The apple fritters at The Fritter Co. in St. Jacobs Market are popular. I’ve been hearing about them for years, so when I recently found myself in St. Jacobs, checking them out was a must.
The first challenge: actually finding the place in the surprisingly massive St. Jacobs Market compound, which encompasses several enormous buildings and a seemingly endless outdoor market. I’m not sure where the largest farmers’ market in the world is, but I have to imagine this one is in the top 10.
The second challenge: mustering up the patience to stand in the gigantic, slow-moving line, which wound up taking about half an hour.
Maybe after all of that, no fritter could have lived up to my sky-high expectations, but the apple fritter here was… not very good? This place is universally beloved, and sorry everybody, but I don’t get it.
The fritter is interesting, I’ll give it that — each one features a full apple ring that’s the approximate thickness of a finger. And I did enjoy the contrast between the very tart apple slice and the sweetness of the sugary exterior. But the crisp apple slice also seems to impact the pastry itself, which was slightly undercooked around the middle in both of the fritters I tried.
Otherwise, the very pancake-like pastry was fine, I guess? And the whole thing was certainly not unpleasant to eat (the fact that they serve them piping hot from the fryer helps), but was it worth the epic half hour line-up? Absolutely not. If you’re coming from Toronto, save yourself the time and just go to San Remo or Dipped Donuts. You’re welcome.
Bonne Nouvelle is a delightful French/Korean patisserie with a whole bunch of seriously tasty looking treats. Though they have a tempting assortment of cakes and croissants, I just wanted something small to try, so I went with the strawberry rhubarb madeleine.
I regretted it as soon as I took a bite and realized how delicious it was. Another visit to better sample their wares is definitely in order.
With its tasty glaze and injection of strawberry rhubarb filling, it’s pretty far from a standard madeleine, but it’s so good. The cake itself is seriously tasty, and the tartness of the filling does an amazing job of offsetting the pastry’s sweetness. It might be the best madeleine I’ve ever had?
Emmer is a bakery that recently opened to pretty much immediate success — if you check this place out (and you should definitely check this place out), expect to be in line for a while. It’s worth it.
Everything here is so good. On a previous, unblogged visit, I tried the roast beef sandwich and a chocolate croissant, and both were thoroughly delicious.
On this visit I was able to sit on their patio for their newly introduced lunch service. I tried the tuna melt, which is 100% pure comfort food. This isn’t any kind of “elevated” tuna melt; it’s like a tuna melt you might make at home, only so much better.
The tuna is perfectly creamy without being overly rich, and the gooey American cheese complements it perfectly. The sandwich also features some kind of zippy chili sauce, which adds a very mild kick and generally makes it all a bit more interesting.
And of course, Emmer’s specialty is their baked goods, so the bread in the sandwich is house made and amazing. It’s also slathered in butter and nicely crisped up on its exterior, so yeah, it’s very good.
Is there anything more beautiful than a big box full of doughnuts? I submit that there is not. Can I eat an amazing sunset? Is a great piece of art glazed with sugar? Are any of the wonders of the world filled with chocolate or jam? No? Well then they’re all inferior to a box of doughnuts. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
I brought this box to a friend’s house (back when seeing friends was still a thing) and, between the four of us, we managed to try every single one, so suffice it to say I was all doughnuted out by the time we were done. But in the best way.
I’m not going to bother to go through it doughnut by doughnut, mostly because I don’t feel like it but also because there wasn’t a dud in the bunch. They were all very tasty, so it’s safe to say that you can’t go wrong with whatever you pick at Daddy O Doughnuts.
I will say that a couple of these were cake doughnuts and the rest were classic raised doughnuts, and I was surprised to discover that I preferred the former. The raised doughnuts were very good too, but they were a little bit dense and didn’t quite have the personality that you’ll find in the best of the best. Still, the flavours were all so delicious that it’s hard to complain too much.
Kevin’s Taiyaki is inside the PAT Supermarket in Mississauga, which is a pretty trippy place to visit. It’s basically like stepping through a portal into South Korea. When I went, every other person — both customer and employee — was Korean, and the only language I heard spoken was Korean. PAT has a downtown location as well, but I’ve never quite had the same experience there.
I have a definite fondness for South Korea (I think it’s an underrated travel destination), so that was delightful.
Like the downtown PAT, there’s a location of Kevin’s Taiyaki right inside the supermarket, which specializes in red bean or custard filled pastries.
I got the red bean, and it was very, very good. It was freshly made, with a nice crispy exterior, fluffy pastry (if you’ve never had taiyaki before, it’s extremely waffle-like), and a delicious red bean filling. The red bean had a restrained level of sweetness and a chunky (but still smooth) texture that was extremely satisfying.
Taiyaki is one of those dishes that’s very simple and rarely bad, but difficult to do really well. Kevin’s Taiyaki does it really well.