Paul Schat’s Bakery is a little shop in the Carson City Mall, packed with all manner of sweet and savory baked treats, packaged goods, and a full menu of smoothie, tea and coffee beverages. But it was the sandwich board that lured in my hungry group.
The bakery has a mix of table and booth seating for about 40, plus several patio tables for the warmer months. Upon ordering, you’re presented with a free sugar cookie, a smart move ensuring you’ll leave with something sweet for dessert. It certainly worked on me. There’s also a short list of breakfast items available, but we were in lunch mode.
First up was Schat’s Famous Turkey ($8.49). A pile of house-roasted poultry was combined with cranberry, smoked Gouda, mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion on sheepherder bread. The quality of the bird was good, but the sweet bread and cranberry combo was a bit much for me.
Next was a cheeseburger ($9.75) with a half pound of locally sourced, grass-fed beef topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and mustard on a chili cheese roll, served with fries. The roll was puffy and held together well but didn’t have much jalapeno or cheese flavor. The burger itself was cooked to medium without a lot of seasoning—just your basic burger. This was probably the least impressive of the items we tried, yet still a perfectly fine lunch. I doubt the fries were fresh cut, but they were crispy and plentiful.
Members of the Netherlandic family behind this restaurant have been bakers for generations, hence the Dutch dip sandwich ($10.95, substituting green salad for fries) rather than French. Grilled and chopped roast beef was slathered in sauteed red onion and stuffed in a baguette, served with au jus. Although the sandwich itself was hot and tasty, the dipping broth was bland and didn’t add much to the experience.
If all I’d tasted were those three sandwiches, I’d say Schat’s is fine if unremarkable. But a Reuben ($11.95) put things in overdrive. I’ve tried—and grilled—many a Reuben over the years, but this one was a rockstar. Ten ounces of quality hot pastrami was stacked on Jewish rye with sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and Swiss cheese—and a cup of tomato bisque in place of fries for an additional $2. Everything about the sandwich filling was fantastic, but the use of flavorful, traditional rye bread instead of the near-ubiquitous, typically bland marbled rye sealed the deal. The plate was punctuated by the hot, rich, delicious soup.
Every bit as good was a warm chicken club ($10.95)—marinated chicken breast with smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a ciabatta roll, with a Caesar salad on the side. The chicken was moist and flavorful and accented by thick strips of crispy bacon and was probably among the best chicken sandwiches I’ve tasted. But the day’s special blew away even the Reuben as my favorite. It was a Cubano sandwich ($10.95, with fries) with ham, thin-sliced roast pork, Swiss cheese, spicy garlic pickles and mustard loaded into a Cuban-style sandwich roll, grill-pressed and served melty hot. I’ve been hunting for a long time, and this is the first I’ve had in Nevada that’s close to the real deal. Paul, buddy, you need to put that baby on the menu board—pretty please.