Finally, I get to talk about my Weiner. Did you know that the Weiner in Wiener Schnitzel stands for Viennese and that by law, all Weiner Schnitzel must be made with veal? Schnitzel is simply meat that has been pounded out so it is very thin, then it is coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. Essentially wiener schnitzel is fried veal cutlets. See what we are all learning together?
Wiener Schnitzel is a dish that comes from Austria and even though my last name is of Austrian-Hungarian origin, I really don’t know much about the country. I know it is beautiful. It has rolling hills that are alive with singing nuns. I know Arnold Schwarzenegger is from there (who is anecdotally still a big fan of schnitzel). Hitler is from there too, although I don’t think they list that in the travel brochure. I know Billy Joel says it will wait for me, but it will have to keep waiting. But my newest knowledge about Austria is that they are sticklers about using veal for their schnitzel.
I had two options here: make it or find a place that sells it. I looked at a couple of recipes online and found some good looking ones, but Lola was going out tonight and I didn’t feel like making a big elaborate dinner for myself. I started looking around for restaurants that might feature it and I remembered a place in Bristol that Cherie recommended called Redlefsen’s which just happen to feature “eclectic global cuisine with an emphasis on German and Alsatian-inspired specialities” (Alsatian refers to a region in North Eastern France on the German border – I’m learning all kinds of things today). Not Austrian, but beggars can’t be choosers. I looked at their menu and they indeed featured schnitzel.
I drove across the Mount Hope Bridge right around 7 PM and the sun was setting in the most incredible way. The sky was streaked red with the final rays of the day’s sun that washed over the blue sky and white clouds. It was a sunset that makes you feel glad about the day and about life. I was glad to be able to catch it at the perfect time. Our house faces the East so we get some incredible sunrises, but sometimes you need to see the promise of a sunset to make you appreciate it all. Tonight was one of those nights.
I picked up my schnitzel and drove back home and readied for my feast. Driving home, the food filled my car with a delightful smell and I was getting more eager to dig in the closer I got to home. I ordered the weiner schnitzel naturally, although they did have a pork schnitzel for all you non-purists. I also ordered a side order of Kaesespaetzle too which seemed to be the go-to side dish for any schnitzel. Spaetzle is a kind of egg noodle. Kaesespaetzle is spaetzle that is baked with cheese and fried onions (Redlefsen’s also added speck to there’s which is diced bacon ends).
They garnished their schnitzel with lemon, anchovies and capers. Personally, I’ll always push aside the anchovies and the capers, but they still left a little bit of a flavor to the overall dish which left a little aftertaste. I’d say overall it was good; I mean it’s fried veal. It was filling in that fried food kind of way and the spaetzle was also heavy and filling as well. I think Austrians like this dish because they are in the Alps and are trying to stay warm. I don’t think it’s the ideal dish for a 90 degree day in New England. But despite all that, I’ll say it was well worth the celebration. I just wish they would move the celebration too later in the Fall.
I also created my own holiday that I intend on celebrating this weekend. I’m calling it “The Purge”. I went through our liquor cabinet and pulled out all the bottles with just a few pours left in them. My goal for the weekend is to finish them all. I hate when the liquor cabinet gets too full and you have to cram bottles inside and can never find what you need. I think this is a fun way to clear it out. I ended up with a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey, Canadian Club Whiskey, some Captain Morgan and some Bombay Gin. I killed the whiskey tonight, so I’m off to a good start, but I still have two days to finish the rest. I hope this catches on.
Next Up: National TV Dinner Day