The premise of the column is simple; work with restaurants of all kinds to explore what they have to offer and what makes them unique. In a city like Toronto, the choices are sometimes daunting and the food reviews and critics can be snotty and too complicated for their own good. So why not keep this easy? Drinks. Appetizer. Main Course. Dessert. All along with a bit of information about what makes them my choice for Daniel’s Dish and why you should try them right away!
Schnitzel HUB – 1415 Yonge St. Toronto, (647) 351-5558
#GotSchnitzel? That’s not a question that you are often asked but one that immediately peaked my interest. Click on the hyperlink to follow the hashtag on Twitter while I tell you all about Toronto’s newest Eastern European hot spot, Schnitzel HUB located in Midtown Toronto for my latest Daniel’s Dish. As the snow falls onto the city and the Holiday season is in full swing, nothing makes me think of winter comfort more than a home cooked meal. From the moment I walked into Schnitzel HUB, I knew that this would be one of my favourite restaurants in the city.
I may be slightly biased based upon my German heritage and love for Eastern European culture and cuisine. The fact remains that Schnitzel is one of my favourite dishes that my Grandmother used to make for me. There is something about a home cooked meal that warms the heart and soothes the soul. That is the sentiment that I felt from start to finish at Schnitzel HUB and something that you have to experience to understand.
The decor of the space is slightly eclectic but nonetheless works really well. I was shocked at the huge size of the dinning room upon entering the front doors. Wooden frames and chandeliers, antiques and candlelight. It was all quite romantic and inviting. With a small lounge-like waiting area to the right of the door, we warmed ourselves and took in the atmosphere. When the line-up for the restaurant is down the street (and trust me, it already happens every day!), this is prime real estate to sit and rest your feet before a beautiful meal.
Every time I think back to our experience and recent visit, I smile. That speaks volumes for those of you who know me personally because after a decade of working in the industry, I am not always the easier person to impress. The following photo truly embodies Schnitzel HUB and the experiences you are sure to have upon your next visit.
Though one might assume beer is the best option (and a great one to enjoy to warm up from the cold), I would suggest that you try one of their over 40 house-made infused vodkas during your next visit. “Resembling an alchemist’s lab, Schnitzel HUB’s sprawling bar features an extensive menu of beers from Germany, Belgium and Austria, wines from all over Europe and more than 40 artisan, house-infused vodkas. .. In a process that can take up to three months per flavour to complete, Schnitzel HUB has perfected the art of vodka infusion, using triple distilled vodka and organic, natural ingredients – some sweet, some savoury and some ‘medicinal’”
We had the opportunity to try flavours such as Bacon, Horseradish and Ginger. All were delicious and offered a personal flare that you simply can’t find anywhere else in the city to pair with delicious dishes.
The drink menu has something unique for any occasion. When in doubt, let your server decide which flavoured vodka to add to your experience. Or if you are like me and can’t decide on just one… why not try a few? It’s the Eastern European way after all!
There is one item on the menu that caught my eye aside from the famous Schnitzel, and that is The Pierogies. Available in four different flavours (Potato Cheddar, Potato Onion, Sauerkraut Mushroom & Meat) my first bite made me wonder if there was a team of Nona’s working away tirelessly in the kitchen. With a chewy dough as thin as paper, there is nothing quite like a fresh pierogie with sour cream to make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.
Our appetizer was paired with champagne which I have never experienced as a pairing, but one that I will have to enjoy in the future again. The great thing about every dish I enjoyed was the sheer size of them. I can assure you that you will not be left hungry after your meal at Schnitzel HUB. Each bite was more sumptuous than the last and if I could have eaten my body weight in pierogies alone, I would have.
The infamous Schnitzel on the menu comes in traditional veal or chicken and might just be one of the best meals I have eaten in 2014 as I re-read each of my Daniel’s Dishes. This is comfort food, it’s just that simple. Available in ten varieties (varying sauces and topping to match your personal taste), the most amazing part is that the photo above is the LUNCH portion! This is not a meal for those of you looking for something light but it is so worth the indulgence. Tender and moist with the perfect balance of cripsy pan fried coating, the dish takes me back to my travels in Germany and Eastern Europe over the years. Do not be embarrassed if you need to ask for a doggy bag as I certainly had to!
In case you were wondering, the schnitzel pictured above is the “Jager Schnitzel” which is served with mushroom, bacon & red wine sauce. Add to that a German Salad trio and you’ve got the perfect comfort meal to enjoy on a cold winter’s night in the coming months.
When I read the dessert of the night would be another pierogie, I was a little worried that it might be redundant after all the beautiful dishes I had just enjoyed. But I can say after trying the Sour Cherry Pierogies that this dessert if the perfect balance of sweet and savoury to end the night. Do you know that moment when you think about your favourite restaurant and one dish comes to mind right away that embodies the experience? That is what happened when I bit into my first ever dessert pierogie. Sweet, savoury and just a little tart, the flavours and balance of this warm dessert left me smiling and content. A perfect way to end your meal at Schnitzel hub and the perfect portion to share with the one you love or friends. You simply cannot leave without trying these, especially if you have never had a dessert pierogie!
Secret You Should Know:
This is still my favourite parts about Daniel’s Dish is bringing you a fun fact or something that no one else knows. I can say that hands down, Schnitzel HUB has the best Daniel’s Dish secret of 2014 because it is one that YOU can actually ask for. Of the 40 infused vodka flavours available, there is now a “Daniel” option you can order to sip on upon your next visit. The funny thing about the flavours chosen is that they are all ingredients that support and encourage male virility. It also was first named something much more XXX and then took on my name. I guess I must have made a good impression on the staff? Regardless of how I inspired something so sensual, I am proud to say that I am a part of Schnitzel HUB that you can enjoy and sip on. I am also tempted to ask you to tell me how I taste because I made sure to leave every last drop in that bottle for you to enjoy. With all these innuendos, I’m starting to sound more and more like FASHIONIGHTS!
Whether you’re in the mood for a beautiful lunch with your co-workers or a night out with good friends, Schnitzel HUB’s Midtown location is one that you simply have to try to believe. From the feeling of being at home to the exquisite menu items, I can’t wait to see what you think about your experience.
To get inspired make sure to follow @Shnitzel_HUB on Twitter & @SchnitzelHub on Instagram. Use the #GotSchnitzel hashtag to join in on the social media conversation and to show us your favourite dish & drink upon your next visit.
For more behind the scenes of this and other Daniel’s Dish visits, follow my #DoTheDaniel Instagram account.
Please remember to enjoy responsibly and never drink and drive.