With few friends, and even fewer shekels, Cliff and I spent our nights pacing the streets, living on a diet of bottled water and schnitzel sandwiches. In a country known for Middle Eastern food, schnitzel remains one of the lone culinary holdovers of Zionism's Austro-Hungarian roots. It's been an Israeli staple since the early days of the country's existence, found everywhere from the frozen food aisles of supermarkets to kibbutz dining halls to take-out windows in bustling nightlife areas, where it comes in sandwich form. Turkey or chicken breasts (veal is too expensive to raise in the desert) are pounded; marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice; dipped in flour, then egg; dredged in bread crumbs—sometimes with sesame seeds or za'atar spice—and fried in oil. Fresh-from-the-fryer schnitzels are stuffed into baguettes or pitas and layered with toppings that bridge the gap between Ash-kenazi and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) tastes: mayonnaise and mustard, but also hummus, tahini, tomato and cucumber salad, and harissa. The sandwiches are so popular, you can find them outside the Holy Land wherever Israelis congregate. On a recent trip to Brooklyn's Coney Island Avenue, a thriving artery of Orthodox Jewish culture, I came upon two places, Schnitzel King and Schnitzi Schnitzel Bar, that vie for the appetites of students with flavors like "Spanish" (spicy breading with chile peppers) and "Yemenite" (falafel seasoning).