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Restaurants

Homestyle Comfort Food at Country Style Hungarian

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on January 11, 2008 / review policy

Chicken Schnitzel at Country Style Hungarian Restaurant in the Annex
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.

Country Style decor...
Assorted coffees and ginger ale arrive, followed shortly by Garden Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Perogies, Chicken Schnitzel and Veal Stew with Bread Dumplings.

Perogies with Fried Onions and Sour Cream
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.

Veal Stew with Bread Dumplings
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).

Country Style Hungarian Restaurant

Discussion

31 Comments

A|Layton / January 11, 2008 at 10:03 am
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I LOVE THIS RESTAURANT!!

I grew up eating their food when I lived in the West End. My proudest day was when I could finish the full sized dinner all to myself as a youngling.
Ricky Lam / January 11, 2008 at 10:59 am
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I've always passed by this place wondering how it is, now I am very tempted to try it.
Danielle / January 11, 2008 at 11:27 am
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You really should have saved room for the custard cake, with the flaky top and icing sugar. Diiii-vine.

Somebody should review the 'Hungarian House' when they do their showcases, they have the cafeteria open to everybody for so cheap and its fantastic.
yammymyhammy / January 11, 2008 at 02:29 pm
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This is my number 1 favorite place to eat in Toronto...Country Style is the
whole package.....I only hope for the best for Country Style...

thank you for being so great...!
-yammy
Dave / January 11, 2008 at 03:21 pm
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This is a great restaurant. Unfortunately, the Hungarian food isn't quite what it once was in Toronto, so enjoy it while you can.

There's also a really good (and cheap) Hungarian lunch place at Yonge and Davisville. Forget the name, but it's sort of tucked into the first floor of a building, just across from the Roger's I think.
Chasbo / January 12, 2008 at 10:51 am
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That place is called Joseph's Deli. It's the former owner of Country Style. The Chicken Paprikash with nokedli there is unbelievable.
Timothy A. / October 1, 2009 at 09:52 pm
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My wife and I have been going to Country Style for years. So when I was in TO last Feb. on a visit from Australia I had to stop there. The area used to be filled with Hungarian shops and restraunts of any shapes and sizes. This one is the only one to survive. Thank goodness.

The food was excellent byond discription. Just as I remembered it. Took pictures with the new owner to send home.

Thank you for still being there. Loved it and hopefuly you will be there for many years to come
Pamela / December 18, 2009 at 09:11 pm
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Just wanted to add that the walnut crepes are fantastic! Love the schnitzel. Wonderful!
adam banky / February 4, 2010 at 01:20 am
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guess what my fellow friend u guys are talking about my grandmother, i love her food my whole life and actually she cooks for my aunt at Josephs but now im sorry to say she retired at the age of 77. she still will make private deliveries of cakes and stews basically what mad her a lot of money and a huge fan base she is an incredibly hard working woman and she still cooks at st.Elizabeths catholic church at the banquets so get a ticket thanks for the wonderful replies and making me proud of my nagymama (grandma).
Sarah / February 8, 2010 at 02:35 pm
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Fantastic restaurant - tastes just like the food my Hungarian grandmother used to make for us. You can never truly appreciate that eastern european home cooking until you don't have it there all the time. I eat here whenever I get the chance!
tamas / February 13, 2010 at 10:08 pm
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This place is great if you're looking for cafeteria food.

Their excuse for a paprikás was the most basic, gelatinous kind of
gravy I've ever had. There really wasn't any paprika in it, or any of
the other typical ingredients that go into a paprikás (tomatoes,
peppers and onions, anything really). Really, just like canned gravy.
We also ordered the mushroom schnitzel, and the galuska it came with
had the same lard/gravy dobbed onto it.

As a Hungarian, I'm sorry to say Country Style is a really poor
representation of authentic Hungarian food. For those of you
considering to go to this restauraunt, I highly encourage you to open
any old Hungarian cookbook and give it a try yourself. You'll easily
make something more authentic!
JoeSmith / March 20, 2010 at 11:28 pm
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Excellent restaurant. I love it here and have loved it for many years. Service is friendly, portions are great, and the price is right. The wooden plates are exceptional and the dessert crepes are a treat. When the have the cold cherry soup (usually only in the summer months) it is always excellent. Often full of Hungarians who know the real deal when it comes to true authenticity of this food.
Jo Magpie / April 6, 2010 at 11:58 am
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Do they serve brunch here?
Cindy / September 1, 2010 at 08:31 pm
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Hi was this the Continential Restaurant from the 1970'S? if it is I dream about the great food I had there.
Judit / June 2, 2011 at 09:04 pm
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We were at the Restaurant with my friend on June 01, 2011 and we had an unfortunate experience there. My friend ordered chicken paprikash, started to eat it, but she was complaining something was not right with the meat, like if it was not fresh. The waitress took it back from Her, and my friend ordered a fish soup instead of it. She got a small piece fish in it, and she asked if she could get a better size. Then the restaurant owner told her in a rude manner if she does not like it, cook at home. Not only that, but they wanted Her to pay for the half of the chicken paprikash, she started to eat it. This beheviour is unacceptable from a restaurant owner, a business person, and I am so sorry for my friend had to experience this, who was visiting from Hungary.
Uhhhhh / December 6, 2011 at 11:23 am
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Uhhh... Food poisoning is always a ringing endorsement of a restaurant. Wow.
Roland / December 6, 2011 at 11:58 am
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I can't say enough how good the food is at this place. Best schnitzel I've ever had. Also, try the Musket in Etobicoke if you're there. Great food as well.
CJ / December 11, 2011 at 02:11 pm
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The last Hungarian place in the Annex. These blogs are quite old.
ben / July 12, 2012 at 10:31 am
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if you love schnitzel like i do join the facebook fan page! http://www.facebook.com/iloveschnitzel (there is a link to a video on how to make schnitzel here too)
Mark Fern / August 22, 2012 at 10:30 am
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this place is horrible absolutely terrible service, portions and price! I've never been, but I'd like to try paprika one day if anyone has been let me know if it is worth a visit.
W / November 10, 2012 at 01:12 pm
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Just went there for lunch with my boyfriend, and I gotta say it was probably one of the worst restaurants we've tried in the area. Most of the restaurants on the strip from spadina to bloor's pretty mediocre but this one was a new low.

He got the schnitzel sandwich & I had the perogies (like the ones pictured above) and well, it was just so bland. The schnitzel was tender, I'll give it that, but it was absolutely tasteless (no seasoning at all!) and the bread that it came in was just some rye bread you can pick up at the metro down the street. The bread wasn't even warm. And well the perogies were alright in texture, but again just absolutely no taste. Even the sauce it came with on the side had no taste (how is this possible?!)

Anyway, the whole meal cost us about $22 and we would've been way more satisfied with some burgers from any joint on the street (I say this and I don't even like burgers that much). We're definitely not going back ever.
W / November 10, 2012 at 01:13 pm
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*woops, just noticed that I typed in "spadina to bloor" but I meant to say spadina to bathurst.
Cam replying to a comment from W / November 20, 2012 at 02:52 pm
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Sorry, but I have been there before, and going there again tomorrow and the food is great, so cut your whining and learn good food!!!!
Johnny / November 24, 2012 at 07:55 pm
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This place is amazing, but you have to understand that European food is heavy on salt, bread, grease and fat. I'm Croatian and nobody in my family complains about too much salt and the only condiment we use is rye bread. I think a lot of the people here complaining about the food are just used to eating Mcdonalds and pizza.
Aliana Iharosi / February 7, 2013 at 04:52 pm
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I am Hungarian. I'm pretty accustomed to my grandmother or father's cooking but this is a really great place. The portions are huge and the waitstaff friendly (if a little shy, the old country way). I took my Dad (who is from Budapest) here for his birthday and he loved it.
We've been to the Coffee Mill Restaurant in Yorkville a bunch of times too, but Country Style is way more laid-back.
The menu may look pricey if you are just passing by, but the portions are honestly gigantic. Hungarians like to eat (my grandmother hates that I'm thin), so don't be surprised if your food it actually overflowing off of the plate.
If you're used to medium portion sizes, I suggest sharing plates (they give you so much).
I've yet to try the dessert here because I'm always too full.
Nada / April 14, 2013 at 08:41 pm
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My parents use to love visiting a really old Hungarian Restaurant on Bloor St. W. and they went primarily for one dish: the ever famous Hungarian goulash. Going there every Sunday after church was a ritual and then the restaurant had moved. My mom always told me how tasty the hungarian goulash was and she could never duplicate it at home. I just recently walked by this restaurant with a friend and I insisted on trying their goulash. Well, it did not disappoint. It was savoury and the beef was scrumptious. I will definitely return to have some more of their goulash. I am sure my late parents would've approved !
Ghostbuster replying to a comment from W / April 29, 2013 at 12:28 am
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Your opinion is your own to express, but I do have to disagree with you. Instead of telling you all the reasons I think the schnitzel is full of wonderful flavour (since this is entirely subjective, of course), I just want to suggest that you try the "hunter schnitzel" plate. It comes in a tomato, onion, and diced pepper sauce, and this is what I get almost every time I go. It might appeal to you more than the solitary schnitzel!
Gordon / May 27, 2014 at 07:24 pm
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Country Style Hungarian Restaurant (450 Bloor St)
Inspected on: May 21, 2014
Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
Crucial infractions include: N/A
Laura Nikolic replying to a comment from Dave / July 4, 2014 at 08:31 pm
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The Country Style was originally my grandmother's, Elizabeth Gilice, she was the one who first made it famous in Toronto with my grandfather. Since sold years and years ago it has declined in quality.... also, the place at Davisville and Yonge was also my mother's restaurant. Even when it was Joseph's Deli, my mother was still the owner. Eventually the dirtbag stole from us (he used to work at Paprika) and the restaurant became Elizabeth's Home Cooking, since my grandmother was back cooking up a storm, even in her 70s. She still cooks and helps out at St. Elizabeth's Hungarian Church, where her schnitzel (She won multiple Toronto's Best Schnitzel awards in her multiple restaurants over her 40 or so years cooking in Toronto)can still be tasted when she's able to help out... She will be 81 this year.
But yes. I agree, quality of Hungarian food in restaurants HAS declined. Probably because she's no longer cooking for anyone but us. :D Szeretlek Nagyi!
Laura Nikolic replying to a comment from Laura Nikolic / July 4, 2014 at 08:39 pm
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Also, I forgot to mention that my grandmother also worked at the Coffee Mill from the sixties onward for quite a few years before starting her first restaurant. My family has been going there for years, my mother used to work there as well, and grandma still helps out there when she can. And yet, my grandmother's restaurants still had better food.
chrism / September 28, 2014 at 08:42 pm
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I had heard great things about this place and decided to give it a try one night. We stood at the front of the restaurant waiting to be seated for over 15 minutes as though we were invisible. It was not completely packed. One of the servers even went outside to smoke during that time. We decided to walk out - with service like that no food is worth it. They were downright rude. There are MANY of schnitzel places in Toronto I can't be bothered to waste my time here.

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