This all started, hmm.. actually this started a while ago. I usually take the Queen streetcar home from school and one day, a few months ago, I noticed a restaurant that had a rooster painted in it’s window as part of the logo and I made a mental note and wanting to one day go eat there. A few months later BlogTO released their best new brunch of 2011 which just happened to feature The County General, that restaurant with the rooster! The other day I picked up a copy of Toronto Life from the library and wouldn’t you know it, it was the restaurant guides issue. And who happened to be voted one of the best new restaurants? You guessed! It was settled, we were going for brunch to the County General… on a Saturday morning. Soon after all these rave reviews.
Needless to say, we arrived early. We were the first ones there, so we hid in a bus shelter pretending to wait and sneakily scoping out the place to see if anyone else would show up. Soon after two people arrived and tried the door. They looked like fools trying to open it! We laughed, and watched as they read the opening hours… and then just stood there facing the door. It was unclear if they were lining up but when we saw another guy come stand behind them we made a beeline for it, and he walked away, making us look like fools now. Good thing we did that though, soon after the people started showing up. The line was getting long and we were getting antsy, constantly checking the time. When 11am finally rolled around… nothing. We started wondering how long we would wait before giving up (we decided half an hour) and no sooner had we said that they opened up and let us in.
What to have for brunch, well the croque madame of course. It had gotten rave reviews in various places and I could not resist the idea of melted cheese and ham smooshed between two pieces of bread. The fried egg on top however, I was wary of how that would go down. We got the best seats in the house, near the edge so we were far away from enough people as well as close enough to the bar to get fast service, and it was indeed fast. Our meals arrived no more than 10 minutes after we ordered we got our food. People were still filing in from inside while we were digging into our sandwiches. Brent had ordered the fried chicken thigh. Both sandwiches came with a side of fries and I swear, there was honey in the ketchup. It was unexpected but really good.
I got around having to eat the yolk by handing the sandwich to Brent so he could eat it instead. In my defense, as I leaned in for that first bite, I caught a whiff of the egg yolk and it was not appealing, in fact it made me think the sandwich was going to be awful. It was awful greasy however. That has to have been the greasiest thing I have ever eaten. My hands were so slick afterwards. The guy from the couple next to us leaned over and asked if I had ordered the croque monsieur and I replied that yes, had ordered the croque madame. When their order came they ate their sandwiches… with a knife and fork. Come on people, it’s a sandwich for crying out loud!
For dessert we headed to Lit Espresso Bar which was voted best new cafe 2008. The coffee was amazing. I know this because Brent had a sip and even HE enjoyed it! That is how you know it is good, because he hates coffee. It was a nice mild blend which I was happy to find out is bought from Intelligentsia in Chicago (one of my favourite coffee places there). Coffee in the best cafe of 2008 cannot be had alone so we indulged in cookies. We split the Canadian Rockies cookie (not quite sure why it is called that) and the Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt cookie. The second one was better. The Canadian Rockies cookie had oats in it, but also some weird little seeds (or seed-like things).