There are few foods that are as fun to say as Schnitzel. With the exception of momos, few words put a smile on foodies faces as that one does. We have tried Schnitzel on this site before at Doma Na Rohu, but the difference for this review is that this schnitzel comes in a truck.
“Schnitzel & Things” has been in business since 2009, which is also when they won the prestigious Rookie of the Year at the Vendy Awards. Theirs was the first schnitzel truck in NYC, and it has been rolling down the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn on a daily basis since then. Does their flattened and fried meat capture the schnitzel magic that sit-down restaurants offer, or is this truck as tasty as the blackened crumby bits on the bottom of the deep fryer? Let’s take a bite and find out!
Schnitzel & Things offers schnitzel, and lots of it. Their menu includes pounded and fried versions of it with chicken, pork, cod, or eggplant. There is also bratwurst and their homemade Schnitz Burger, which is an angus beef patty prepared in the schnitzel way with a crispy breadcrumb crust. Veal schnitzel, the traditional preparation for it, is on the menu, but the truck is perpetually out of stock (which means it is basically off the menu). Schnitzel is available as a sandwich or as a platter with two side dishes.
Sorry, vegetarians! Not much in terms of options for you, but they do offer a vegetarian friendly sampler of four sides for eight bucks.
The chicken schnitzel platter ($10) features a tenderized plank of poultry, covered with panko breadcrumbs and fried to order. I got mine with a side of their chickpea salad and Austrian potato salad, although they also make excellent thin-cut french fries and a roasted beet & feta cheese salad. The chicken schnitzel sandwich is also available for $8.
The chicken breast looks enormous, and the flattening process makes it cook nice and fast, as well as giving it a nice snap with the fried coating. Complete with a lemon wedge to spritz onto your schnitzel, I was happy to taste the chicken and not weeks-old oil. I had been to Schnitzel & Things several times before reviewing this to see if their frying oil ever tasted used, and it was always fresh, giving it a good taste and golden-brown coating.
The chickpea salad and Austrian potato salad are served cold, like almost all of their sides. The chickpea salad has a tanginess, thanks to the homemade balsamic pesto vinaigrette that adds some depth to the garbanzo beans. The potato salad is made in the Germanic way, with vinegar instead of globs of mayo, and can be easily squashed down if you want to have some mashed potatoes instead (which is what I usually do).
There are also a variety of sauces that you can get for your schnitzel, such as the chipotle sour cream or sriracha mayo, as well as the classic dijon mustard. I went for the ginger scallion & garlic relish (left) and the pesto mayo (right) to try with mine. The relish has a cleansing and fresh taste to it, but the pesto mayo was really my favorite of the pairing with its creamy texture and pesto flavor.
Good sides, great schnitzel, and a price that is solid for both of those things. The line can get a bit long at prime lunch time, but it’s worth the wait. I am a fan of Schnitzel & Things and love that they put this fried deliciousness on four wheels and trek it around NYC so people like me can get their fix.
Schnitzel & Things also used to have a restaurant in Manhattan, but recently the storefront closed down. The good news is that they are not gone for good, as the plans are to re-open a new location in Brooklyn later this year, so stay tuned to their twitter for the latest on their grand re-opening.