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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Country Style :: Central European Blitz #3

Hungry for Hungarian!

Prague Thursday. Poland Friday. Hungary Saturday. If I can't be in Europe I'll eat like I'm in Europe.

Country Style
Verdict: Go! Loving Toronto's Central European offerings.
Meal: Birthday Lunch! 

When I recommend Country Style for Hungarian cuisine, I usually get this reaction: "The coffee shop?" No, I did not pick up a schnitzel with my morning coffee - although that would be a new take on my morning donut, eh? This Hungarian joint is a favourite for goulash soup and giant schnitzel.

The first time I went, I ordered the wooden platter. Now this is only SOME of what accompanies this order. Not pictured are the heaps of potatoes hidden underneath the schnitzels, cabbage rolls, and beets. It was a proud day indeed when there was nothing left but the plank, crumbs, and extreme satisfaction.
Today, I decided to scale it back with an order of cabbage rolls and goulash soup, based on my Hungarian dining companion:

Goulash Soup (small)

This was hearty with potatoes, celery, carrot, and soft chunks of beef. Surprisingly filling - or maybe I was still full from the schnitzel dinner I had the night before at Cafe Polonez? Or the goulash from Prague Deli the day before that? Wow.

My friend also ordered a bowl, but complained that it was too salty. I disagree, but to each their own! Although, I'm starting to wonder if my taste buds are adjusting to Toronto cuisine, as I find myself adding more and more spice to my dishes these days...

Cabbage Rolls

We substituted boiled potatoes (zzz) for potato dumplings with gravy (ooh!). Good choice.
I personally prefer the Polish-style cabbage rolls of Cafe Polonez, with their tomato based topping. Not to say this wasn't good, but the beef was not as well-seasoned as I would have liked. It was little more ground beef with onions.
In this case, I found the sauce quite salty. While I sliced it up and enjoyed each bite with sauerkraut, I was pretty thirsty after finishing it. I enjoyed the dumplings - little balls of flour-based dough in gravy. They were springy and tasty - try them~!

Liver with Onions

Eh. Not for everyone. Tasty, but I wouldn't enjoy an entire dish. The homefries were quite good though - they are cooked, peeled, chopped, then fried.

Weiner Schnitzel

I definitely like Country Style's Hungarian-style schnitzel better than Cafe Polonez's Polish-style. The breading is crispier and cleanly separates from the weiner/chicken/pork with a nice crunch. It comes in sandwich form, or with a plethora of saucy vegetables on top:

And a side of beets. Beets beets beets. I can't begin to explain how obsessed I am with beets.

Mmmm. I wish I ordered a schnitzel sandwich instead of cabbage rolls. Next time!

It was my friend's birthday...and we shared a crepe filled with apricot jam and walnut:

I did not enjoy this to be honest - the jam's sugar had either crystallized or they sprinkled granulated sugar in the filling. I suspect that all of the walnuts mustve been on my friend's end because I only detected a single piece near the middle. For crepes, I prefer the Hungarian crepe place in Kensington Market, Krepesz.

Pictured below is a flakey pastry that my sweet dining companion picked up for his wife. The last time we were in a car together, he pulled over to randomly buy her flowers. "What's the occasion?" I asked. He looked at me and said "The occasion is that I love her". So sweet :-)

I was grateful to the end of an aggressive 3-day series of Central European eats (Prague, Cafe Polonez, and Country Style back-to-back is not recommended. I seriously tipped the scale after that). Delicious and homey...but on top of ice cream, an intense series of Lindt, Godiva, and Nutella gifts I look back and wonder how I did not explode with chocolate, cabbage, goulash, and schnitzel!
Country Style Hungarian Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Chris ( said...

I hope your exercising regime is as strict as your quest for International eats!

I too, love beets. :] BEETSBEETSBEETS!!

Chris ( said...

I hope your exercising regime is as strict as your quest for International eats!

I too, love beets. :] BEETSBEETSBEETS!!

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