Posts Tagged ‘schnitzel’

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I’m not sure how it came up – but for some reason I was talking to Kathy about the amazing country fried steak I had last time I was in Texas, and how much I would love to find a place somewhere on this trip that offered a good country fried steak. For the uninitiated, the country fried steak – or chicken fried steak as it is also referred to – is a little bit like schnitzel. It’s also a lot different to schnitzel… Ok so I’m not doing a great job of explaining this. Lets see – you take a piece of pretty cheap steak – beat the hell out of it – bread it in a coating that you might use for fried chicken – fry said breaded steak. Serve with white gravy. Enjoy. It’s that simple. And yet, like so many amazing foods of the south, Australia for some reason, has not been introduced to the pleasures of the country fried steak. Now don’t get me wrong – we have lots of fried food – my Nana pretty much crumped and fried everything – and she had a thing called crumbed steak – it’s not same. It’s good – yes. Same – no.

Anyway, as they would say over here, I was jonesing for a nice piece’o’country fired steak. Typing this now I want one – that’s how good they are people!! Katie and I had decided to go out for Lunch while Mac was off getting the boat ready for a fishing trip and we thought we’d wander down the road to a nice little place called Capt’n Con’s. We’ve had breakfast there a few times and it’s always been nice enough – honest, no frills kind of food. This time we thought we’d try lunch – I thought I might grab a burger or a grouper sandwich. The place was pretty busy with all the snow birds in town (That’s tourist from up north), and so we grabbed a table inside. I noticed the lunch specials included country steak – my heart skipped a beat (Possible a clogged artery based on my diet here – who knows…), could this be the country fried steak I’d been looking for? I ordered the steak and Katie ordered some wings. And the lovely waitress – honestly the nicest lady we’ve been served by this trip – sped off to the kitchen with our orders. It was hard to wait I was so excited. Finally our lunches arrived and from a visual point of view I was not disappointed. Katie’s wings were also impressive – I though maybe they had used turkey wings as these things were huge.

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On this occasion though I didn’t have any sense of plate envy. I devoured my country steak like a man who hadn’t eaten for a week. It was just what wanted at that point in time. I don’t know what they put in white gravy, and to be honest I probably don’t want know – but what I do know is that it’s a tasty and delicious companion to the country fried steak.

You may well ask – was this the best country fried steak? The answer is no – it was good enough though. It just happened to be the right dish at the right time!

Capt'n Con's Fish House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It’s been so long since I’ve updated the blog that I forgot my login details… Anyway, lets enjoy this moment while it lasts. Christopher and Mum decided they wanted to shower Lucy with some more baby presents, so we thought Brunch could be a good idea. Katie visits the Food Republic with her mothers group every Wednesday so we knew the place was fairly decent and not too far away, so it was an easy choice.

I’d suggest booking for Sunday brunch, as the place was packed and there was a wait when we arrived. Thankfully I took my own advice and we had booked a table off to the side so we could fit the baby capsule. The staff here are very accommodating and efficient and the table they had chosen for us was well located with plenty of room.

Christopher, Katie and yours truly all opted for eggs of some sorts and Mum went with the super sized schnitzel sandwich. Looking around the restaurant I was a bit envious of the lunch options coming out, and I think I’d probably opt for one of those next time, as they all looked amazing.

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I ordered the big breakfast however as I hadn’t eaten and it seemed wrong to jump straight to lunch. I went with scrambled eggs – as the waitress had recommended them  – and they were very good. The big breakfast was around $22 I think,  and overall it was quite nice. However, there was nothing really that made it stand out. I think there needed to be something different – some baked beans could have done the job – you know how I love my beans. It comes with mushrooms, bacon, tomato, pork sausage, plenty of toast and I got some potato rosti as well.

First impressions and it looked the part – a good serving size – although, the first thing I noticed was the bacon. I’m not a fan of short cut bacon – and although this was a nice smoky bacon, it just lacked the crispy fat that I was really craving. Nice mushrooms, with a nice rosemary hit, and a lovely whole grilled tomato. The rosti wasn’t the best I’ve had, and the sausage was ok – I had Christopher’s as he didn’t like it. As you can see a bit hit and miss. On the other hand, Mum’s schnitzel sandwich was very good.

It’s a nice place, with very good, friendly staff and a good honest breakfast, and some very good lunches. Well worth a visit.

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My brother and I have been hanging out for a schnitzel for some time now – we just haven’t been able to make it work. We finally got our act together and organised to catch up after work and grab ourselves some crumbed meat. Christopher suggested I do the research and I sent a few links his way – one of these related to The Hungarian. His first question was – why is there an Italian flag on their website… Then, do they do schnitzels at a Hungarian restaurant. On a side note, my brother is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Considering that he’s actually been to Europe, you might think he would know the difference between Hungry and Italy, and that yes, they do serve schnitzels in Hungarian restaurants. My question, “didn’t you go to Prague, which is not all that far from Hungary, and didn’t you sail along the Croatian coast? Surely you noticed that Hungary was one of the countries next door to Croatia?”  – was met with, “I was pretty pissed most of the time…” I’m not sure if he experienced all that much culture while he was there… Oh well, I do try to educate him, but it appears that he is further gone than I had feared… Eventually after some slow and tedious explanations we settled on The Hungarian on Bridge Rd in Richmond.

The restaurant itself is interesting, it’s a quaint, café type of affair, with absolutely no pretentions. Interestingly, considering their history with communism, There’s a small photo of Vladimir Lenin on the wall – who’s that – was the question from Christopher when I pointed out the photograph. Oh, did we learn about him in that animal book we read at school…Oh dear… But I do find it interesting that there seems to be a resurgence of nostalgia about the communist era in Eastern Europe.

I love their menu here, there’s lots of little funny passages – if you go, read their menu entry on Punjabi Buttered Chicken… Anyway, we were here for crumbed meat, and lots of it. On the menu they offer what they call the “Gipsymix/Sült Vegyestál” – which is seriously under priced at $54 for 2 people. It comes with pork schnitzel, chicken schnitzel, smoked kransky, pork-and-beef chevabs, chips and some coleslaw on the side. When we asked the waitress if she thought it would be enough for the two of us, she explained with a grin, that it would be more than enough for the two of us.

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We decided to play it safe,and ordered an appetiser of the pelmeni (Also because I really love these dumplings). Theses tiny dumplings are delicious, and taste great with the sour cream and dill offered on the side.

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Eventually a rather large and impressive plate of meat arrived. Eating this was going to be a challenge, but thankfully I was fully prepared and ravenously hungry. The first thing you notice, apart from the sheer volume of meat is the huge kransky sausages. You get two of these, and they’re really good. Next the chevabs, hidden amongst the schnitzels, these are a mince meat dish, kind of a skinless sausage you might say. The Chevabs (I know them as cevapcici) were nice, but a little plain for my tastes – and I could have done without them to be honest. With all the side meats out of the way it was time to dive into the schnitzels. The Pork and Chicken schnitzels were lovely, a nice thickness, not too thin so they didn’t dry out, although, as the waitress advised, you need the sauces to go with them. We had the mushroom, the pork gravy and some of the dill mayonnaise to go with ours – all three were great. The chips and the coleslaw rounded out the meal.

This is a seriously good value meal for two people. Essentially $26 each, and you get enough food for three hungry people. Next time I have a craving for Schnitzel I have a feeling I’ll find myself back at this quaint little place.

The Hungarian on Urbanspoon

Many years ago I had the opportunity to sample the ridiculous “Bogan Burger” at the Napier Hotel with a few mates. My recollections of that evening are a little cloudy, so when the opportunity arose to give the bogan another crack I leapt at the chance. I had been studying all day in the State Library and felt that a burger would be a just reward for such a hard days work. Jo was also keen for a burger, so we made the decision to catch up in the Smith street area not far from where she works. Once I remembered that the Napier was just around the corner, the decision was easy – Bogan Burger time. We arrived at the Napier at about 6:30pm on a Thursday night – the place was packed and all the tables were either full or reserved. Thankfully one of the staff members said we could take one of the tables that had been booked for 6pm but had no-showed. Clearly, this is a popular establishment. Cool refreshing beverages were ordered and the menus were scrutinised. I was always going to get the Bogan burger ($25) if it was still available – thankfully it was – Jo chose to sample the Wagyu Beef burger ($20) . Since the place was pretty busy we had a chance to watch the plates from the kitchen go by and I have to say the meals looked pretty good – I’d love to give the Roo Filet with béarnaise sauce a shot. Anyway, we didn’t have to wait too long for our meals to arrive. Unfortunately my phone had run flat after using it to hotspot in the library all day so I had to rely on Jo’s phone which didn’t seem to work as well in the low light…

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Jo’s burger –  The Wagyu burger came with  port glazed onion, bacon, lettuce, tomato, American mustard, Kentucky bourbon barbecue sauce and fries – She felt that the patty was a bit small for the bun, you had to bite through to get the meat, and the overall taste profile was a bit bland, but generally she was happy with the burger. Being a good little sister she gave me a bite – I didn’t really get any of the bourbon barbecue sauce, and the meat to me seemed under seasoned hence the bland flavour. My burger was another matter altogether. This thing is pretty crazy, you get steak, chicken schnitzel, caramelised onions, cheese, pineapple, beetroot, egg, potato cake, bacon, lettuce, tomato along with a big side of wedges and salad. Come hungry if you want to finish this one! Ok, so technically it’s not really a burger – there is no patty, and well, really there’s also no bun. What you get is a big Turkish bread roll, toasted, piled high with as much food as they can fit and then held together with one of those cocktail umbrellas.

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It certainly grabs your attention, and is pretty difficult to eat. I cut mine in half and then it was possible to actually get it into my mouth… Taste wise, all the elements on their own were pretty good, the steak was tender and cooked medium, although it was very much under seasoned, the chicken schnitzel was really good, the bacon was amazing, and even the potato cake was nice. But putting them all together into one bun doesn’t actually taste all that good. I ended up eating the second half bit by bit, not as a burger – it felt somewhat sacrilegious to be honest…  But perhaps I’m missing the point and I’ve turned into some sort of pretentious  foodie. Really, this is not about the hand ground Wagyu beef, or the brioche buns, or the special sauces of your caviar munching, champagne swilling,  wouldn’t cross the Yarra to save themselves, bloody bourgeoisie foodie tosspots. This is about fair dinkum, bloody grouse blue collar grub- were quality is measured by quantity and a successful meal is followed by a burp, the unbuckling of the belt, and a side glance to your mates with the words, Fark, I’m bloody stuffed, gees that was grouse. It probably would have paired well with a Melbourne or a bourbon and coke… Let’s be honest, I’m not the target audience here, but  I’d still give it a 7 just because it’s a bit of fun!

Napier Hotel on Urbanspoon

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Thursday night is a great time to get on down to Budapest on Glen Huntly Rd  and sample a rustic goulash or one of their plate filling schnitzels. And by plate filling I mean a big plate, over flowing with schnitzel goodness, served with a side of peasant potatoes. They have a special “happy hour” menu all night on Thursday where you can get cheap beer and $16 schnitzels and goulash. Great value, and I can report that I have put away a schnitzel or three over the past few years that I’ve lived just down the road from this fine establishment. Their schnitzels are pretty good – however, you need to get a sauce with them as they can be a little dry otherwise. I really like the nokedli (little flour and egg dumplings smothered in butter and salt and served with a side of paprika sauce – If you know Spätzle, then it’s essentially same thing from a deffernt region with a different name…), but you can only get a salad or peasant potatoes with the special. And the sauce costs $4 – although it’s enough for two really if you don’t completely drown your schnitzel. Anyway, my move is to order the nokedli, which comes with a small side of paprika sauce as part of the side, and then I feel as though I get my side and the sauce that I wanted – without paying for both. #winning!

Budapest also do a really good stuffed schnitzel –   Honestly, the Eye Fillet Stroganoff with a side of nokedli  is my meal of choice when I go here, but it’s a bit on the pricy side ($32.50) when you are comparing it with the $16 special. My wife usually gives me that “look” when I suggest the stroganoff might be good, and so I usually just get one of the choices off the happy hour menu – I guess since I’m pretty broke these days I have to stick to the tight arse Thursday happy hour specials. I know, my life is terrible! Oh woe is me… Anyway, if you are looking for some good value, hearty fare – get yourself down to Budapest on a Thursday night!

Budapest Restaurant and Palinka Bar on Urbanspoon

hofbrauMy brother and I decided that it was schnitzel time, and as a result, set off to experience the wonders of the schnitzel at Hofbrauhaus in the city. I must admit, I really love a good schnitzel – my Nanna, being from German stock loves to crumb things, and then fry them and serve with potato –  this must be where my love of the schnitzel comes from. My normal go to place for a schnitzel is the German club Tivoli on Dandenong rd., they do an amazing Jager Schnitzel which is a Wiener (Veal) schnitzel with mushroom and bacon sauce. I like to order it with a 500ml DAB and some egg spatzle… Mmm hungry just thinking about it. So, anyway, as you can imagine, I was looking forward to the Hobrauhaus’s take on one of my old favourites.

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As you arrive you have the choice of eating in the restaurant next-door or upstairs in a Munich style beer hall with communal seating on big tables and various musical entertainment throughout the evening. We opted for upstairs. The feel of the place is a bit touristy, with all the waiters/waitresses in traditional dress (Although – they’re not Germans, our waiter was an American…). The beer hall wasn’t very big and because it was a cold Tuesday evening, it was also pretty quiet. We started with bread and ordered the Pork Wiener Schnitzels with chips, veg and spatzel on the side. Although not the traditional veal, the pork schnitzels were quite good and a generous serving size. I got mine with a side of Mushroom sauce so the total cost was $34 which is rather more than the German club. The spatzel was ok, but in need of more salt and butter, and again almost twice what you pay at the German club. I guess location wise you would expect to pay a little more considering it’s right in the heart of the city, so I really shouldn’t complain too much here, sometimes I’m just a bit of tight arse… I’d like to come back on a busy night and attempt the crazy 1.5kg Schnitzel with 1lt of beer and a bowl of chips. If you finish it all in less than 45mins you get the meal for free, otherwise it’s $75. Both Christopher and I thought we could mount a fairly decent attack on the schnitzel challenge if we trained hard enough for it. If you are looking for a good traditional German meal, go to the German club, if you want a bit of fun and you are in the City already – well, it’s not a bad option.