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 Aug. 6, 2014
I started working for my current employer six years ago. A few months after I started, one of my team members invited us all over to his Sussex home for a Packers party. Among the popular party foods were pizzas delivered from a nearby pizzeria. The pizza was good enough - and the name was catchy enough - for me to remember them both all of these years later.
Published July 2, 2014
Rick's quest for the perfect pizza brings him to Capri di Nuovo, the revamped and renovated rendition of a recently closed popular West Allis Italian restaurant.
Published June 4, 2014
Rick's search for the city's finest pizza offerings takes him over to Mario's Italian Grill, a remodeled George Webb's near the airport.
Published May 7, 2014
This month, Rick Rodriguez's endless pursuit for the perfect pizza took him to Crossroads II, home of pizza, subs and ... hot ham and rolls?
Published April 2, 2014
I've been hearing about Tenuta's, 2995 S. Clement Ave., in Bay View from a few friends over the past few years, so I thought I'd finally pay a visit.
Published March 5, 2014
Palermo's updated its cafe at Pizzeria 3301 with a wood-burning oven made in Italy using ashes from Mount Vesuvius and by sending its executive chef to Washington to become a certified pizzaiolo. But does the pizza live up to these lofty measures?
Published Feb. 5, 2014
Maybe I should have started with the Caradaro Club, but better late than never.
Published Jan. 1, 2014
Nine years ago, an office discussion turned to favorite pizzas, and a co-worker announced that his favorite pizza was Lalli's Pizza, 8826 W. North Ave. A couple of weeks later, I tried Lalli's pizza, and I really liked it. I recently visited Lalli's Pizza again, and I enjoyed the pizza as much as I did on my first visit, which speaks to their consistency.
Published Dec. 4, 2013
In my last job, I spent some time on Milwaukee's Northwest Side and drove past a few businesses that looked to have some history. One of them was Mama's Pizza and Italian Cuisine.
Published Nov. 27, 2013
When I started writing these blogs, my focus was on finding family owned and operated pizzerias, using recipes passed down over multiple generations. Pulo's Pizza certainly fits that mold.