It was at the end of February 2012 that new venue Schnafel, underneath the former site of the Three Coqs Brasserie, first caught my eye. Heading to our regular Monday night pub quiz at The Hill, I had flyers thrust into my hand offering me a 50% introductory discount at this new schnitzel and falafel bar.
I’m sure that it’s not just me who thinks that schnitzel and falafel are a bizarre, multi-cultural combination on which to base a fast food outlet. True, it gives the owners a catchy name, but what’s the connection?
None that we could see, bar the fact that they’re both served in either wraps or pittas with a selection of salad items at Schnafel.
It’s predominantly a takeaway venue: the size of the unit means that there is only space for two tables, each sitting between 6-8 people. Most of the restaurant is taken up by a long counter, with the schnitzels and falafels on one side, the salad options on the other.
We both ordered an ‘Awesome’ smoothie with strawberry, banana and yoghurt at £2.95 (the names made me cringe almost as much as the ‘funky chips’ at Jamie’s Italian), which took a while to make but was perfectly tasty when it arrived.
The wait wasn’t that much of an issue, as it also took us a while to decide what we wanted to eat (menu here). Yes, they may only serve schnitzel and falafel, but there are six varieties of the former, and three of the latter. Each can be served in a pitta or in a wrap with hummus, salad and pickles, or as a salad if you don’t fancy the bread.
With a slight addiction to the spice, I went for the smoked paprika chicken schnitzel in a wrap (£4.70). With the sliced, breaded chicken breast fillet and the salads/pickles, the wrap was enormous – it’s rare to find somewhere that’ll provide you with an appetite-satisfying portion for under £5.
While the smoked paprika added a lovely smoky kick to the chicken, the meat itself was pretty dry and chewy. As the schnitzel and falafel were all sitting in dishes on a hotplate, I guess this is hardly surprising.
The salads included in the wrap were delicious, though, and there was a great deal of variety. In addition to the standard lettuce and red cabbage, we had the options of olives, marinated mushrooms, radish salad, carrot salad and grilled peppers. Jalapenos and gherkins are available on the pickles front, and a range of four sauces, including mayonnaise and harissa, can be added to your meal before it is served.
Schnafel is certainly a novel concept, but the hotel breakfast-style warming of the meat and falafel let it down slightly, in my eyes. If they could find a way of keeping the meat moist, then I’d definitely be back for another visit.
Find Schnafel on the Bristol Bites Directory…