Because it’s too far to travel to Germany for Schnitzel, Bites ventured into the Oshkosh Bistro, inside Schultz’s Pharmacy at 220 N. Main St., where I discovered a diverse menu of German and American favorites. Dining at the Bistro was a culinary adventure. Chef Shaneah Littel proceeded to present several dishes nothing short of “wunderbar.”
The meats are free-range and hormone-free and the vegetables are organic. The dishes were well seasoned and nothing was heavy or salty, which allowed the true flavors to emerge. The Bistro does not use microwaves or non-stick cookware because the cooks believe they destroy the value and taste of organic ingredients.
A mainstay of The Bistro is Schnitzel, a slice of veal, pork or chicken tenderloin, and is Germany’s famous specialty. Served first was the Pomeranian Schnitzel, choice tenderloin chicken cutlets, pan-seared in fresh clarified butter, then deglazed with Zinfandel as a base for a mushroom cream sauce to give it a delectable flavor.
Next, Jaeger Schnitzel, choice cuts of pork tenderloin pan seared in butter with a caramelized sour cream paprika sauce. This dish was light and flavorful. Third, was Huhner Schnitzel, breast of chicken cutlet with seasoned bread crumbs sautéed in butter to a golden brown and fork tender.
Next the Schinken, imported German ham that is dry cured and smoked, was presented in natural pan gravy and was surprising light and tasty. The German entrees are authentic from homemade German recipes. Dinners are served with your choice of a baked potato or German fries, vegetable of the day, a fresh baked bistro roll, and soup or salad. A selection of imported German beers is available.
I then sampled several American classics. The Bistro Rueben is served on marbled rye with lean corned beef, Wisconsin-made Swiss cheese, topped with a homemade horseradish mayo thousand island dressing. Littel makes her own mayo from scratch using all natural ingredients.
Next, the French Onion Soup. The broth (made from scratch) has a subtle flavor of onion/beef stock and not too salty. Paninis are a favorite of Chef Shaneah. Her sandwiches are misted with virgin olive oil and the grilling technique infuses the flavor into the sandwich to give it a unique, savory taste.
The Gobbler Panini made with smoked turkey, julienned green pepper, cucumber, onion, topped with provolone and Bistro Ranch Dressing is a favorite. Worth mentioning are the homemade Bistro Chips, which are parboiled potatoes, deep fried to a golden brown and lightly salted.
For a grand finale, I enjoyed an entire piece of carrot cake. It was made on site, topped with one of the best cream cheese frostings I have ever tasted. Dessert is a must, either after the meal or to take it home.
As I see it, Germans do it best when it comes to slinging eats that soak up suds. The Bistro is great for a quick lunch or a culinary German feast. In conclusion, I went for the Schnitzel but I’m going back for the Schinken.
Oshkosh Bistro is open from 8 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Tuesdays: 8 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Wednesdays & Thursdays; 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Fridays; and 8 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays. For more, call 233-1555.
Dennis Tondryk is a freelance restaurant reviewer for the Oshkosh Northwestern. Email him courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org.