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The guys behind Splendido recently opened up this new restaurant on Queen Street, just east of Ossington. In contrast to Splendido, the County General serves up comfort food in a casual/neighborhood atmosphere.

Rosemary lemonade

Walking through the door, I was surprised to see how small the space was. The restaurant is quite narrow, containing about six two-tops and a long bar with seating. Although it was quite busy when Mike and I arrived around 12:30 on a Saturday, we were able to get a seat within ten minutes as a two-top was freeing up. Given how few tables there are, I imagine the waits can get pretty long for groups greater than two.

Despite the small eating quarters, I really liked the atmosphere here. It just had a really warm and inviting feel to it. The wooden tables, chairs and bar gave the restaurant a bit of a rustic feel to it.

Since it was a Saturday, we were served the brunch menu (weekends from 11am to 4pm). I started going through the drinks menu first and was disappointed to see that they didn’t have any fresh juice – one of my brunch musts! However, when I saw the homemade Rosemary Lemonade ($3) on the menu, I knew I had to order it. I’m a sucker for fresh lemonade. This was definitely one of the sourest lemonades I’ve had, but I still really enjoyed it. I couldn’t really taste the rosemary in it though, not that I’m complaining.

Fried chicken thigh sandwich

The first dish we ordered was the Fried Chicken Thigh Sandwich – buttermilk chicken, milk bun, avocado chutney, coriander and green onion ($14). When it was first presented to us, I was surprised to see how small it was, particularly the bun, which was the size of a slider. Although the size of the chicken was decent, I found myself wanting more bun – just a poor chicken to bun ratio. The chicken itself wasn’t quite as crisp as I was expecting as I thought it’d be more like the one at Clinton St Baking Company.

Despite this, I still really enjoyed it as the meat was moist and tender. The combination of the chicken, avocado chutney and bun (albeit small) was delicious. Although the sandwich was delicious, I found the price point ($14) to be quite high for the amount of food served.

Corned beef hash

The second dish we ordered was the Corned Beef Hash – pork belly, ham, brisket, crisp potato, scallion, fresh herbs ($16). I found that I couldn’t really differentiate between the pork belly, ham and brisket and found a few pieces of meat to be a bit on the dry side. However, there were two perfectly poached eggs on top of the hash which really helped. Overall, I found the hash to be a decent dish but not one of the best hashes I’ve had.

All the brunch dishes come with either fries or salad, so we got both – one for each dish we ordered. A small portion of fries came served in a tumbler. They came seasoned with a bit of chili as they had a bit of a kick to them. I didn’t love these fries as they weren’t very crispy. This was really too bad since I like my fries of this size. Even though the fries weren’t great, I loved the homemade ketchup it came with. I used most of it for the hash, which really gave it a bit of an extra oomph.

Corned beef hash

As for the salad, it was made with butter lettuce and topped with cucumbers, chives and red onions. All the ingredients tasted fresh, but the salad wasn’t anything special.

During our meal we noticed that many people were ordering the Croque Madame (country ham, grilled bread, béchamel, a fried egg and herb salad). It looked delicious and I later wish we had ordered that instead of the hash.

Since the portions at the County General weren’t very big, I was still a little hungry after finishing up our meals. So, I inquired about the desserts. The server informed us they had a salted caramel cupcake, apple pie and a homemade cookie for dessert.  

Salted caramel cupcake

Once Mike and I heard the words “salted caramel”, we were sold. It’s our favourite combination. This Salted Caramel Cupcake came with a salted caramel filling and a buttercream frosting for $3. By this point, I wasn’t surprised by the small size of the cupcake. I really liked the filling and found that the frosting wasn’t too sweet. But I didn’t enjoy the cupcake itself very much. It was just too dry. I don’t know about you, but I like a moist cupcake.

Overall, I found the food to be decent. I particularly enjoyed the fried chicken sandwich despite its small size. Other than that, I didn’t find anything else to be particularly memorable. As for the service, the servers were warm and inviting, just like the restaurant’s atmosphere. So, I think it’s a great brunch spot if you live in the area, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to come here.

The County General

At a glance:
• Brunch served on weekends from 11am to 4pm
• Portions are small (especially for the price)
• Food was decent, just not particularly memorable
• Small space, so not the best for a large group
• Open late (3am from Thurs-Sat)

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 4.5 stars

The County General on Urbanspoon

  1. Teena in Toronto (Reply) on Thursday 3, 2011

    It’s in my ‘hood … I’ll have to go look for it.

    • Jess (Reply) on Thursday 3, 2011

      Yeah, I’d only recommend it if you live in the area. I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.
      I liked the atmosphere and the food was decent. Just keep in mind the portions aren’t huge.