Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Jun 27, 2010 02:54 PM

The Counter?

I'm curious if anyone has been to the new 24-hour "upscale diner" at the Thompson Hotel. The space was designed by Susur Lee's wife, but I don't know much about the menu. Still, given that the 24-hour options downtown currently include the Lakeview, which is terrible, and Fran's which is even more terrible, I'm pretty interested on hearing more about The Counter.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have not been but am very curious. There was brief mention of it in the Globe and Mail. Diner comfort food in an upscale space. Burgers, mac and cheese, poutine. Excited to check this out, was a bad weekend to head down there so might try it next weekend. There's spot on the Thompson web site for it but very little info or a menu.

    1. I've been twice (live in the building). The food is typical up-scale diner fare. Burgers, BLT, mac and chesse etc. Burger and fries are $12. Burger is a good size but a touch on the dry side. They are open 24 hours to provide room service food to the hotel guests..
      I'll report back when I try more menu items.

      1. Went on Monday night at about 10pm, l'homme and I live in the neighbourhood and have been really excited about a late night food option other than the Wheat Sheaf. (Yeah, I know... I post on chowhound but eat at the WS... let the stoning begin!)

        I'd been in the space before opening, and was pleasantly surprised at how it balances chic and homey. The booths are roomy, the lighting is kind, and I covet the floor tiles. Whole look is a bit diner+train car+moroccan bordello.

        For a place still finding its feet (we were told it had been open for just a week) I was impressed by the service, pacing and most of the food. I'm confident that the snags will work themselves out with time and more plates going through the pass.

        We had fried chicken (with cheddar mac and cheese) a side of wilted spinich, and mac and cheese.

        The M&C was good, but pretty bog standard and frankly not interesting. Served in a cast iron kettle - nice touch - and garnished with two thin baguette toasts (which made no sense, because if you are serving a dish that is solely comprised of carbs and dairy and fat, why would you top it off with more carbs?) and two rounds of pancetta, over crisped to the point of blackness. This dish could be hoiked up a notch with the simple addition of some sort of properly cooked pig (lardons, bacon, threads of prosciutto...)

        The chicken came in five pieces in a bucket, an enormous portion for one person, and was served (oddly) with tartar sauce and (less oddly) cheddar mashed potatoes. L'homme avoided the sauce, but raved about the chicken. A thick crust of slightly sweet batter wrapping tender, juicy chicken pieces. Two of which are still in our fridge, because, despite our best efforts, we couldn't go the distance. Cheddar mashed pots were delicious, but the cheese was just melted over the top of the potatoes, when we'd expected a golden mound of cheese infused starch. Regardless, the dish tasted excellent.

        The wilted spinich was properly wilted, but over salted and wilted baby spinich leaves with the stems left on lead to limp and drippy stem threads which are sort of unappetizing.

        Large selection of bottled beer, a select few on tap - served in chilled glass mugs!

        Other menu items: a variety of all day breakfasts, a muffuletta, shrimp po-boy, salads, burgers and sammies.

        Overall, I think it is a great addition to an area with many condo-ites and few mid-range dining options.

        3 Replies
        1. re: clairelizabeth

          How much was the bucket of fried chicken? Seems like a good option to split. Hold the tartar sauce.....

          1. re: childofthestorm

            I think the fried chicken came in at about $17, which we thought was pricey... until the serving arrived and it was huge.

            Totally share-able.

            1. re: clairelizabeth

              mitizi's sister has a great fried chicken (2 pieces) with ontario corn on the cob, cole slaw and potato salad for $14, great deal, very filling and very tasty

        2. I went today with a friend - it was ok, but not overly impressive. There's a photo of what we ate here (burger and the mac and cheese)

          I was hoping for a good new late night spot, but I'm a bit on the fence right now with The Counter. Some of the prices are pretty high ($12 hot dogs) but I'm pretty curious about the fried chicken that claireelizabeth had, so I might go back and try it.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ggom1

            Those fries look pretty good in the picture. Did they have a poutine on the menu?

            1. re: abigllama

              Yes, there's two. The prices are cut-off in the menu photo I took, but I can read Poutine Classic and Poutine Quebecoise (looks like this has smoked meat added in). They're listed under "Sides" so taking a stab in the dark, I'd guess maybe $8-12? Since the sandwiches all seem to be around $14.

              1. re: ggom1

                can we see the picture of the menu you took?

                1. re: hungryabbey

                  I'm not sure if this will work?

                  The menu is on one big page so I tried to zoom in on the different sections to make it legible.

                  1. re: ggom1

                    woo, thanks for posting. for menu shots!

                    For reading it later, I usually just shoot it straight on and then zoom in flickr. It's like scanning, but faster. You'd have to change the permission settings though. Like this:

                    And if you click on the menu tag on that page, you can see allllll of the menus I've shot. It's a handy thing, I find.

                    1. re: ggom1

                      Thanks so much!
                      Can you recall what the app offerings were? Thats the only one I cant see. And is it breakfast all day?

                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        Thanks for the tips jlunar! I'll try to play with the settings but I generally avoid using flickr. Lol it took me about 5 minutes before I figured out how to even upload the menu photo.

                        We didn't really look at the apps when we went. Looking at the menu on extreme zoom, I think I can read: soup of the day; fried calamari; crab cakes; fries and onion rings. I don't think there was anything in that section that really jumped out as interesting when I was looking through the menu walking by.

                        And yes, I think it's an all day breakfast - they wrote "breakfast anytime."

                        1. re: ggom1

                          My mistake. I dont know what I was thinking, I somehow overlooked that breakfast statement Ha.

            2. ate there on canada day.

              i had the mac & cheese and now upon reading, i think they forgot my pancetta! it would've been nice if i could add lobster cuz it was really rich and salty.

              looking forward to going back to try other menu items, and the window booths are great for ppl watching.