Chicago Schnitzel King and Bridgeport Pasty open storefronts
We review the goods at the food trucks-turned-storefronts Chicago Schnitzel King and Bridgeport Pasty.
Bridgeport continues its culinary rise with two new dining options, both of which started as food trucks. While the trucks are still operating, the new storefronts mean not having to track the whereabouts of your lunch via Twitter. Chicago Schnitzel King started selling its sandwiches from a walk-up window in early June, while Bridgeport Pasty, which sells hand-held British-style pies, opened in late June. We visited both spots last week to assess the good, the bad and the messy.
Chicago Schnitzel King
Walk down 33rd Street just north of U.S. Cellular Field and you could easily miss Chicago Schnitzel King’s new walk-up window. That would be a mistake. This extension of the Chicago Schnitzel King food truck serves up various types of schnitzel (a breaded and fried thin cut of meat) and some of the best fries in the city.
The schnitzel chimichurri, available in chicken or pork (I got chicken), is a greasy mess, and I mean that in the best way possible. The grease soaked through multiple layers of white paper wrapping and dripped as I ate. I used tons of napkins to wipe my fingers clean, and even attempted, unsuccessfully, to use my water bottle as a faucet to rinse my grease-soaked hands. Despite the grease, the chicken is crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. The chimichurri sauce, made with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs, soaked into the bread, spreading the garlicky flavor through every bite.
Though schnitzel is typically meat, Schnitzel King makes an eggplant schnitzel that appeals to more than vegetarians. The fresh-sliced eggplant is breaded and cooked, put on freshly sliced bread and topped with marinara sauce and cheese. The sauce is well-seasoned, and there’s just enough to provide a hint of Italian spice without overwhelming the eggplant. The only downside to this sandwich was that the eggplant wasn’t cooked evenly, as a couple of bites weren’t quite cooked through.
While the schnitzels are at least a foot long, you’ll want to get an order of fries, too. The fries are prepared fresh to order; they come out piping hot and freshly salted. The thick-cut, skin-on fries are delicious on their own—no ketchup needed.
There aren’t any heat lamps, so while the food takes a little longer here than it would at a fast food joint, it’s well worth the 10 minute or so wait. While I waited, the friendly owners gave me a sample of their beef tri-tip, which, for the record, is tender, juicy and smoky. Schnitzel King doesn’t have any seating at the moment, though they’re expecting to open a sidewalk café in the next couple of weeks. For now, find a patch of grass or a bench in the park across the street to enjoy your schnitzel. Just make sure to get here early, since Schnitzel King often sells out and closes early.