Alas, poor schnitzels, I knew them

It’s Saturday morning and I’m sitting here listening to Chibo Matto and Regina Spektor, trying not to regret last night’s culinary adventure. This is what I ate:


Actually before I start, it’s probably worth pointing out that I have this obsession with bad fast-food from places that do their best to try and replicate the fast-food experience of a McDonalds but just don’t quite get it. Show me someone’s random idea to try and revolutionize the franchise fast-food industry or a local take-away doing something odd and I’m there with a couple of bucks in my pocket and a desire to see their worst. It’s a sickness, I know, but it’s mine and I’ve come to grips with it. It’s like those people you know who are obsessed with bad movies and love them for their flaws – I’m obsessed with bad fast-food and love it despite the stomach pains and added kilograms that result. Call it a desire to savor the culinary camp.

Which brings us, then, to Snitzl – a fast-food restaurant I discovered while driving home yesterday built around the theme of doing very bad things to the chicken schnitzel. How bad, you ask? Well, alongside such traditional meals as the schnitzel with gravy and cheese or the schnitzel with salsa, they also offer such delicacies as the Thai Schnitzel (Schnitzel with coconut curry sauce, Thai vegetables, cheese and sweet chilli sauce), the Swag Schnitzel (BBW sauce, bacon, fried onions, cheese), and the Chine-eze (mixed vegetables with sweet & sour sauce, plus pineapple and the inevitable cheese). I’ll leave it to your imagination as to which I was eating above (suffice to say, it bore only a vague resemblance to what I was expecting).

There’s more, of course – pick a nationality and they’re adopting their cuisine to schnitzel form, plus the inevitable variants on the meal deal, happy meal, and seniors meal. The best part was, of course, discovering that they home-delivered – you could get schnitzel abominations delivered to *to your door* if you were sufficiently interested. As dodgy fast-food places go, it was a veritable cornucopia of awesomeness; they had the flashy logo on the outside, all polished up and well-lit to suggest their legitimacy; they had the weird and wonderful mix of gimmick foods; and they had the lingo down as you walked in. Someone had put thought into the appearance and marketing of this. Sadly, however, it ended there – once you actually got inside it looked much like your local fish-and-chippery and thus the temptations of their exotic schnitzel variations was something to be met with suspicion rather than joy.

I’d like to say this ended well, but that goes against the spirit of trying such places out. Mostly you go to them to revel in the complete cognitive dissonance of seeing the basics of marketing and the capitalist impulse go awry, and in that respect Snitz doesn’t disappoint. I mean, I can now have a schnitzel covered in satay sauce, carrot, onion, coriander and cheese delivered to my house (dubbed the Indo D’Lite, though I’ll lay even money on the fact that it’s neither) and that’s worth more than little things like taste.

In fact, were it not for the Styrofoam containers used away, I could almost come to like the place. Compared with previous experiences, it’s actually okay. I’ve definitely had worse – South East Queenslanders who were out late on a Saturday night a lot in the 90’s may remember the short-lived 24-hour Brodies chain, which remains the lower echelon of such places I’ve experienced (and in recent years I delighted to discover that one still existed out in Warwick, and I immediately ate there upon discovering its existence).

Tonight, though, is devoted to recovering to yesterdays experience – I’ll steam myself a chicken breast with ginger and a handful of vegetables and eat like a sensible person. And I’ll dream of the upcoming trip to Adelaide in June, upon which I will be convincing Jason to take me in search of a Pea Floater.

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