THE COUNTY GENERAL: Wouldn’t wait again

416-531-4447    |    $10-18 entrees

 

Headed over to this new spot on Queen West for a country brunch with a twist on a Sunday morning. Had some reasonably high expectations with a 40 minute wait. Here’s my take on it.

Food

Very small brunch menu with classics, each of which has a little twist on the traditional. The two that most appealed to me were the corned beef hash with pork belly and the English breakfast complete with blood sausage, baked beans, two eggs and sautéed mushrooms. Our server recommended the latter, while my friend had the fried chicken sandwich with avocado and tons of fresh cilantro.

My plate was pretty good. Baked beans had a pleasant spice with a generous cumin flavour, eggs perfect over easy, and mushrooms added to the earthy quality of the plate. Now I’m no blood sausage/boudin noir/black pudding expert, but the mushy texture was off-putting personally. I know it can come in a variety of textures: this one turns me off. An all-spice flavour is what I picked up most, but not much outside of that. For $18, it’s a plate with good variety.

My friend’s fried chicken sandwich was a little on the small side, and my bite had some grizzle in it. However, big fan of the liberal cilantro to keep it fresh and the chicken was moist. Heads up, it’s also a little messy. Fries aren’t anything special, but the ketchup seemed house-made which was a nice touch.

We were curious about the dessert. They have a cupcake, a cookie, and a pie that vary frequently. I went with the apple pie with a layer of sharp white cheddar on top and my friend went with the chocolate cupcake with salted caramel.

The apple pie was fine, don’t know that the cheese added much and generally got lost in it all. The cupcake had the chocolate and salt, but caramel didn’t come through at all. The offensive part of it was the butter cream on top that literally tasted like salted butter. Too much fat for me.

I also had a little $12 mimosa (really? $12!) and my friend’s Shirley temple had no grenadine, no cherry. Not a huge deal, but it’s such a standard.

Service and Ambience

Really small inside which explains the long wait. I like the look of it though, with plenty of wood everywhere to keep the country feel.

They call your cell when your table is ready, which I thought worked out well and the estimated wait was close enough. Once we arrived our server was friendly, and had an opinion on the menu which I like to see. Only thing I wasn’t so happy about was that the cheese on my pie was an extra $2, which was a surprise and wasn’t worthwhile.

The Reco?

If I were just eating the two mains, had no wait and lived nearby, I’d say check it out. But places with long waits need to be held to a higher standard, and the dessert/drink missteps kind of killed it for me. In the end, especially after going out of my way to eat there, I didn’t see the value.

Other reviews:
Globe and Mail

 Posted by: Jacob, Visited Nov 6, 2011

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