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Sun12152019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

What: The Pork Schnitzel, Salzberg Style

Where: Café Scandia, 356 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $17.95; also includes soup and salad

Contact: 760-327-2036; www.cafescandia.com

Why: It’s moist yet not greasy, with lots of flavor.

The good folks at Café Scandia have not put that much effort into signage.

The signs outside look like someone went to Home Depot, bought some stick-on letters, and hastily placed them on the signs’ surfaces. Ironically, the restaurant could use some good signage: It’s in an easy-to-miss spot tucked away in a small, easy-to-miss Indian Canyon Drive shopping center. If not for a small A-frame sign on the sidewalk, I’d have never known Café Scandia existed.

However, chef Erik Pedersen and company do put effort into their food—and this is a very good thing.

The comfy, if no-frills, restaurant (look at the plate above for the very definition of “no frills”) offers no appetizers and just a dozen or so entrées, all of which come with a salad (which is small and … well, frill-less) and a cup of soup included in the price, which is $16.95, $17.95 or $18.95. In other words, there are even no-frills prices—though the fresh seafood of the day and an occasional special may deviate from those frill-less norms.

When the pork schnitzel is this fantastic, though, who needs frills? The cutlet had been tenderized and coated in a batter that was moist without being greasy. It was all topped with a brown gravy that looked, well, generic. But the resulting combo of meat, breading and sauce was perfect.

While the accompanying vegetables and mashed potatoes were decidedly ho-hum, a round of applause goes to the red cabbage, which brought acid and sweetness to the schnitzel party that made the entrée better.

The schnitzel and cabbage was simple. Down-home. And to use the phrase just one more time: no frills. But, oh, was it delicious!

Published in The Indy Endorsement

What: Gypsy veal schnitzel

Where: Johannes Restaurant, 196 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $25

Contact info: 778-0017; http://www.johannesrestaurants.com/

Why: Because of the variety and intensity of flavor.

Johannes, located just a wee bit off the beaten path in downtown Palm Springs, offers a variety of Continental cuisine, especially Austrian/Viennese favorites—and while the restaurant celebrates its 13th anniversary, included is an entire menu of schnitzels (mostly made with veal, of course, but some made with organic chicken).

While the schnitzels offer a variety of ingredients and, therefore, flavors, the gypsy is the one that has the most flavor. On top of the nicely crunchy schnitzel is a flavorful green peppercorn-brandy sauce, capers, baby pickles, onions and roasted fingerling potatoes. This is not a dish for people who like nuance; this is a dish for people who like a full-throttle taste-buds assault.

The mix of intense flavors makes this dish a real winner. All dishes come with a ewer of yogurt with dill and cucumber, which makes a nice contrast to the schnitzel.

Published in The Indy Endorsement