A quaint shop at the intersection of 11th Street and First Avenue in the East Village is serving up schnitzel sandwiches. Schnitzel is a traditional German dish consisting of a thinly cut meat, such as pork, chicken or veal, that is breaded and lightly fried.
Schnitz owners Allon Yosha and brother-sister duo Yonni and Dona Elrich introduced their fusion specialty at Smorgasborg, the foodie flea market in Brooklyn, three years ago. This winter, they brought the unique flavor to their first brick-and-mortar location.
The restaurant itself is cozy. It is small and crowded, and classic rock plays over the speakers.
Unlike schnitzel, Schnitz is not traditional by any means. The menu offers three categories for the sandwiches: pork, chicken and vegetarian. There are no veal sandwiches, but they are hardly missed. With each sandwich comes a specially crafted combination of Mediterranean medleys — cucumbers, tzatziki sauce, ginger and other old-world flavors top the sandwiches.
The Bamberg ($10), Schnitz’s most popular sandwich, is loaded with piquant flavors that are complemented by the robustness of the crisp schnitzel amid the symphony of ginger, cucumbers and shallots. The combination is remarkable, even for those not attracted to the individual flavors.
“The Bamberg had the most interesting combination of flavor,” Tisch sophomore Brit Bucklee said. “The pickled cucumbers were a really delicious and smart counter to the ginger and Dijon, making sure the spiciness was balanced out.”
One of the chicken options, the Grumpy Russian ($9), uses pickled cherries to invigorate taste buds. The use of the cherries seemed unorthodox, but it works when coupled with the gorgonzola spread.
The Yonz ($10), one of the restaurant’s vegetarian options, features a compressed patty of butternut squash and corn topped with a honey-flavored mayo.
With a variety of interesting pairings and options, Schnitz is the ideal destination for those seeking something out of the ordinary.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Aprill 22 print edition. Nikolas Reda-Castelao is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]