Since the closing of the German Kitchen in Silver Springs, many have been missing their schnitzels and Black Forest cake. That is, until Raymond and Suzanne Foehring opened The Schnitzel Factory in Ocala Square on 14th Avenue.
Not being well versed in this type of food, I spoke with Klaus Bartum, a chef from Germany, who was visiting with friends alongside my table.
Of the 15-plus Schnitzel dishes on the menu, I forgot to ask which one he ordered. However, he says his meal is about as authentic as it gets. “This is real German food,” he says, “just like what I’m used to.”
I had the Jaegerschnitzel and it was breaded. In Helen, Ga., I’ve had it with no breading. “It depends on what part of Germany,” says Klaus. “In the North, the schnitzel is flat with no breading. In the South, it’s breaded.”
A few tables over, Raymond was taking a break from the seven o’clock rush. “It’s been like this almost every night,” he says in his thick but easy-to-understand accent, “and lunch is just as busy.” Visit the Web site that Raymond designed himself at www.theschnitzelfactory.com. You may just get the urge to polka when you hear the music.
The sour economy has played a role in closing both local restaurants and entire chains as seen with Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale. But Ken DePasquale, who owned and operated Carmichael’s Restaurant on Silver Springs Boulevard, is at it again on 25th Avenue in the old Grille 754. “Certain people have come up to me and indicated I might find it hard to be as good as it once was,” Ken says. “I find myself challenging that comment, and at this point, I am firmly convinced that I have the opportunity to make it better than it was for a variety of reasons.” He went on to say that certain products have improved in the last four years his restaurant has been closed, and a new, high-quality kitchen in Grille 754 will also make a huge difference. “I honestly never thought the day would come, but here I am equally excited about the chance to be busy again,” he says.
Mark’s Prime opened its doors in late July to a huge crowd that has patiently waited for this high-end steakhouse. For more information, go to www.marksprimesteakhouse.com.
Reader Replies: Melissa Lieberman writes that she would love to see more health-oriented restaurants such as Sweet Tomatoes. Betty Kossik agrees. Tina Adams would like to see a Pollo Tropical, and so would I. Linda Lathrop would also like another of my favorites, Bahama Breeze. Jim Prentice is excited about the upcoming Cuvée Wine & Bistro, and would like to see more independents and less chain restaurants. Denise Shortway loves Bucca di Beppo and Sweet Tomatoes and would also like to see a nice cheese shop come to town. Ken Howe would like to see European Street Café (great sandwiches, beer, and wine) and more American Southern-style restaurants. Barbara Dedics would love a P.F. Chang’s.
Nibbles: Yamato Japanese Steakhouse (www.yamatojapaneserestaurant.com) is now open. Bella Luna Café is undergoing renovations and may be open by the time you read this.
What new restaurant would you like to see come to Ocala?
E-mail your response to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we’ll put the results in future issues.