Darken the city, night is a wire, steam in the subway, earth is a afire
When I was young, I used to go with my parents to a Hungarian deli called The Blue Danube, located in a west-end Toronto industrial park. In this nondescript spot, surrounded by warehouses, body shops, manufacturers and receiving docks, the proprietors of the deli slung Wiener schnitzels and schnitzel sandwiches during lunch hour. The lineups were long. The food was good, and there was a captive audience of workers in the neighbourhood. It was really was a symbiotic relationship.
I hadn’t thought about the Blue Danube in a while, because, well, I’ve kinda moved on in life. But, a visit to the Lunch Box Diner, in an Edmonton industrial zone just a couple of blocks away from the Telus World of Science, brought those memories right back.
Woman, you want me, give me a sign, and catch my breathing even closer behind
Well, first off, The Lunch Box Diner is surrounded by warehouses, body shops, manufacturers and receiving docks. And a goulash soup and a schnitzel lunch were on the menu. Wait, did I just die and Russian Doll myself? Is Natasha Lyonne going to walk into this review?
Of course, I ordered the goulash and schnitzel.
But, before I go any further, there was one other thing about this restaurant that stood out. The non-stop Duran Duran. And it wasn’t like someone just put Rio on and let it play. We were bouncing all around their careers, from early days to their teen-heartthrob days to those later singles that you kinda don’t remember unless you actually hear them.
In touch with the ground, I’m on the hunt I’m after you
So, with Simon Le Bon in my ears, the goulash comes to the table. It’s definitely a hearty serving on its own. It differs a bit from traditional goulash in that the beef, potatoes and carrots are all chopped up really fine, taking away the “is it a soup or a stew” question that usually accompanies this Eastern European staple. But, the peppery, beefy flavours come through — and it’s a nice beginning to the meal.
Then, the schnitzel meal. There’s gravy. There’s two scoops of mashed potatoes. And there’s vegetables underneath the two portions of schnitzel, but you’re not reading this review for the vegetables. They are the Schrodinger’s Cat of this review.
What you want to know, what you need to know, is… was the Schnitzel… good?
Smell like I sound, I’m lost in a crowd, and I’m hungry like the wolf… Straddle the line in discord and rhyme, I’m on the hunt I’m after you
The answer, is yes. Schnitzel is one of the easiest things in the world to screw up. The pork or veal isn’t pounded out thin enough, the batter isn’t up to par, it’s either soggy or burned. But this one holds up. Even with gravy, the breading keeps its texture, and offers a bit of crunch. This is a sizeable meal, and, yes, it’s worth finding this spot. Especially if you’re hungry like the wolf, or something.
I’ll show myself out.
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