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Lenhardt's Sailor Schnitzel

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Virginia 
To: Phaedrus 
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2010 9:43 PM
Subject: Re: "seafood torte" 1/26/09

  I reviewed your instructions for requesting assistance and I've got something I'd 
like to know if you have any further ideas on searching for.  
  Now for the request for help:  I Googled everything I could think for this, but you 
mention things like discussion groups and message boards in some of your posts and also 
you might be able to think of something that I haven't Googled.  So this is a consultation, 
not necessarily a formal request.  When I was at the University of Cincinnati in the late 
1970s and early 1980s, there was a restaurant called Lenhardt's very near the campus, 
which was described as Viennese at the time.  It had what I remember as a full page of 
veal schnitzel offerings, most of which I do not recall.  It was an elegant, nice restaurant 
-- far above my normal means as a college student, but I was a student officer in a club and 
the adult members of the overseeing board would take the student officers there sometimes. 
I always ordered the same thing -- as I recall, it was called a "Sailor Schnitzel" (maybe 
"Sailor-Style").  It was your usual veal schnitzel, but little (if any) breading -- not 
like many wiener schnitzels that are served.  I think there was a thin slice of ham, maybe 
some cheese, and a light wine-butter-type sauce -- nothing heavy or creamy.

  I happened to return to Cincinnati for a visit two summers ago and one of the first things 
I wanted to do was go to Lenhardt's and order the Sailor Schnitzel.  I went -- the restaurant 
is still technically there, although now called Christy's and Lenhardt's (granddaughter of 
founder now), but I could not believe that ALL of the veal schnitzels are gone.  They only 
offer three varieties of a pork schnitzel once a month.  I was so stunned that I couldn't 
handle even thinking about it for a long time.  Last night, I finally brought myself to 
try Googling as I mentioned.  I found some references calling Christy's and Lenhardt's 
German-Hungarian (never while I was in Cincinnati -- Lenhardt's was always called Viennese then). 
I also found an obituary for one of the founders terming her and her husband German-speakers 
fleeing Yugoslavia in 1952-3 from the Communist regime there.  (I also happen to know someone 
whose family fled Hitler from Germany to Yugoslavia, then to the U.S., so the Yugoslavia 
reference may or may not have any influence on the cuisine.)  I could find three recipes that 
Lenhardt's gave some publication (apple strudel, Hungarian goulash, and liver dumplings, if 
you're interested), but no schnitzel ones (of course).

  I then simply tried to track down if I could find references to the schnitzels in old reviews 
to see if I could find their names or descriptions from the menu, but with very little luck -- 
just that there were between 7-11 (number varied -- 11 seems right to me, but some may have 
been dropped in later years).  One source mentioned the usual wiener schnitzel, rahmschnitzel, 
jaeger schnitzel, and kaiser schnitzel in a newspaper article on the transfer of ownership from 
the daughter and son-in-law of the original owners to the granddaughter.  This article also 
explained that the veal schnitzels were hand prepared by the son-in-law and, while he had 
trained other people to do it, they kept leaving the restaurant, so when he retired there was 
no one to do it -- the newspaper didn't ask why the granddaughter couldn't be trained or do it, 
I noticed.  Anyway, all of the veal schnitzels were dropped at the changeover in 2000 (the 
restaurant's current menu says 1998, but the article is dated 1/28/00).  This article did mention 
bread crumbs and a "sizzling cast-iron skillet," but no other details.  The restaurant's current 
menu offers three versions of pork schnitzels, but just adds Italian and Holstein to the usual 
wiener schnitzel).  An issue of Cincinnati Magazine added a "Hungarian paprika" schnitzel.

  I then tried to Google "sailor schnitzel" or even just "schnitzel" to see if there were any 
descriptions that would help, but I found only two sailor schnitzels (even after trying various 
German words for "sailor"), one of which referred to crab and another to tomatoes.  Neither of 
those ingredients were in the one I remember.

  So, it's probably hopeless, but did want to ask you if there were any other options -- such 
as the discussion groups and message boards.  At this point, I would be happy with even a 
description or something close.  What do you think?


Hi Virginia,

Sorry, I had no better success than you. I found the same sites, nothing more. I could not find a description of, or anything that claimed to be close to, "sailor schnitzel" or "sailor-style schnitzel". I looked for a list of the 11 schnitzels that Lenhardt's used to serve, but could not find a list with more than the 4 kinds that you found.

You might try to find a Cincinnati message board and post a request there.

The only other idea that you might try is to call "Christie's & Lenhardt's" at 513-281-3600 and beg. Someone there might still have the recipe or at least a rough idea of how sailor schnitzel was made or may be able to give you a lead.


Hello, this is Hayden in Cincinnati. 
Maybe I can suggest Virginia from  the 8/06/2010 archive contact two wonderful 
Cincinnati food experts for her "Sailor Schnitzel".  Marilyn Harris at 55 WKRC 
radio and Polly Campbell at Cincinnati Enquirer both put us Cincinnati foodies 
in great hands and I bet they would help out Maybe Virginia can Google 55 WKRC 
Radio and Cincinnati Enquirer for more help with Lenhard's "Sailor Schnitzel". 
Also another fabulous Cincinnati native and great cooking blogger is Rita 
Heikenfeld who also blogs on the Cincinnati Enquirer. She can e-mail or call them 
or listen live via radio or the internet to the weekly radio show and call in her 
request.  They all probably remember "Sailor Schnitzel" and old Lenhardt's "Viennese" 
restaurant. Maybe also contact Laszlo's Iron Skillet in Cincinnati. 8-9 different 
Schnitzels there also. 

Good luck. Hayden
Subject: 7/25/10 request for Lenhardt's sailor schnitzel
From: "Virginia" 
Date: 7/1/2021, 4:56 PM

Hi!  On 7/25/10, I had sent a query in regarding Lenhardt's sailor schnitzel that you 
published here: 08-06-2010

Thanks for doing that!  I had no immediate luck, but I happened to be going through 
oodles of paper in my dad's basement in April.  He moved to assisted living and his 
house is being sold, so the basement needed cleaning out -- he was a hoarder when it 
came to papers and books.  I found all kinds of things dating back to the late 1950s 
that have no relevance here, but what does have relevance is that I found a letter I 
had written to my parents while I was at college in the mid-1970s and just after I'd 
been at the restaurant.  In it, I gave the name of the dish as it appeared on the menu 
-- Sailor Schnitzel au Naturel -- and described it.  So, I tried Googling again with 
the full name.  The first two results were this one:  
Schnitzel - My Favorite German Food

The third result was your page above.

In the first result, Mr. Woellert describes the restaurant and amazingly enough lists 
the various schnitzels with a brief description.  He mentioned a book he had written, 
so I ordered it.  In that, he has a copy of the Lenhardt's 1962 menu that I scanned 
and attached for your benefit.  With the full name (key being "au naturel"), 
Mr. Woellert's description ("light wine butter sauce") on his Web site, and my letter's 
description, I hope to try experimenting on recreating it soon!

Thanks again for a wonderful Web site!


Fabulous Hot Dogs' Tacos

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ron 
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2010 3:44 PM
Subject: Recipe request

  Looking for any help finding a recipe from a 50's style diner called "Fabulous Hot Dog" 
of Hessville Indiana and its legendary tacos made from pork  back in the 60's and 70's. 
I believe they went out of business early 80's and I have not found any local folks that 
know how to make the taco meat.  I remember in was a red sauce with a very unique flavor 
and they provided a very spicy hot sauce to be used over the tacos.  Any help would be 
greatly appreciated!


Hi Ron,

Sorry, no luck. You might be interested in these sites:




Rudy's Italian Inn Spaghetti

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Deb 
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2010 6:21 AM
Subject: Looking For A Recipe

Uncle Phaedrus,

I had a customer that mentioned the spaghetti meat sauce at a business in 
Los Angeles called Rudy's Italian Inn.  He tried to describe it, but sort 
of lost me somewhere in the description.  Apparently this sauce was darker 
than the usual sauce, also thicker.  He came to a blank (sort of) when trying 
to compare it to our sauce.  He said when you wanted really great spaghetti 
and meat sauce, you ate at this place.  It was open for years on Crenshaw and 
closed maybe in the 80s.

Would you be able to help in trying to locate the dish?

Thank-you very much,


Hi Deb,

The only mentions that I can find of Rudy's Italian Inn in Los Angeles are a couple of sites selling 1940s matchbooks from there as collector's items. I'll post your request on the site - perhaps one of my readers can help.


Timm in Oregon, sent this info on Rudy's Italian Inn:



I remember there being at least two Rudi's Italian Inns in Los Angeles 
back in the 1950's and 60's. Rudi's Italian Inn, 3850 South Western 
Avenue and Rudi's Italian Inn, 5775 Crenshaw Boulevard.  I don't think 
they survived the riots of the time.

Rudi's used what is now referred to as Italian Gravy, of which there are 
many recipes on the Internet. Rudi's used an ingredient called "concentrato." 
It is very, very concentrated tomato paste made by drying fresh, seedless, 
skinless tomato puree in the sun to get as much liquid out of it as possible. 
The final product is crumbly but not quite dry. It becomes a very dark reddish 
brown in color, and has a wonderful and very intense sweet tomato flavor. 
You add as much or as little concentrato as you like to a dish, according to 
how much tomato flavor you want your dish to have, such as a braised osso buco. 

Note that, as fresh tomatoes slowly cook, they reduce and blend into a sauce; 
the pigment darkens considerably from the heat.

Concentrato or Estratto (another variety) is not easily found. 
May I suggest a homemade, Italian concentrated tomato sauce recipe 
such as the one below?  

Salsa di Concentrato de Pomodoro


1 cup olive oil 
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
3 cups tomato paste 
1 teaspoon sugar or to taste 
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper, freshly ground to taste 


Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook the onion for 
5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Stir in the remaining ingredients 
and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour 
while stirring frequently. Yield: about 1 quart.
Estratto di Pomodoro
Tomato concentrate  

Tomato concentrate or estratto di pomodoro is a basic ingredient in Italian cooking. 
Often use it to flavor vegetable soups or in dishes with a meat base (arancine, 
lacerto agglassato, a braised meat dish with a thick sauce). Estratto is made from 
large quantities of bright red tomato purée boiled to reduce it and then salted and 
spread out on wooden table to dry in the sun. It hardens into a very dark red paste 
with the consistency of clay.

To make the purée, chop the tomatoes roughly and cook with garlic, bay leaves and salt. 
Pass through a food mill to remove skins and seeds. In some parts of Sicily the tomato 
is passed through the food mill raw, without cooking. You then add basil sprigs and salt 
to taste. Spread the purée on a wooden tabletop, placed in the sun, and with a sturdy 
spatula begin to stir it. 

The purée has to be spread out, gathered in, stirred, and spread out again fairly 
continuously until the sun can evaporate the water content. 

Put the table on a porch for the night or in some other place where it will have air 
but no dew can collect on it. If the sun is not very hot, the drying process may take 
more than two days. 

When the estratto has become so thick that it can be modeled like clay, it will be so 
dense that in order to use it you must dissolve it in some hot water and stir to the 
consistency of pâté -- remove the basil. Then oil your hands well and pack the extract 
little by little into sterilized glass jars. Press it down well so that no air bubbles 
remain. Coat the surface with a thin coat of oil and sprinkle with 1 to 2 tablespoons 
of coarse salt. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin and store it in a cool place. 
Each time you take some extract out, make sure that the remaining surface is covered 
with oil. The estratto will keep up to a year in the refrigerator. 

Chuck shared his memories of Rudy's:

Hi, I just saw a message from Deb regarding Rudy's Italian Inn that was originally 
on Western Ave in Los Angeles and later moved to Crenshaw Blvd near the May Company 
at that time. The original restaurant was always busy, had high back wooden seating 
booths with red leather seats. The owner was on the move through out the restaurant 
smiling and chatting with customers. My parents took me often to the restaurant as 
a boy. Later when it moved to the Crenshaw location there was a period when the 
original recipe followed and was available. I can remember traveling across town 
to dine and sometimes to get quarts of the sauce for home meals. Then, the sauce 
changed and became mediocre and quite different. I learned that the owner's daughter 
had taken over control of the restaurant and installed many changes. Never bothered 
to go back after two disappointments. The original owner was rather well known. My 
father told me that Rudy's picture was on the front page of Time Magazine, and that 
his family was associated with the movie industry and several film stars, but I cannot 
remember more details. Perhaps there is a reader out there who could fill in the blanks. 
Most of all, I would think it a blessing from above if someone could actually provide 
the original sauce recipe. I have a vague memory of a story about a diner who requested 
the recipe and was presented with it and some exorbitant bill. My memory is that it was 
a red but creamy colored sauce as if cheese or cream had been added. It has left me with 
a sense of disappointment every time I have Italian spaghetti now these many decades later. 
Fabulous antipasto, spaghetti with meat sauce, charbroiled steak and spumoni ice cream: 
what a memory!

Earle also shared his memories of Rudy's:

I was searching for any info I could find on this jewel of a restaurant that is now just history and found this older post.  
Just for information, I had no idea how they put together the pasta sauce that made them famous, but I was aware of one aspect 
that was not mentioned in the post on your site.

Some background; all through the late 1930's & 1940's my family lived just a few blocks from the original Rudy's on Western Ave 
at 39th St. in Los Angeles.  I attended Foshay Jr. High School just 2-3 blocks away at the intersection of Western & Exposition.  
As a family, we would eat Dinner at Rudy's two to three times per month.  As a rebellious Jr. High School student who could not 
stand the bland school lunch fare I had "lunch" at Rudy's 4-5 days a week. 

At lunchtime a group of us would sneak off campus & go the ally behind the restaurant. It was really an older two story house 
that had been converted for restaurant use.  They would let us into the kitchen and sell us a quart cardboard container of 
pasta & sauce for 25 cents.  If it was very cold or raining, we were allowed to eat in the kitchen.

As I said, I have no knowledge of what went into the sauce, but I did see one aspect of it's preparation that was unusual.  
From time to time we would have occasion to see the sauce moving in one direction or the other.  It was prepared in very 
large kettles in the kitchen.  When it was finished cooking, it was placed in large wooden barrels and hand trucked to a 
separate cold room that was behind the restaurant in a separate building. We were told these were used whiskey barrels.  
We were told by the kitchen staff that they had to remain in cold storage for some extended period of time.  I'm not sure 
that anyone ever said how long they remained there, but we also saw a couple removed from this storage & brought into the 
kitchen where it was rewarmed for use.  However it was prepared, I have never tasted anything that could match it.

The other thing about Rudy's was the way it had been put together, each room of the old house was made to appear as a family 
dining room ( even though there might be 5-6 groups in each one).  Anti-pasta trays were huge & soups were brought to the table 
in large tureens.  It was a true "family" thing. 

When they moved to their new location at Crenshaw & Santa Barbara Ave a few miles away, everything changed.  
All the old flavors were gone.  So was the feeling of dinner at a friends house.  We went a few more times after the move, 
but it was never the same.

The L.A race riots had a huge impact on the new location.  Santa Barbara Blvd. became Martin Luther King Blvd. and most of the businesses, 
including Rudy's, disappeared into the sunset of memories of better times.

PS I love your site!


Woolworth's Peach Cobbler

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Cynthia 
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 1:45 AM
Subject: Woolworths Peach Cobbler

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

Years ago my former boyfriend and I used to eat lunch almost every day at 
Woolworths lunch counter in Philadelphia, and if they had it, I had peach 
cobbler for dessert.  It was the BEST peach cobbler I've ever eaten, and 
no matter how many recipes I've tried since then, and I've tried many, 
I can't seem to duplicate it.  It had a sweet yellow cake like layer on 
the bottom with what I guess were canned sliced peaches in heavy syrup on 
the top, and the cake had almost a crunch to it.  I DREAM about that cobbler! 
Of course, Woolworths has gone out of business long since; I wish they had 
put out a cookbook!  I notice you had a macaroni and cheese recipe from them; 
any chance you have a source??  I would bless you forever!


Hi Cynthia,

Sorry, I had no success with this. Very few Woolworth's Lunch Counter recipes have survived. See my Woolworth's article:



Chocolate Ice Box Cake

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Martha 
Sent: Saturday, July 31, 2010 12:54 AM
Subject: Chocolate Ice Box Cake

I'm looking for a recipe that appeared in the Cincinnati newspaper (Enquirer?) 
in the late 1950's.  It was for a chocolate ice box cake and called for Swans 
Down cake flour, crisco, evaporated milk among the ingredients.  You made two 
layers and then sliced them in half when cooled, making 4 mini layers.  The 
filling was light and fluffy made with Crisco and powdered sugar, and a small 
amount of the evaporated milk.  This cake was to be refrigerated and served 
cold, and I would love to have the recipe again.  Thanks.


Hi Martha,

Every recipe that I find with the name "chocolate ice box cake" is made with lady fingers or angelfood cake or cookies. I had no success locating any recipe with that name that mentions Swansdown or Crisco. Sorry.


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