23 11 2010


Todd Blackledge is “Back-Ledge” with another TOTT! (Puns are free). This time, Todd is back at his old stompin’ grounds at Penn State.  Todd was a phenomenal quarterback for the Nittany Lions back in the day, so if you love State College and TOTT, there is a strong chance you have a Todd Blackledge poster on the wall.  But enough nostalgia, let’s get on to the segment!

GAME: Michigan at Penn State

LOCATION:  Herwig’s Austrian Bistro

MEAL: Wienerschnitzel and potato salad

First, please go to Herwig’s website above. It will inform you that they are Penn State’s favorite ethnic restaurant!  One would think that “ethnic” means any restaurant you don’t usually consider when dining out. Italian, Chinese, Indian etc: All cuisines you know. Austrian, Venezuelan, Sudanese: All ones you don’t know.  But I digress…

In 1982, a few Austrian’s stopped by State College, PA before heading to open an Austrian restaurant in Australia. They quickly realized that America kicked ass and cancelled their trip to open a restaurant right there. Austrian cooking is heavy on meat and potatoes, and Americans love it, too.  It just made sense.

You don't know what animal it is, but you love it.

Todd tells us that the Austrians love to interact with the customers, which is exhibited by the owner force feeding an Asian woman.

"You eat food, yes?! You like!"

I can imagine most people respond to the interaction with a nervous laugh as a mustached Austrian talks to you about things you can’t understand. Probably helps keep up the Ethnic street cred.

We return and find Todd about to eat a heavily floured, egg-washed, and deep-fried wienerschnitzel. Todd says it’s pan-fried, but the meat is completely submerged. That’s deep-frying.

"Upon further review, the meat was completely submerged. The ruling on the field is overturned to Deep-Fried!"

The best part comes when Todd comes back with two paddle-wielding Austrians flanking each side. The rule at Herwig’s is if you don’t finish your food, they paddle you. Todd, in imminent danger, calmly assures his attackers, “Put the sticks away boys. I got this.”

Hero, Hardass: The Todd Blackledge Story

GRADING TIME! (25 points per category):

HOLE-IN-THE-WALL / DIVE-INESS:  22. Not perfect, but they don’t have official menus and their accents are thick. You can bet they don’t accept credit cards.

HEART-ATTACK PROBABILITY: 20. Fried meat and potato salad is not the unhealthiest, but you shouldn’t eat it everyday. Unless you’re a man, in which case, you are required.

DISH NAME: 20. Wienerschnitzel isn’t recognized by my spell check, so let’s just give it a 20.

TODD’S REACTION LINE:  25. Talking back to rough-neck Austrians proves what a man Todd is.  Luckily for them, Todd is an eater, not a fighter.

Until next week, deep fry that turkey and have a Happy Thanksgiving!




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