Chau Haus Schnitzel Station
Alright. All done with the travel blogs and time to get back to Kalamazoo. I only have a couple of ideas for new blogs in this area though because there just isn’t much opening. I have some intel on some really cool things in the works, so hopefully that will pick up as we get closer to summer.
One place I had been trying to get to for a while though is the Chau Haus Schnitzel Station on South Burdick near the State Theater. I saw this place had opened last fall, but it’s not a place I think J would enjoy, so I was kind of saving it until I had time to eat lunch by myself.
That time came while I was working an extra night at WMU. I got my lunch break around 2:00 and headed downtown.
The Chau Haus Schnitzel Station took over the space that used to be Dogs With Style right next to Harvey’s on the Mall. There was another hot dog place in between the time I first blogged about Dogs With Style and when Chau Haus moved in. I never made it there. It didn’t seem to last long because they wanted to be strictly a hot dog place and there just isn’t enough of a bar crowd in that area to support something like that.
Little has changed about the building because there’s not really much that can change. It’s a small space with a tiny kitchen out in the open behind the order counter.
There’s only a couple of tables in the space and a stand up lunch counter that is eponymous with Chicago hot dog joints. They have added art from local artists to the walls to get rid of the drab feeling of the tight space.
The restaurant has separate lunch and dinner hours. They close at 3 PM and reopen at 5 PM. On weekends, they take advantage of their location and that dinner time extends to 3 AM after the bars close. Unlike they restaurant before them, they don’t have to rely on that crowd to make their money. As far as I know, they’re the only German place in town and they brought back the soups that would bring in the downtown lunch crowd and folks from the high rise just down the street for lunch.
I walked into the restaurant at about 2:30. The owner was talking to a guy at a table while the one other employee was waiting for me at the counter. German food is not my favorite, but I do like schnitzel. I mean, how could you not? It’s fried meat.
I ordered the beef schnitzel which comes with two sides. I chose spatzle and the potato salad. I passed on the drink because they had Coke products and I didn’t expect lunch to take me too long. I had a Pepsi waiting for me in the car.
The cost came out to a little under $13. I paid with credit then took a seat at one of the tables while the owner got up to cook my breaded meat.
It took about ten minutes for the meat to be fried and brought out to me on a real plate. The lady who took my order asked me if it looked just like what grandma used to make…but my grandma didn’t make German food, so I really have no idea. It did look like something my grandma would eat though. They won’t win any praise for the plating of the meal, but this is a place that goes for authentic, delicious food over pretty plating.
I started with the spatzle to let the meat cool down just a little bit. The soft egg noodles are sauteed with butter and pepper. I added cheese for an extra $.50, but I couldn’t really tell if the cheese was even there. The noodles were delicious on their own though, so I don’t have any complaints about the faintness of the cheese taste.
Before diving into the meat, I gave the potato salad a try. I chose this side because it was about the only other thing I thought maybe I’d like. It’s a warm potato salad tossed with bacon and onions. Without the onions, I actually would have really liked this, but I’m not an onion person and that flavor did me in. I ate around them as much as I could because they potatoes were super tender, but the onions just kind of lingered.
The beef schnitzel was fantastic. The meat was tender and juicy and the breading was nice and crispy. I’m not an expert of schnitzel’s. They’re a rare treat for me because..well, you know how I am with my comfort zone. The breading stuck to the meat really well, so there wasn’t a mess of loose meat and empty breading on the plate. It was easy to get a little of both with every bite.
The Chau Haus is a unique addition to downtown Kalamazoo. As I mentioned earlier, I can’t think of any other German place in town, so they really have the market cornered. They stick to the German classics, so you’re not going to find burgers and fries at this place, but if you’re looking for something different, The Chau Haus Schnitzel Station is something different in this area.