Spiegel isn’t the only East Village newcomer that’ll soon be serving schnitzel. Yoni Erlich, 27, is aiming to open Schnitz this Friday with his sister, Donna, 28. And they’ve got big plans for the those pounded, breaded and fried cutlets.
“Schnitzel’s kind of like falafel 20 years ago — it was there, but people didn’t really know about it,” said Yoni. “We thought, ‘Why can’t schnitzel be the next falafal? Or the next meatball?'”
Schnitz was born during a drunken brainstorming session and launched in 2011 as a Smorgasburg stand (partner Allon Yosha helps coordinate their efforts in Williamsburg and Dumbo). “Basically every type of cuisine has a schnitzel,” explained Donna. “In Japan, it’s tonkatsu. In Italy, it’s milanese. You’ve had a chicken cutlet. We grew up with my mom making vats of traditional Israeli-style chicken schnitzel that was really warm and homey. And we wanted to turn it on its head.”
They’ll do that by serving schnitzel — traditionally a fork-and-knife affair — on Tomcat Bakery pretzel heroes. The eight sandwiches on the menu range from $7 to $14, and include chicken, pork belly, pork loin, shrimp and corn offerings. Plus exactly one Forrest Gump tribute (the Lt. Dan is a shrimp schnitzel topped with a jicama-fennel slaw and a lemongrass mayo). Another sandwich, the Mrs. Child (chicken schnitzel topped with greens and a celery root remoulade), was created with Julia Child in mind. “We felt like this was something she would like,” Donna said.
Rounding out the menu are fries, chicken soup (“our mom’s recipe”), an assortment of pickled produce (from cucumbers to daikon radishes to cherries), plus beer and wine on tap. Schnitz will also have free wi-fi and outdoor seating.
177 First Ave. at 11th St., 646-861-3923, open Sun to Wed from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m, and Thurs. to Sat. from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.