Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Oct. 8
"Nothing brasses off a teacher of the Language of Goethe more than to insist that 'Weinerschnitzel' is German for 'Hot Dogs!"' --Elle Plotz, my German 2 teacher at Chemeketa Community College, Salem, Oregon.
As long as I have lived in Vista, there has always been a Weinerschnitzel on the corner of South Santa Fe and Escondido Avenue (today's Civic Center Drive), near where I live today. I have eaten their food sparingly...and for a very good reason. Other than the chili cheese fries, the rest of their items were a taste-and-nutritional disaster area!
It was a typical fast-food emporium--plastic seats, chrome fixtures, and some outside seating with orange-and-red patio umbrellas. Basically, it was a place that caterd to those who loved hot dogs in their various forms (what on of my friends at Target's Food Court referred to as "beaks & cheeks"). They added chili and hamburgers later, but when they started out, it was selling more weiners than the "London Leatherboys" that the band Accept sang about in 1987!
Quite naturally, many Americans were rather confused about what "Weinerschnitzel" really was. In my first year of German class at Lemoore State Penitentiary...BELAY THAT!!...Lemoore High School, I found out that "Weinerschnitzel" had absolutely NOTHING to do with hot dogs! To insist otherwise is a good way to get an "F" for the day!
True Weinerschnitzel is a Viennese-styled veal cutlet (and rather tasty, at that!), served with vegetables and sauerkraut. It's a staple at many American "Hoffbrau hausen" (German-styled restaurant), along with Sauerbraten, Wurst, Kartoffell Pfankuchen (Potato Pancakes), and, of course, some of the best beer ever brewed.
Anyhoo--about wo weeks ago, the Weinerschnitzel on the corner of South Santa Fe and Civic Center Drive went out of business. Even with the addition of a Tastee-Freeze inside the store, it has become yet another victim of the economic malaise that has hit the City of Vista in the past decade.
Am I glad it's gone? YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPY! The asthetics of the place were an eyesore to begin with...and the food matched it precisely! Though inexpensive, Mickey D's (one block to the north) does it much better. If I want hot dogs (which are now officially off my diet), I'll steam up a few at home!
It will be a while before something moves into the spot (the old doughnut shop across the street still is vcacant), what with our economy-and-all. But, if there is one fast-food chain that got what it deserved?
It was this one...the place where hot dogs were sold in a place named for a Vienna-styled veal cutlet--and the hot dogs-in-question could never match Pink's (L.A.), Nathan's (NYC-Coney Island), or Queenie's (Salem, Oregon) in quality, taste, or price!
Auf Weidersehn, Vista Weinerschnitzel...und su der Teufel gehen SIE! --LPR
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