Homestyle Comfort Food at Country Style Hungarian
Having spent the holidays away from home, I missed out on family dinners and all festive platefuls of comfort food that come along with the season. Feeling incomplete, I called up a couple friends I still had undelivered gifts for, and suggested we check out Country Style, a little Hungarian diner in the Annex. Surely, a big Eastern European meal would hit the spot.
We arrive and are seated quickly by friendly staff. Around us, wood panelling, vinyl chairs, lanterns in place of windows and a sea of red and white gingham set the scene for our post-holiday dinner.
Assorted coffees and ginger ale arrive, followed shortly by Garden Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Perogies, Chicken Schnitzel and Veal Stew with Bread Dumplings.
It's no surprise that the Perogies (with fried onions and sour cream for $8.50) here are wonderful. They're slightly crispy on the outside, steaming hot inside, and so deliciously smothered by a generous heap of juicy fried onions. This is a great dish for sharing.
Next up is the main attraction: Chicken Schnitzel ($15.95).
Now, we expected a large schnitzel dish for the price, but were floored when the waitress appeared with the platter (pictured at the top). This traditional style schnitzel was at least a foot wide, made up of thin, crispy layers of chicken breast over a bed of rice. Wow. This wasn't just about presentation either. The thinness of the chicken ensured no piece was ever too dry, just a savoury balance of crispy coating and tender white meat.
Everything was so wonderful that we turned to the Veal Stew ($14.95) with pretty high expectations. Unfortunately, it could not live up to the Schnitzel. While this thick 'n' meaty home-cooked stew was tasty enough, it really didn't sit well in the bellies of those who tried it -- making us wish we'd just ordered a second schnitzel instead.
That feeling also led to skipping on a Strudel desert, but all agreed we'd give this place another go. Only next time, we'll bring a couple more people, skip the stew and head straight for the "Country Style Wooden Plate" - a spread of Cabbage Rolls, Wiener Schnitzel, Fried Pork Chops, Parisian Schnitzel, Sausage, Bacon, Beets, Rice & Home Fried Potatoes ($34.95).