Jewish comfort food specialist Dacha Diner, so far, has stayed out of the bagel game. Pop-up bagel provider Loxsmith is lined up to return action later this year at Montana. UPDATE: Oops! Such a mainstay of the neighborhood, they slipped CHS’s mind! Eltana is marking 10 years on 12th Ave this year. Sorry for the oversight.
But here’s the real news about Dingfelder’s. Your visit there shouldn’t probably ever just be about the one thing you thought you wanted to order.
If you go in for a bagel, listen to Dingfelder and get the lox, whitefish salad, or, better, just a stack of the flaky, oily whitefish meat on your ring of bread. Dingfelder says his fish “from the Yukon River” is “very special.”
He also says you should order some Sablefish and take advantage of Dingfelder’s catering for the Super Bowl this weekend — “Appetizers — the whole smoked fishes, olives, cheeses…”
Back on the bagels, there will also be standards like cream cheese or butter if you would prefer to keep it simple.
And Dingfelder says that, with the bagels, he has also added coffee service to the menu. His weekend hours are currently 11 AM to 7 PM but, if the bagel demand is high enough, earlier morning hours could be something Dingfelder’s rolls out. At its current pace, expect a CHS post on that sometime around January 2021.
“Hot bagels are a rarity,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to accomplish.”
Dingfelder’s Delicatessen is located at 1318 E Pine. For now, bagels are only available on Saturdays and Sundays. You can learn more at dingfelders.com.
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