Food + Drink

December 20, 2016

Schnitzel HUB serves perfected European tradition

For a city as diverse as Toronto, it is a surprise how few restaurants there are dedicated to serving the authentic dishes of Eastern and Central Europe. This especially rang true when The Coffee Mill closed their doors in Yorkville after over 50 years of service, leaving the city without a devoted source of borsht, cabbage rolls, and schnitzel.

That was until Schnitzel HUB opened their doors at Yonge + St. Clair.

Our neighbourhood is lucky to be the home to an authentic-yet-contemporary restaurant in Schnitzel HUB.  Drawing their culinary influences from Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Russia, the team has been serving an elevated European tradition to midtowners since 2015. We sat down with Schnitzel HUB owner, Rita Khalfoun, to talk homemade cuisine, vodka, and life at Yonge + St. Clair.

Being one of the lone restaurants focused on the dishes of Eastern and Central Europe, Schnitzel HUB prides themselves on serving the most authentic homemade dishes in Toronto. “All of our meals are made from scratch so you can feel the taste of good old Europe in every bite,” Rita gleamed.

For first timers at Schnitzel HUB, Rita obviously recommends that you start with the schnitzel and a pint of German beer.

All schnitzels come in four options – veal, chicken, pork, or eggplant, with seven separate topping options. This ranges from their Jaeger Schnitzel with mushrooms, bacon, and a red-wine sauce for $16.95, to the classic Wiener Schnitzel for $14.95 at lunch.

All lunches come with bread and garlic butter, coleslaw, and choice of spaezle, mashed potatoes, home fries, or sauerkraut.

The dinner menu expands on the lunch offerings with Veal Schnitzels stuffed with wild mushrooms or ham and emmental cheese for $25.95.

“Each schnitzel we make comes with different toppings and each topping has four options of schnitzel– so right off the bat we offer over 40 combinations of schnitzel,” explains Rita. “Our menu is built to suit any palate.”

“On top of that, we have an amazing selection of German beers on tap. We’re working with all the Hacker-Pschorr brews – their light, gold, Weisse, and pilsners all pair great with our dishes.”

With their wide selection of schnitzels, Schnitzel HUB also offers an authentic range of traditional dishes  – pierogies, beef stroganoff, cabbage rolls, and German sausage.

Schnitzel HUB’s appetizers include  soups, salads, and dishes like the Bistro Herring ($9.50), which is a cured herring fillet with white wine infused onions on  a bed of baby arugula, or the Hub Duck, a smoked duck breast on  a bed of sauerkraut, drunken apple and black currant red wine reduction ($12.95).

Much like the schnitzel, Perogies ($12.95) come in a wide variety of combinations, from potato cheddar, sauerkraut mushroom, to a dessert sweet cheese ($10.95).

 “Although we are a schnitzel place, perogies are our best seller – especially for delivery and take out through FoodoraJust Eat, and UberEats,” Rita confessed. Schnitzel HUB also offers brunches on the weekend and holidays with a selection traditional Eastern European breakfasts.

While Schnitzel HUB works well within the confines of traditional Eastern European cuisine, they let their creativity soar with their contemporary drink menu, and Hub infused vodka.

 All of their vodkas are made in house and infused with various natural ingredients like apple cinnamon, smoked bacon, or jolly ranchers. The process can take up to three months per flavour using triple distilled vodka and all-natural ingredients. “We pride ourselves in our wide selection and working with our guests to find the perfect ‘vodka match.’” Horseradish and Lemon & Ginger infused vodkas are Schnitzel HUBs top sellers.

In regards to the Yonge + St. Clair community, Rita has loved her time in the neighbourhood. “This is our third location we’ve moved to and it finally feels like home.”

“We’re now looking to expand, but Schnitzel HUB Yonge + St. Clair will always be the main restaurant for us. Yonge + St. Clair has been amazing and we owe it a lot. It is the hub!”

Schnitzel HUB is located at 1415 Yonge Street and is open from 11:30AM on weekdays and noon on weekends and will be participating in Winterlicious this year starting January 27th.

Images taken by Yonge + St. Clair and provided by Schnitzel HUB