The first time I drove past Schneider's, 3717 N. 76th St., I thought it was a supper club. It had that look about it, with the older sign and older design. The building is half house and half restaurant.
It was the word "pizza" that got my attention and convinced me to pay them a visit.
When I walked in, I was met by the bar area. The hostess station was off to my left. The bar was pretty full on this Saturday afternoon.
I was told that Schneider's was originally called the Colonial Inn prior to 1994. In 1994, an ownership change made it Schneider's Colonial Inn. Then it just became known as Schneider's.
Current owner, Leung Chu, bought Schneider's nine years ago. He was at his other restaurant, China Town on North Avenue., so I didn't get to meet him.
When I reviewed the menu, I was impressed by the low prices and decent selection, but I also remembered that you get what you pay for.
Appetizers ranged from $2.00 for garlic bread to $7.95 for the combo plate with breaded mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and chicken tenders.
Ribs, chicken, sandwiches, salads and soups filled another section of the menu. I asked my server if the soups were homemade, and she told me that the chili and clam chowder are made from scratch, but most of the others come from their food service provider.
Dinner specials include Peel and Eat Shrimp on Wednesdays, a Saturday night steak night and a Friday Fish Fry with cod, perch, walleye and bluegill starting at $7.95.
Saturday afternoon also features a $1.50 Schneider burger from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The pizza comes in three sizes : 9, 12 and 16 inches. Twelve-inch cheese pizzas start at $7.95 with additional toppings at $1.25 each.
I ordered my pizza with the works. The sausage and pepperoni weren't spicy but had good flavor. The mushrooms were canned, but worked well with the green peppers, onions and black olives.
The sauce had a nice slightly spicy flavor to it and was a bit on the thicker side. Schneider's starts with a canned base and then adds its own seasoning blend to it.
All of the pizzas are served on a very thin and very crispy crust, just how I like it. However, when I asked about how the crust and sauce were made, I learned that the crust was pre-made, like the type you buy in the grocery store.
Cue the e-Trade Baby "shocked look." I did not see that coming. The menu states the pizzas are "homemade." I don't think pre-made crusts qualify.
Many of the pizza places I've visited start with a canned sauce or paste and add their seasoning recipe to it, but this is the first time I've heard that a pre-made crust is used, other than the gluten-free crust from one of my earlier blogs.
I'm going to assume that, at some point, in Schneider's history the pizzas were truly homemade. They just aren't now.
The sign outside says they deliver. The take-out menu has that information crossed out. Schneider's could certainly benefit from updating their signs and menus to prevent confusion.
I assume the bar business and inexpensive prices have helped Schneider's maintain a loyal customer base which helps the business continue.
If I saw Schneider's pizza in the freezer section at the grocery store, I'd probably buy it, but I expect more when I see the words "homemade pizza," so a return visit is unlikely.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Rick Rodriguez
Published July 15, 2016
Rick Rodriguez is often asked "who makes the best pizza?" or "who makes your favorite pizza?" The latter is a difficult question to answer, and the former is nearly impossible to answer. Still, here are some his top picks for Milwaukee pizza.
Published July 6, 2016
Sometimes Rick Rodriguez looks in unexpected places for pizza - like Shaker's Cigar Bar, for instance. But does this venue that regularly gets onto lists of the most haunted bars in America make the cut when it comes to delicious pizza?
Published June 1, 2016
Despite a sizable menu that includes hand-tossed pizzas, pizza blogger Rick Rodriguez dings Zayna's Pizza for the dense crust and a Mexican pizza on which the toppings "could use a little tweaking."
Published May 4, 2016
The folks at Carini's La Conca D'Oro have a long and storied history, with roots in Italy. They serve up authentic Neapolitan pizza, along with other Italian dishes including a variety of seafood entrees.
Published April 6, 2016
It's not often Rick Rodriguez writes about reader-selected spots. But the words "thin crust," "good pizza" and "small bar" were repeated by enough people that he felt a visit to Scotty's was warranted.
Published March 2, 2016
In addition to pizza, Albanese's offers a slew of specials, including wings, Sicilian style pork chops and Italian style fish fry on Fridays. They also happen to have gluten free pizza that's worth seeking out.
Published Feb. 3, 2016
Rick Rodriguez says the 25 minute drive to Doc's Dry Dock in Pewaukee is worth the trip, especially for their BBQ chicken pizza, which sported a crisp crust with spicy sauce and a special secret seasoning.
Published Jan. 6, 2016
Rick Rodriguez tries out Nori's Pizza, a New York-style pizza spot that opened on South 13th Street in July. The verdict? Even after just a short period, Nori's seems to be establishing a reputation for good 'za.
Published Dec. 2, 2015
Pizza lover Rick Rodriguez grew up in Riverwest and enjoyed pizza from two neighborhood restaurants. Since then, a void in neighborhood pizzerias developed. Fortunately, in December 2014, Riverwest Pizza opened.
Published Nov. 4, 2015
Rick Rodriguez discovered Matteo's Italian Ristorante after seeing it in his entertainment book, so he drove to Waukesha to check out this classic spot, which serves up pizza along with numerous other specials.