Location: 1357 St Clair Avenue West, Toronto
La Paloma has been around since 1967, so it’s pretty much the OG gelateria in the GTA. You can’t argue with that type of history; they’re obviously doing something right (though I recently panned Johnny’s Hamburgers, which has also been around since 1967, so I guess you can argue with that type of history).
Anyway, it’s good. It might not be the best gelato in the city, but it’s definitely not the Johnny’s of ice cream.
On my most recent visit I had the Sicilian pistachio. It tasted like they were using pistachio flavouring or even other nuts in there (something about the flavour was a bit off), and it was a bit too sweet, but it’s still quite satisfying.
It helps that the texture is great, with a nice creamy richness. It’s definitely above average.
Location: 636 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto
Taking the fish from a plate of fish and chips and serving it in a sandwich is such an obvious idea that I’m shocked it isn’t more common. And if Sea Witch is anything to go by, it totally works.
You can get the pickerel sandwich either with or without chips; it’s $15 with, and $13 without, so obviously you need to get the chips (it is, however, a massive amount of food, so bring your appetite).
It’s quite tasty. The sandwich easily could have been too rich, but they wisely pile on a whole bunch of zingy pickled onions, not to mention a generous amount of tangy tartar sauce. This balances things out quite nicely. The hearty ciabatta holds together well, and proves to be an ideal vehicle for the hearty sandwich.
As for the fish itself, it’s good, though it’s not outstanding — the batter is slightly too substantial, and the fish is a bit overcooked and dry. Still, with all of the other stuff going on, it works just fine.
The fries are the highlight. They’re crispy, creamy, and substantial; they’re basically the perfect fish and chips chips.
Location: 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga (inside Square One)
There’s something both delightful and bizarre about the presence of Gol’s Lanzhou Noodle in Square One’s food court. It’s hard to imagine a place serving legit Chinese hand-pulled noodles — nestled between a KFC and a cheesesteak joint — being able to exist in a suburban shopping mall like Square One even just a decade ago.
But it’s here now, and it’s surprisingly great.
I had the beef noodle soup, and I was shocked at how good it was. It’s not the best bowl of noodles you’ll ever eat, but it’s seriously tasty for something in a mall’s food court. It’s not even in Square One’s fancy new “Food District” — it’s in the plain old food court, right near places like A&W and Manchu Wok.
(Sorry, I know I’m harping on its location, but it kinda blows my mind.)
And yes, they serve real-deal hand-pulled noodles; they’re freshly pulled to order, and you can watch them do it (which is always an oddly hypnotic display).
It’s a tasty bowl. The soup is a bit too salty, but it has a clean beefy flavour with a nice hit of freshness from the cilantro. It comes with a healthy amount of chili oil on the side; I wish this stuff were spicier (it’s just barely hot), but it has a fantastic smoky/savoury flavour that really kicks up the flavour of the soup.
The sliced beef had a slight leftovery flavour, but was otherwise tender and enjoyable.
And the medium-thick noodles are great. They were ever-so-slightly on the soft side, but they were nice and hearty, with a satisfying level of chew.
Location: 4141 Dixie Road, Mississauga (inside Rockwood Mall)
I’ll admit that I had basically written off rolled ice cream as a gimmick. The one time I tried it previously, in Kensington Market, I thought it was fine, but a bit thin and mediocre.
Wow Wow Yum Yum, on the other hand, has me convinced that rolled ice cream can be just as tasty as the traditional churned variety.
If you’re not familiar with this type of ice cream, what makes it so distinct is that it’s essentially created right on the spot. It’s made by pouring the unfrozen ice cream mixture directly onto an ice-cold anti-griddle. The mixture then freezes almost instantly, and is rolled up and served in a cup.
It was way better than I thought it would be. It’s remarkably rich and creamy — if you close your eyes and forget about the gimmick, it’s just really good quality ice cream.
My only real issue here was the flavour. I tried their most popular, Nutella banana, which had the problem that plagues so many banana desserts — the banana they used was clearly underripe. That was a bit of a bummer.
Location: 1059 Dundas Street West, Mississauga
The Veal Supreme at Kantene was recently named the best veal sandwich in Ontario by a group including John Cattuchi (of You Gotta Eat Here and Big Food Bucket List fame). If that’s not a reason to check the place out, I don’t know what is.
The sandwich consists of “Grilled Eggplant, melted Bocconcini in a fresh tomato based basil sauce with melted Provolone and crispy Parmesan on a soft bun.”
It’s a solid veal sandwich. The breading is nicely seasoned and has the perfect amount of crunch, and the veal is nice and tender (if a bit dry).
The sauce doesn’t quite have the oomph you’ll find in the best veal sandwiches, but it’s certainly tasty enough. And of course, tender eggplant and veal are best friends.
The bocconcini wasn’t quite melted all the way through, but for the most part it was gooey and satisfying. As for the crispy Parmesan, it’s a great idea in theory, but it had a profoundly burnt, bitter flavour that was actually quite unpleasant.
You can get the sandwich mild or spicy; the spicy version features pickled peppers that do a nice job of cutting through the richness of the sandwich. They’re quite mild, however, and I missed the intensely spicy bite of the un-pickled peppers you normally find in a sandwich like this.
The bread is great, with a lightly crispy exterior and a fluffy interior that holds up admirably to the very saucy sandwich.
Its a tasty sandwich — but I don’t think it’s the best in Mississauga, let alone all of Ontario.