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County General Riverside

Tried the Queen and Boulton location of the County General last night and loved our meal!
We started with a single slice of tangy fried green tomato under ricotta and a generous sprinkling of watermelon pico do gallo - yum!
Then we had the fried chicken platter for two. I think this is now my favourite fried chicken since Paulette's. You get about 10 not-too-big pieces dumped directly on parchment paper instead of plates - very fun. Then they pour a ketchup-based Texan style sauce (fruity and delicious) over half the pieces, and shake a dry rub over the other half. Then they cover them all with a mixture of fresh basil, cilantro, green onion and mint! You can dip in a garlicky ranch dressing (which we found a bit too strong - it covered the other flavours) or add housemade Tabasco or Scotch bonnet sauce (the latter was really good tho I cautiously tried it drop by drop). A little dish of very pickled cabbage and onion coleslaw comes with it as well. The chicken was done sous vide before frying so it was all moist and luscious (the white meat was particularly impressive), and the fresh herbs made it even more delicious. Wow, I am a fan! (PS This is not the same way they serve fried chicken at the original location.)
We tried the kale salad for a bit of greenery, which came with deep fried capers instead of roasted garlic as advertised. It was fresh and pleasant but not remarkable.
For dessert we tried the "cardamom cheese cake ice cream sandwich", which was a light, fluffy, cold cheesecake with strawberries, between two chocolate wafers. We couldn't detect the cardamom but the cheesecake was very nice and the chocolate wafers were not too sweet. (We were tempted by the "King" - a cinnamon bun under peanut butter, banana and candied bacon!! - but it sounded too heavy after all that fried chicken. Next time.)
They make their own sodas (served with or without alcohol) so we decided to try them plain - the celery was outstanding, refreshing and hardly sweet at all; the chocolate egg cream was good, also not too sweet, tho could have been more chocolatey and more creamy. (However for having with food it was probably better that it wasn't so dessert-y.)
Total before tax was $72 for two - good value. The music was loud but not unbearable, but the restaurant also wasn't full.
We are looking forward to trying more of their offerings. Hope others have as good an experience! Please share reports.

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  1. Well, we weren't quite as happy with our food a few months back, but the cocktails were good and the people were very nice and eager to please. I also read somewhere, I believe, that they aim to fit the neighbourhood - even to the extent of welcoming kids. Although it would not be my first choice with young kids that is partly my own preference and it might work well for families with tweens and up. Anyway, I am glad you enjoyed it and the fried chicken sounds great.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Klafouti

        The burger, fried chicken sandwich, some small apps and dessert. Nothing was terrible and you could see there was effort put in, it was mostly a matter of unbalanced flavours - whether too sour, sweet or salty. The cocktails by contrast did have a good sweet/tart balance for my tastes (I'm not a purist and enjoy some sweet drinks, but not TOO sweet).
        I didn't post at the time and don't want to get into much detail because I actually don't get any pleasure out of posting negative reviews of places that are trying hard and have potential :) This was several months back too.

    1. I've been there a few times and have really enjoyed it. I thought the kale salad was excellent, to the point of trying to replicate it at home. When I was there they had a falafel sandwich which was really tasty, but they've since updated the menu to a more summery theme.

      1 Reply
      1. re: roostermom

        We've been a few times now and really enjoy it. Great addition to the n'hood.

        All of their appetizers are great. We've had
        the oysters
        Kale salad - love it
        Potato salad with asparagus - really good!
        fried green tomatoes - new dish very nice
        and my fav - devilled eggs!!

        we usually get the chicken sandwich but decided to try the whole fried chicken as described above. It was good but I would have preferred mine with straight up honey, which they said they will bring in for next time.

        It's definitely one of our go to's.

      2. Has anyone been for brunch? I'm thinking about going this weekend.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kwass

          But - it looks like brunch is the only meal where they don't serve the crazy cinnamon bun!! Maybe you can request it!

          1. re: Klafouti

            I definitely will :) I'd love to hear if anyone's been yet. The French toast and fried chicken seems to be calling my name ;)

        2. I've been a handful of times since they opened and it is my fav recent addition to the hood. Buck a shuck on Monday's is a bonus!

          3 Replies
          1. re: JennaBean

            damn...missed it by a day. guess there's always next week.

            what do you like on the menu? might go tonight.

            1. re: grandgourmand

              Chicken thigh sandwich is my fav item but I haven't had something I didn't enjoy as of yet. The only miss I've had was at the west location when they have the bean based veg "meatball".

              1. re: JennaBean

                I had that at the west location as well, and I also thought it was horrible!!

          2. I went for brunch today and got the French toast with fried chicken, and I have to say that I was utterly disappointed. The French toast consisted of 2 incredibly thin slices of bread. It was actually one piece of bread that was cut in half. In fact, I think it was cut in half both width-wise and length-wise. I had to get it to go and they forgot to include maple syrup. So it was essentially egg battered toast. They plated it with some type of coleslaw that comprised as much space in the box as the French toast and fried chicken. That said, the fried chicken was sublime!

            I also had the king cinnamon bun, which was possibly the best cinnamon bun I've ever had! It's covered in a peanut butter banana sauce with small pieces of bacon. Need I say more?

            8 Replies
            1. re: kwass

              What a bummer about the French toast - but glad you liked the fried chicken! And now you have put this cinnamon bun on my list of must-haves!! (Glad they served it for brunch!)

              1. re: Klafouti

                It was a bummer because I was really looking forward to it. As for the cinnamon buns, they don't serve them at brunch, but I guess they had leftovers or maybe they made them in the morning for dinner. Either way, they were more than happy to serve me one.

              2. re: kwass

                OH no. That sucks. I'm really sorry Kwass. Note to self, chicken yes, french toast no.

                1. re: JennaBean

                  Exactly :)

                  That said, don't forget to try the King Bun. It was ridiculously good!

                  1. re: kwass

                    Reading this makes me miss Hadley's fried chicken n french toast! :-(

                    1. re: justsayn

                      Unfortunately, I never got to try it :(

                      So far, IMO, the best French toast in the city right now can be found at Beast. It's incomparable!! It doesn't come with fried chicken, but it does come with duck confit. That said, you can also get it without the duck. Either way, it's unbelievable!!

                2. re: kwass

                  I went for brunch yesterday. I saw the french toast and fried chicken. It looked sad. I would have ordered it had I not been warned! The fried chicken itself looked good but VERY small. I hope they offer it as a snack item outside of the brunch menu.

                  I had a pancake (more crepe style) an order of bacon and one egg. For $10 it is the prefect brunch option for me.

                  1. re: JennaBean

                    Glad I'm not the only one who thought the French toast was pitiful. That said, glad you enjoyed your pancakes :)