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A Real Canberra Tragedy – Vale the Tradies Schnitty

jimbocool 11 March 2008 29

Sunday evening I tootled off to the Tradies Club in Dickson for some good old fashined comfort food in the shape of a Chicken Scnnitzel with pepper sauce. Now the Dickson Tradies Schnitty needs no introduction to Riotacters – as we all know it is a wonderous thing (magnificently unhealthy to be sure, you feel your arteries clogging as you dine) and somewhat of an institution in Canberra. When I arrived I could tell stright away that things were amiss – the recent renovations had finshed and while the hole in the wall where you order was considerably perked up (you can now see the kitchen proper, like a fancy cafe) there was no immediate indication of schnitzels (the board is no longer up). Even after a quick look at the menu, schnitzels were not immediately apparent. “Oh no!” I said to the lady at the till, “don’t tell me you don’t do schnitzels anymore”. She assured me they did and pointed them out on the menu – my heart sank as the words, “the famous schnitzels are now even better” were printed thereon. Is there an example anywhere in history where a food product labelled as “now even better” has turned out to be that way? Dishearted, I ordered a chicken schnitty with pepper sauce – hoping it was just a slip of the tongue when the lady said, “pepper gravy” as she repeated my order.

After a while, my little buzzer thingy buzzed to let me know that my order was ready – I went and picked up and my heart sank even lower – where there should have been a beautiful thin schnitty the size of my head lieberally covered in pepper sauce was instead two thick schnitzel like items, with a drizzle of what looked like gravy with some green peppercorns thrown in. I sat down, cut off a piece and ate it – it was awful. It was obviously a pre-packaged, frozen schnitzel – like you would buy from the frozen food section of Woolies. With thick crusting (not breaded, more like a batter) with the meat too thick for a true schnitty. The sauce was even worse, packet gravy with pepercorns thrown in. Now the old Tradies pepper sauce had its ups and downs, but it was actually a real sauce made with staock and cream – not Gravox. The whole thing was disgusting, and a disgrace – if I wanted Inghams frozen schnitzels, I would’ve had em at home!

While I will write to the Tradies to protest this outrage, I’m not sure what good it will do as it is obvious that the bistro has been outsourced to a catering company – God knows why, it can’t be to save money given how rich the club is. In the meantime I’m now looking for a new schnitty – preferably in a club as it’s easier to manage a baby & pram in a club than a restaurant.

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29 Responses to A Real Canberra Tragedy – Vale the Tradies Schnitty
MattT MattT 9:55 am 26 Sep 08

Came across this thread looking for schnitty in the city. What’s the best chicken schitzel to be had in Civic? Good chips and gravy a must.

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 2:53 pm 13 Mar 08

Just got word from a co-worker that Eastlakes have bumped their Schnitzel lunches, that have slowly gone up from $5, are now $10, and of inferior quality- and the only sauce was gravy. Sounds suspiciously like this…

Mr Evil Mr Evil 10:16 am 12 Mar 08

“Hmmm…is there nobody willing to blame K Rudd’s razor gang?!?”

Think of the the impact this will have on the average “working family”!!!!!

ghughes ghughes 8:39 am 12 Mar 08

A schnitzel not made of veal is merely crumbed chicken.
Wiener is the only way to go.

AndyC AndyC 11:13 pm 11 Mar 08

Stereo Henry – Soul Bar at Woden do an alright Chicken Parmi. It’s probably the highlight of their small range of food offerings since their lamb shanks vanished…
As far as schnittys go, in Woden the Hellenic Club does alright, but they could certainly do with a bit of work on the side offerings…

s-s-a s-s-a 11:05 pm 11 Mar 08

Read this out to my other half who suggested I post a link to the chicken schnitzel recipe recently featured on Food Safari (SBS).

Duke Duke 9:58 pm 11 Mar 08

Austrian Club, Mawson – schnitzel, chips and sauerkraut for $16 – no choice of sauces. But i’d eat there every night if I could!

ruhappynow ruhappynow 9:15 pm 11 Mar 08

Same happened with Kingsleys Chicken.
When I worked in the city a few years ago their Schitzel burger was a real schnitzel on a big bun with chilli sauce and lettuce – the only thing on the menu worth eating I thought and a great hunger buster.
Then I returned to work in the city recently and while hungry thought it would be a perfect hunger buster again. I ordered, was puzzled that it cost so much but thought hey it a ‘schnitzel’.
When I opened the wrapper I was again surprised that it seems to have shrunk too, but hey I thought oh well bit its a ‘schnitzel’.
Then after a few mouthfulls of what felt like predigested hospital food I inspected my ‘schnitzel’.
To my horror I had not a schnitzel, it was a some sausage meat type filling/paste made exactly 4mm thick and pretending to be a schnitzel in its schnitzel shaped paddy – with some plastic-like crumbing.
I was shocked that this sausage meat (20% meat) was being palmed off as a pounded bit of chicken flesh.
But that’s not all. I took this fake food back to Kingsleys and demanded a refund. The guy tried to say it was a real schnitzel despite my protesting – he even showed me the pathetic packaging that said it was a schnitzel LOL! The schnitzel paddy shape on the packet was laughable!
I proceeded to explain that I’ve eaten there before when they used real schnitzels and I then explained how a schnitzel was made. I explained that what they had was not a schnitzel as is made of is sauasage meat, and that a schnitzel is made of tenderised flesh and crumbed.
In the end he gave me back my money, I went away starving and in a foul mood.
I feel some relief that there are other people out there as passionate about their schnitzel as I am.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 8:18 pm 11 Mar 08

I went to the Tradies a while back while they were still in the middle of their bistro renovations. The schnizel was basically crap, small and not very tasty. I put it down to disruption due to renovation but after reading this thread I won’t bother going back.

Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club has cheap (<$8) Chicken Schnitzels on Wednesday nights. Heaps better than the (current) Tradies offerings. Limited varieties of sauces available though.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 7:25 pm 11 Mar 08

Oh, the humanity…

As a second choice, the sssssshnitzels at the Croatia Club in Deakin are superb (and yes you get a variety of excellent sauces to choose from), for a measly $7 it’s gold, possibly not up to the tradies, admittedly, but still damn good – and it fills the entire plate!!!

freddie281 freddie281 5:03 pm 11 Mar 08

Hmmm…is there nobody willing to blame K Rudss razor gang?!?

Bludger Bludger 4:52 pm 11 Mar 08

A damn shame! Why would they change the biggest seller in that place. I think the more people that say something the better – go facebook!!

Does anyone remember Clancy’s at the Heritage Village? They did great schnitzels and pepper sauce and dianne sauce! I literally did cry when they closed down.

Mælinar Mælinar 2:38 pm 11 Mar 08

Maggies used to have one so big, they had to stitch 2 chickens together to make it. Unfortunately, that too has gone the way of the dodo.

PigDog PigDog 1:30 pm 11 Mar 08

This is the only thing that could make Chuck Norris cry.

CanberraResident CanberraResident 1:15 pm 11 Mar 08

It concerns me when you say “where there should have been a beautiful thin schnitty the size of my head” …

maaaaaate … you must have one massive noggin’ because those Tradies schnitzels were enormous …

oh yeah, and when is the dickson tradies NOT doing renovations … seems like a never ending thing with that place

stereo henry stereo henry 12:26 pm 11 Mar 08

Polish Club at O’Connor – great schnitzel, although I’m more of a chicken or veal parmigiana kinda guy and have noticed that it is hard to find one of these pub menu icons anywhere in Canberra! anyone know where to source a good one?

justbands justbands 12:20 pm 11 Mar 08

They’d still care… a) sounds like it’s been outsourced, so the operators will care as they don’t get pokie profits & b) the popularity (or lack thereof) of the bistro brings punters through the door (or not). The fewer punters through the door, the fewer punters playing pokies.

AngryHenry AngryHenry 12:13 pm 11 Mar 08

Do they even care though! I mean look at all the money that gets poured into the pokies over there…

I actually wonder what is a bigger gamble, the tradies pokies or the tradies meals???

fnaah fnaah 11:56 am 11 Mar 08

For those with Facebook, I’ve created a “Bring Back the Tradies Schniddy” group, which of copurse will do nothing useful, except make us feel like we’re protesting:

Mr Evil Mr Evil 11:55 am 11 Mar 08

You no likeee, you goeee elsewhereeee!

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