To dine at a restaurant is an unnecessary expense — one, I might add, that requires from college students the extra oomph of value and quality that comes from a favorite place or menu item simply to make it worthwhile.
Knowing this crucial fact, many businesses and restaurants will create deals to lure students in and persuade them to spend a few extra dollars on a meal that is not from a dining hall or pieced together from ingredients purchased at Walmart and Kroger.
Steinkeller, a German beer hall residing underground in a faux subway station on our very own High Street, came to that realization with the creation of (what I must start calling) the ever-so-holy Schnitzel Day.
Half-priced schnitzel on Tuesdays.
You’ve read that correctly. Not just a few dollars off or a free beer alongside your meal, but half-priced.
A thin slab of juicy, tender meat breaded and laid over a bed of spätzle – dressed with a thin coating of lemon caper cream, or Holsteinerschnitzel – is cut from a $24, fit-for-a-CEO price tag to a much more manageable $12.
I am not one to eat out all that much. As I said before, it tends to not be worth the expense, but the slashed price of the meal that is otherwise equivalent couldn’t yank me in any faster than it did.
The small businesses of our beloved Uptown know the target demographic: us (at least in the fall and spring). They’ve come to find new ways to intrigue even the most frugal of us into purchasing their unique products.
This is a crucial example of mutual beneficence. We gain from lower prices and the restaurant gains from a more sizable customer base.
Not all of us can be expected to shell out for a singular meal thrice a day every day, so going out to eat can be a special occasion, a holiday or a beacon of light shining through days filled with aggressively average dining hall cuisine and whatever wrong food we were given from an Armstrong restaurant.
A night with half-priced schnitzel – and fantastic schnitzel at that – creates the perfect atmosphere for anyone looking to enjoy a nice night out with a healthy serving of hearty German food.
The dish was so perfectly cooked, proportioned and served that I couldn’t help feeling an intense déjà vu when exiting the stone-brick-walled, low-ceilinged restaurant and walking up the stairs. Instantly, I had been transported to Stuttgart, and I was dazed until I made it back to my apartment.
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I say to all of those businesses, so many of whom shutter and change hands after only a count-on-one-hand number of years: follow the model brought to us so fantastically by Steinkeller.
Half-price burger nights, pizza nights or anything of the like (though it may be tough to drag me specifically away from a hefty portion of schnitzel on Tuesdays) will be a fan favorite and will certainly create crowds on days otherwise penned off as “off days.”
12 dollars may not be cheap, but halving the price tag you’re only used to when going out for Mother’s Day is certainly worth pursuing.
To Oxford small business owners wondering if they should heed my advice, just know that Steinkeller got it to work on me, as I’ll be down in that stone cellar every Tuesday night, devouring a plate of perfectly thin, tantalizingly crispy and comfortingly hot schnitzel.