Schnitzel Plus has opened in Englewood. The restaurant, a nine-year staple of the Teaneck kosher dining scene, is opening a second store on 6 East Palisade Avenue. Offering everything from burgers to shawarma to chicken platters, Schnitzel Plus hopes to ignite the Englewood kosher food industry and provide the Jewish community with delicious meals at an affordable price. The lively, modern store will open its doors over the next few weeks and is expected to be bustling by early September.
The Englewood store is the most recent kosher eatery in Israeli restaurateur Ziv Dermer’s 20-year career. Fresh out of the IDF, he founded Cafe Puzzle in Israel and then opened a successful coffee shop in New York City. Finally, in 2011, Dermer transitioned to what he referred to as “basar,” (meat) cuisine, establishing the original Schnitzel Plus in Teaneck. Marked by its bright orange interior and delicious mix of Israeli comfort food and traditional American dishes, the “fast food meets Mediterranean” restaurant quickly became a fan favorite of the Queen Anne Road kosher scene.
Describing his passion for the restaurant business, Dermer explained that he simply “loved happy people.” When the opportunity presented itself, he jumped at the chance to spread his joy to more customers, and decided to create a second store, this time in his native Englewood.
Unfazed by the fledgling kosher restaurant industry in Englewood, Dermer is excited to distribute his delicious creations in his new location. “For such a big community, they deserve more kosher restaurants. I know that many customers don’t always want to go out of town, so this store will make it easier for them to find kosher food where they live,” said Dermer. Dermer also hopes to target the Jewish communities of Fort Lee, Tenafly, Cresskill, Closter and Demarest through online ordering, which he hopes will be more convenient and will spread the Schnitzel Plus name throughout various Jewish communities.
The restaurant has developed rather quickly. In a matter of months, licences were procured, the interior was furnished and the kitchen was constructed. It is a bit smaller than the original Teaneck store, and Dermer hopes to add outdoor seating next summer and only expects the limited space to restrict the variety of drinks, namely smoothies. In terms of menu items, the choices will remain virtually the same as in the Teaneck restaurant. Expect assorted burger styles from around the globe, Mediterranean platters, packed schnitzel sandwiches and fresh salads.
Dermer’s greatest challenge has been finding employees. He explained, “Everyone needs them. You see the help wanted signs in windows. It’s not so easy to actually find the right people for the restaurant.”
Though Dermer understands the challenge of the kosher restaurant business, he is optimistic that the new store will find its niche and become a fundamental part of the local community. He is excited to learn from a new group of customers and is ready to work with different “high traffic” hours and adapt to the new environment.
Dermer is glad to be able to “return to Englewood, where I used to live, and create a new restaurant for the community.”
By Dov Levy
Dov Levy is a rising senior at SAR High School and was a summer intern at The Jewish Link.