Hungry for Hungarian at Country Style Restaurant

Now you know I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, chillin’ on a dirt road and all that good stuff. But fried chicken is not just a southern thing—there are a few funky Eastern European joints in Toronto that do it up right. Whether you go for chicken or pork, you gotta check out Tennessee Tavern, Schnitzel Queen, and this Hungarian joint that’s so old school it doesn’t even have a website. This is Country Style Hungarian, son!!!

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Now, whether you’re in Austria, Switzerland, Poland or Hungary, you’ll find some of the same Eastern European comfort food classics—like this pierogi and sausage plate. These pierogis are boiled until they fall apart, with stringy fried onions, sour cream and a few nice bits of Hungarian sausage. Dude, this is body by Hungarian sausage!!!

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And now it’s time for the main event. This Hunter Schnitzel is covered in onions, peppers, mushrooms and tomato sauce – sorta like a Philly cheese schnitzel, but without the cheese – and you KNOW it’s searching for love on these lonely streets again, Dokken Bro! Even though there’s not enough to go around this dinner-plate-sized orb of deep-fried flavour, the sauce and toppings keep the schnitzel from being too dry…and hiding beneath all that breaded goodness, we’ve also got Hungarian dumplings and gravy:

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Now, these little Flavourtown nuggets are sorta like spaetzle, except instead of being fried, I think they might be boiled or something. And they kinda look like cheese curds too, eh? Believe it or not, but there’s pretty much a whole plate of ‘em underneath all that meat!!!

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Now, they don’t have any Hungarian beer at Country Style (I guess the closest thing would be Pilsner Urquell?), so instead I went with a refreshing glass of Malnaszorp, this Hungarian raspberry soda. It’s kinda like drinking a glass of water with cherry syrup at the bottom…but instead of cherry, it’s raspberry—which is definitely something you don’t see every day on this side of the pond!

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This steak was imported from Argentina para Vos…

Man, if there’s one food I’d eat pretty much any way you slice it, it’s gotta be steak. I’ve tackled a 22 oz cowboy ribeye, a 20 oz porterhouse, a 22 oz prime rib…I even ate most of a 67 oz roast beef for one. But one thing I’ve never done was eat steak that was shipped all the way from Argentina–until now.

So, we’re hanging out at Vos Restaurante Argentino, this funky little joint just three doors down from Southern Accent on College Street. These guys get their hormone-free, grass-fed beef straight from the source, and they cook it with charcoal, just like back in the old country. They’re even serving up this killer take on an Argentinian classic–say hola to my short rib empanada!

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OK, first of all, this crust is so flaky it makes Gary Busey seem like a normal guy. They deep-fry it to perfection, and stuff it with tender chunks of short rib, along with some onions and carrots. Then they throw in some smoked chorizo for a double down in Flavourtown! Dude, I could crush, like, 16 of these…but then I wouldn’t have room for the main course:

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Now, with so many great cuts of beef on the menu, I couldn’t have just one. So I went Splitsville on an entrana de ternera (veal skirt steak) along with some more beef short ribs. Who needs mas tequila when you can have mas asado, bro???

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Now, the skirt steak was thinner and chewy, while the short rib was thick ‘n delicious–which is also my online dating handle on Plenty of Beef (why have fish when you can have beef, bro?). Both were nicely seasoned, with a nice charcoal flavour, paired with a side order of mushrooms with chorizo and then some rosemary french fries.

Now, this might not have been the most meat I’ve ever shoved down my piehole in one sitting (a full order of skirt steak is 8 oz while a rack of short ribs is 20…but I only had half), but it might be right up there in the top five steaks I’ve had this year. And this temple is body by steak, so that’s really saying something!!!

 

Toronto Christmas Market Beer @ Mill St Brew Pub

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…which means I’m diving head-first into the Stocking Stuffer Ale, son! We’re hanging out at the Mill St Brew Pub, right in the heart of the Distillery District, where the Toronto Christmas Market was kicking off last Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I might go for a mulled wine or a winter whiskey and save some room for a giant pretzel or two, but I’m mostly just here for the beer, bro!!!

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This bold and creamy Christmas ale is inspired by all your favourite holiday desserts. You’ve got caramel, nutmeg, with a bit of raisins and figs… It’s like a liquid Christmas pudding in Flavourtown! And of course, since the name of this blog isn’t Candy Canes, Mistletoe and Beer, you KNOW I gotta go for a bacon cheeseburger, bro!!!

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Now, the way they describe the Top Shelf Stout Burger on the menu sounds pretty amazeballs. Charbroiled chuck burger, Otttawa Valley vintage cheddar, double smoked pork belly and a Cobblestone Stout aioli!? Shut the back door! But objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are, Meat Broaf. The patty was a little too charred, that “double smoked pork belly” was really just two sad strips of bacon, and there were so many pickle spears on this thing that I had pickle breath for the rest of the night. But hey, I guess it drowns the beer?

Pineapple on a pizza? Don’t mind if I do…

Now, I’ve never understood the hatred for Hawaiian pizza. OK, so it might be kinda weird to put fruit on a pizza pie…but how else am I gonna get six servings of fruit a day, bro???

So, we’re hanging out at General Assembly Pizza, this funky little joint where they don’t just put pineapple on a pizza–they pair it with jalapenos and double smoked bacon. This is the Porky Pine:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’re got the crispness of the bacon, a little sweetness from the pineapple, some great big globs of ricotta cheese, along with aged mozzarella…but it’s the jalapenos that really kick it up a notch. This ‘za is super-spicy, bro! I pretty much had to chug seven tallboys just to beat the heat!!! But when their tallboys of Mascot Pilsner are only seven bucks, I just mighta chugged seven tallboys anyways.

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This Farmer’s Daughter thinks my tractor’s sexy!

Now, who needs peanut butter and jelly when you can have ice cold beer and country music, bro? The fine folks at Whitewater Brewing Co, up in the Ottawa Valley, probably know how to skin a buck and drive a truck, and this juicy little blonde ale has got me rocking a tank top like Kenny Chesney…even in the middle of November!!!

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This brew is coming at you hand-crafted with ingredients from the Ottawa Valley. Local hops, malted barley, yeast and water is all you need to make this a nice, crisp, tall drink of beer… And you KNOW she’s always staring at me when I’m chugging along, bro!!!!

Nashville hot chicken at an Italian pork sandwich place… Whaaa???

Now, I’ve had some legit Nashville hot chicken in Toronto, and I’ve also had the real deal in Nashville, so I definitely know what’s up. Man, even the “medium” will melt your face off at some of these joints! But at the same time, you’ve got these places that just stick “Nashville hot” on stuff that isn’t even spicy. (Nashville hot shrimp, anyone?) So when I saw that Porchetta & Co., this funky little joint on Dundas known for serving up roast pork sammies, had a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect…

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Now, don’t get me wrong, this was a pretty tasty sando, bro. The chicken was thick and juicy, the pickles were super-crunchy, you’ve got a nice white bread that dissolves in your hand…but it was definitely not Nashville level spicy. The heat reminded me of a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich. They definitely kick it up a notch in the flavour department, but there ain’t enough heat here to call it Nashville.

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Now, I wanted to order a side of Fries Supreme–dude, this is body by Fries Supreme–but it turns out there were all outta cheese sauce…which is like a cardinal sin in Flavourtown. Instead they suggested the poutine, which I would normally be OK with. But once again, this dish wasn’t quite what it was supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong, the fries were chunky and delicious, the gravy was super thick, and they put little bits of crispy pork skin on top, which were TheBomb.it, bro! But those sure as shit ain’t squeaky cheese curds — more like shredded mozza, which is a major letdown. The rest of the equation was solid enough that some real-deal cheese curds would make it too legit to quit, but instead it’s more like Yo!!! Sweetness…

Whole lotta jerk wings for 8 bucks @ Southern Accent

You know me–this is body by chicken wings, bro! And I’m all about finding the best deals on wings in the city, whether it’s hitting up a couple friendly neighbourhood bars on Bloor West, or destroying four pounds of AYCE wings at St. Louis. Now, I’ve been to Southern Accent before for some badass blackened chicken livers, so when I heard they had jerk chicken wings on special on Thursdays, for just eight bucks an order, you KNOW I was ready to get back on that horse, cowboy!!!!

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Now, normally when you’re thinking jerk chicken, it’s gonna put a little fire in ya wire. But that was definitely not the case here. On a scale of one to wingsanity, these were pretty mild. But the meat was nice and tender, and the seasoning was quite tasty… Let’s just say they go pretty good with a beer:

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Way up high in the atmosphere, it’s Elora Borealis, from the Elora Brewing Co in Elora, Ontario. This pale ale was light, not too bitter, with just a hint of lemony freshness. Now, while they also had specials on bourbon this evening, the beer was not half price–this pint cost me just as much as a whole order of wings, bro!!!!