As (the Germanic Austro-Brit) Wittgenstein taught us, the meaning of words like “ethnic” are at play in a language game, and credit to Schulte and Herr for changing the rules—just as it elevates our expectations for this cuisine. Wittgenstein’s deeper lesson, as he put it in Philosophical Investigations 464, was “to teach you to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to something that is patent nonsense”—a worthy motto for a food column as well. Of all the language games, the silliest—about food—often promotes itself as the most meaningful.
There is much nonsense, pretension, and unnecessary expense in our culture of dining out. Schulte and Herr seems to avoid it all. Habermas, our era’s Wittgenstein, suggests we seize opportunities to wrest ourselves from language that is instrumental and strategic toward more open, engaged, and perhaps more simple (but unpredictable) communicative action. Schulte and Herr has no strategy to grab our cash or preoccupy our conversation with showy style. It simply offers quietly fantastic meals over which we
can engage each other. I don’t know if it’s ethnic—but let’s embrace its ethic.
$$ | Schulte & Herr | 349 Cumberland Ave, Portland | 207.773.1997 | Wed-Fri 11:30 am–2 pm & 5–9 pm; Sat 10 am–2 pm & 5–9 pm; Sun 8 am–2 pm | Visa/MC/Amex | BYOB
Schulte and Herr's potato pancakes.