Amazing Gelato at Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe
Location
: 29 McCaul Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.instagram.com/mizzicagelato/

The first thing you see before you enter the door at Mizzica is a big banner with the various awards they won at the Gelato Festival World Masters, which certainly seems like a promising sign.

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

And then you try the actual gelato, and it’s pretty clear why they won those awards — holy moly it’s good, please give them all the awards.

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

They have a bunch of delicious looking flavours, but I went with the Cassata Siciliana, which is based on an Italian dessert of the same name (which is basically a boozy cake filled with candied fruit and creamy ricotta).

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

It’s so good.  It’s filled with chunks of cake, dark chocolate, candied fruit, and sweet ricotta, and everything about it is crazy delicious.  The balance of all the ingredients is just right, and the gelato itself is super smooth, rich, and creamy.  I was wondering if they could keep up that stratospheric level of quality; I’ve been back a few times since this particular visit, and yeah, this place is the real deal.  It’s some of the best gelato in the city.

Ketchup Ice Cream (and More!) at The Ex

Ketchup ice cream at The Ex
Location
210 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto
Websitehttps://theex.com/

The Ex!  It’s back!  And clearly I’m not the only person excited about this, because despite going in the middle of the week after work, the place was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it.  Clearly, there’s a lot of pent-up demand for sketchy rides, junky food, and stores selling random knick-knacks.

Of course, I was there for the food, and yes, I tried the ketchup ice cream.

The Ex

Two dollar spaghetti from Primo Spaghetti

This place has been around forever, though this was my first time actually trying it.  It’s pretty much exactly what you’d think a two dollar serving of spaghetti at a carnival would be: the sauce tasted like the cheapest stuff you can buy at the supermarket, and the spaghetti was overcooked mush.

The Ex

Deep fried perogies from The Perogy Chef

This is another place that’s been around forever; I’ve tried this one before and I knew it would be good, and indeed it was.  The perogies are tender, tasty, and slightly crispy on their exterior, and they’re doused in an oily sauce and a bunch of sweet caramelized onions.  The sour cream on the side adds a nice creamy zing that rounds things out quite well.  It’s a tasty snack.

The Ex

Flamin’ Hot Chicken Sandwich from Fried Chicken Sandwiches

This place promises a chicken sandwich that’s tossed in chipotle mayo and coated in Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.  Alas, the Cheetos (or Cheeto crumbs, more accurately) are just mounded on top, which isn’t quite as fun from an appearance or a taste perspective.  The whole thing is fine — it’s not the best fried chicken sandwich I’ve ever had, and it’s not the worst — but it barely has any Flamin’ Hot taste or texture.

The Ex

Viet Burrito from Pho 88

This is less of a burrito and more of an overstuffed fresh roll, but it’s still pretty tasty; it’s crammed with noodles, various veggies, chicken, and a whole spring roll, and it’s wrapped in rice paper.  It would have been nice if the peanut sauce were in the wrap instead of on the side (it’s a bit dry), but otherwise this was pretty good.  It’s basically like a Vietnamese vermicelli noodle bowl, but crammed into a handheld package.

The Ex

Fried cheese curds from the Midway

I wasn’t expecting it, but this might have been the best thing I ate at the Ex this year.  The curds are gooey and tasty, and the super satisfying crispy exterior doesn’t overwhelm.  It’s basically like a mozzarella stick, but better.  There’s not much more to say about this one.  It’s fried cheese.  It’s great.

The Ex

Ketchup ice cream from the Midway

Of course I tried the ketchup ice cream.  How could I not?  They also serve mustard ice cream; I was hoping to get both in a twist, but alas, that wasn’t an option.  I suppose I could have ordered one of each, but one of these things costs twelve bucks and I wasn’t about to spend over twenty dollars on novelty ice cream.  Anyway, it wasn’t bad!  Would I eat it again?  Absolutely not, but considering how disgusting this could have been, the fact that it’s actually pretty okay is kind of a miracle.  It has an unmistakable but (and this is key) not overwhelming ketchup flavour, which combines surprisingly well with the ice cream.  The ketchup flavour is present enough that you know exactly what you’re eating, but subtle enough to let the sweet ice cream be the star of the show.  It’s not gross!

Decent Ice Cream at West End Waffles and Scoops

West End Waffles and Scoops
Location
: 499 Runnymede Road, Toronto
Website: https://www.instagram.com/westendwafflesandscoops/

I generally don’t pay much attention to ice cream shops that don’t make their own ice cream, but I figured I’d give West End Waffles and Scoops a shot.  They serve Shaw’s Ice Cream, an Ontario-based company that seemed like it might be a bit more interesting than the usual Kawartha or Nestle.

West End Waffles and Scoops

Outside of the ice cream, I think West End Waffles and Scoops makes pretty much everything else from scratch, including waffles, sauces, cookies, and cones.  I went pretty simple, however, and just got a scoop of Grammy’s Cupboard, which features a vanilla base with brownie pieces, cookie dough chunks, and peanut butter swirled throughout.

It’s not bad.  It’s not on the level of the better places in the GTA, but the ice cream is nice and creamy with plenty of tasty mix-ins, and a clear step up from something you’d find in a supermarket freezer.

Quick Bites: Churnt Up, Nord Lyon, Canada’s Wonderland

Churnt Up
Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream at Churnt Up

I decided recently that if I eat something I don’t particularly enjoy, I’m not going to write all that much about it — I think there’s enough negativity in the world, and I’d rather spend my energy focusing on stuff I like rather than stuff I don’t.  That being said, I’ll say that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a great flavour for ice cream, and I’ll leave it at that.

Nord Lyon
Strawberry croissant at Nord Lyon

The strawberry croissant at Nord Lyon is named after the bakery; it’s always a safe bet to order a restaurant’s namesake dish, and in this case, the croissant has a nice buttery flavour and a healthy amount of sweet strawberry jam.  It was pretty stale when I tried it, but maybe you’ll have better luck?

Funnel cake at Canada's Wonderland
Funnel cake at Canada’s Wonderland

It turns out that Canada’s Wonderland is actually pretty boring for food — at least half of the eateries are locations of Pizza Pizza or Subway, and the rest all serve stuff like burgers and chicken strips, with almost none of the over-the-top carnival-style fun you might expect.  But!  They still serve funnel cakes — topped with soft serve and a chunky strawberry sauce — and they’re just as good as you remember.  No… better.  If there’s a better combo than fresh fried dough, creamy ice cream, and sweet strawberry sauce, I’d like to hear about it.

Quick Bites: Superpoint, Good Behaviour Ice Cream, Falafel Plus

Superpoint
Cheese slice from Superpoint

Superpoint!  It’s still great.  This time I got a plain cheese slice, and it’s absolutely phenomenal — it’s got the perfect amount of gooey cheese, tasty sauce, and that nicely crispy/chewy thin crust.  Pizzeria Badiali is right nearby also serving up top-notch slices, and I’m extremely envious of anyone who lives in the area because they’re both so good.

Good Behaviour Ice Cream
Mint Chocolate from Good Behaviour Ice Cream

Easily the weirdest scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream I’ve ever had — it didn’t taste like mint or chocolate.  If I had eaten this blind, I honestly don’t think I would have guessed mint.  It tastes more like a mild key lime pie.  It’s not bad, it’s just weird when you’re expecting mint.  As for the chocolate, I’m of the opinion that standard chocolate chips are useless in ice cream.  They have a nice crunch, but nothing else — frozen chocolate chips are too cold to properly melt in your mouth, so they basically just crumble into little bits that you can’t taste.

Falafel Plus
Falafel from Falafel Plus

If you have “falafel” right in the name of your restaurant, you’d better be able to back that up.  I’m happy to say that Falafel Plus very much backs that up: the falafel here has a great balance between crispy exterior and fluffy interior, and it’s perfectly spiced, with a herby flavour that’s very satisfying.  Clearly, I’m going to have to return and try a bunch more stuff, because they have a fairly extensive menu, and based on the falafel it’s probably all tasty.