Some righteous schnitzel at Schnitzi’s
Schnitzel is to an Israeli what pizza and burgers are to an American. A kid comes home from school? He gets a schnitzel. A quick bite before the game? Have a schnitzel. No time for supper? There's always time for a schnitzel. These deep-fried, crunchy-crust chicken breasts (or sometimes turkey cutlets) are serious comfort foods.
They're also the specialty of Schnitzi's, a sun-drenched Midwood cafe that looks like a fast-food place with its orange sign, tiled walls and menu posted over an open service counter. But you won't mistake it for McDonald's. That menu has both English and Hebrew lettering, and there are photos of bearded rabbis on the walls, supervising your meal. Schnitzi's is glatt kosher.
There are several menu options, but why fight it? Get a schnitzel sandwich on a crunchy baguette. It's fresh, speedy and beyond abundant. Place your order, and a boneless cutlet is dipped in breading seasoned with your choice of flavors, from French (mustard) to Greek (garlic) to Chinese (sesame) to Italian (herbs). After being deep-fried it's placed on a crusty baguette along with lettuce, tomatoes, sliced pickles and fried onions. There's a choice of spreads, and we liked the pesto, the horseradish mayo and the oddly pink chimichurri.
All sandwiches are $8.30, and if that sounds like a lot, you have to understand that they are a foot long. Portions are immense, and it's not just the sandwiches. Salads come in a mixing-bowl-size basin brimming with lettuce, fresh vegetables, pickles and onions and topped with strips of grilled or schnitzel-ed chicken breast ($12.92). Again, it sounds expensive but is easily enough for two - if not three - people. At a table near us, two teenage girls shared a massive grilled chicken salad and a heaping portion of fried sweet potato slices ($3.20) while they talked on their cell phones. Taking the phone away from her ear, one explained, "We're on a diet."