ARMOUR SQUARE — Standing among empty charcoal chimneys, sharp knives and unused oven mitts in his shiny new kitchen, the Schnitzel King himself vowed to keep things simple: minimally seasoned, expertly grilled or fried meats that’ll all be slapped between a bun.
“We’re talking literally just salt and pepper,” said Greg Burke, owner of the new Schnitzel King counter at 308 W. 33rd St. that opens near U.S. Cellular Field on Monday.
Burke, 38, said the menu for his walk-up counter will be basic but tasty — breaded and fried pork and chicken schnitzel sandwiches, potato salads and a rotating selection of choice meats.
Patrons can wash it down with a pull from a kegerator filled with locally made Filbert’s Root Beer. Soft-serve ice cream also will be available.
A few plumbing issues caused a setback with the Schnitzel King’s planned Opening Day debut, but Burke and his fiancée, Kristin Casper, are hoping to capitalize on the remainder of the baseball season.
For Burke, who also operates the Schnitzel King food truck, the opening of the restaurant was a detour from his family’s construction business, which went belly up as the economy slowed.
But his blue-collar experience has paid off — with the help of his family, he’s made a few tweaks inside the small storefront, added an awning and removed the old grill from the former tenant, Pat’s Italian BBQ.
In its place is a brand new iron beauty from the California-based NorCal Ovenworks. Called an “Argentine Exhibition Grill,” it’s got big, wide grates that can be lowered or raised above the charcoal or wood logs, and hanging racks on the grill’s top axle allow for roasting or warming certain foods, say a whole chicken dripping its fat into a cast iron skillet full of potatoes below.
“We could do a whole pig. To tell you the truth, we’ll do whatever looks good. Ham, turkey, beef, whatever,” he said.
The menu is still a work in progress, and so are the restaurant’s hours.