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Grub Spy: Schnit happens

Bringing a taste of Deutschland to Wexford, Schnitzel Haus is a tasty offering that will satisfy those who love breaded sausage

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Some of the amazing food on offer at Schnitzel Haus.

Some of the amazing food on offer at Schnitzel Haus.

Some of the amazing food on offer at Schnitzel Haus.

When I read the Schnitzel Haus blurb about it "striving to provide Ireland's finest German cuisine", I was mightily intrigued. I was even more interested to see if they might add something delicious and authentic to the Germanic culinary range, because my limited exposure to it, i.e. a couple of wild weekends in cafes and beer halls in Berlin, wasn't exactly filled with gastronomic delights.

Schnitzel Haus

105 North Main Street, Wexford

Four stars

Food: €25.80; Wine: €12.50

 

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The exterior at Schnitzel Haus.

The exterior at Schnitzel Haus.

The exterior at Schnitzel Haus.

Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel and every minute. I'm Irish - why wouldn't I love ginormous hunks of boiled meat with mounds of cabbage-y sauerkraut and potatoes? Although I have to say, they are to foodie elegance and high-end dining what Roy Keane is to needlepoint. Having said all that, if it's hearty craic and excellent beer you're after, Berlin is your only man.

I was half expecting to find (because of the blurb) a gastro temple to German food. What we actually find is a modern, spacious, two-storied premises with loads of outdoor seating.

Food-wise, it is a game of two halves. The starter menu includes a prawn cocktail, caprese salad, goat's cheese salad and chili con carne, an Oscar Wilde salad, and an odd-sounding Lady Di dish (fresh veg with Hollandaise sauce roasted in a sizzler pan topped with Wexford cheddar served with hash brown) - frustrating to say the least and about as German as my auntie Nellie.

Thankfully, the kitchen really goes for it with the schnitzel menu. I also need to get a tad technical here.

A true wiener schnitzel (Viennese cutlet in German) is Austrian, made with veal and protected under Austrian law. German schnitzel (schweineschnitzel) is traditionally made with thinly battered pork, breaded and fried until crispy. There, now you know. Spoilt for choice with a full-on range in three different portion sizes, the Boss goes for the maid-sized wiener art. And boy, is this a fine hunk of breaded pork.

It is crispy, full of flavour, and cooked pretty much to perfection. The kitchen gets it spot on. And while spätzle (a kind of eggy noodle) is on the menu as a side, the Boss chooses some (OK) fries and an (OK) side salad. It's a real pity they don't have a traditional vinegar-y potato salad called schwäbischer kartoffelsalat - it goes amazingly well with schnitzel (maybe next time and there definitely will be a next time).

I opt for a super classic pork sausage with crunchy sauerkraut, fried onions, mashed spuds and a pool of rich tasty gravy. This is a superb example of a German bratwurst that's made locally and stretches invitingly across the plate. It is meaty, spicy and peppery where it should be and substantial enough for two.

Both dishes are filling, delicious and full of German schtick, which is exactly what we want. All that's missing are waiters in lederhosen and perhaps Wagner's Ring Cycle blasting out from the sound system.

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Alan’s dish.

Alan’s dish.

Alan’s dish.

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Granted, we weren't overly impressed with the starter part of the menu. But once the kitchen delivers what it's supposed to - proper German grub, they get the job nailed.

Finally, to coin a phrase from REM, there's lots of shiny, happy people in Wexford town, especially outside the Schnitzel Haus on a Friday night.

 

Grape Spy: Jean Smullen

Spain is the second most popular country of origin for Irish wine lovers, especially its reds. Here are two to look out for in the Centra Spanish wine sale, which runs until September 22.

Campo Viejo Tempranillo €12.50

This one is perfect to enjoy as the darker nights draw in. Campo Viejo is a well-known winery in DOCa Rioja, Spain’s best-known red wine region. This is currently on offer for €8 in Centra stores.

Tempranillo is one of Spain’s best-quality red grapes, and this Vina Joven (young wine) is an un-aged Tempranillo, with lots of ripe, juicy strawberry flavours. Enjoy with grilled burgers and thick-cut chips.

Torres Sangre De Toro €11.49

Torres are a famous Spanish family of wine makers. Sangre de Toro means ‘Son of the Bull’. This is also on offer for €8 in Centra stores. A blend of Garnacha Tinta and Cariñena, it also has a little Syrah mixed in. The wine was aged for one year in oak barrel and has a lovely smoky nose, with aromas of black olives and cherry. Soft and easy to drink, it has autumnal fruit flavours and a hint of vanilla. Serve with slow-roasted belly of pork and creamy mashed potatoes.

  • For wine events, see jeansmullen.com

 

Quick Bites

 

Leon a roll

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LEON Ireland MD Stuart Fitzgerald

LEON Ireland MD Stuart Fitzgerald

LEON Ireland MD Stuart Fitzgerald

 

Foodies rejoice as naturally fast food chain LEON arrives to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin.

Already a huge hit in the city centre, the eaterie has just opened its third branch in the Western End of the retail mecca, right beside Penneys, with digital kiosks set to make ordering and paying a breeze.

And LEON Ireland MD Stuart Fitzgerald can’t wait to welcome Liffey Valley diners. 

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Chicken Lemon Olive Tagine

Chicken Lemon Olive Tagine

Chicken Lemon Olive Tagine

 

He says: “Since opening in the city centre we have received so much love from Dubliners who are genuinely astounded by the quality of the LEON offering, particularly our veggie options.”

The famous LOVE Burger, Chargrilled Chicken Aioli Hot Box and Halloumi Wrap are just some of the favourites still on offer. While new additions to the extended menu include a Parmesan Chicken Salad and Satay Loaded Fries.

Get salivating at leon.co/ie/ or follow @leonirel on social media.

Have you got foodie news we should know about? Email quickbites@sundayworld.com

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