Location: 1183 Dundas Street West, Toronto
I love croissants. I mean, who doesn’t? They’re crispy, they’re fluffy, they’re buttery, they can be sweet, they can be savoury… they’re one of the world’s perfect foods, and there are few things more delightful than eating a really great one.
Well, Geste Croissanterie specializes in the stuff, and as you’d hope, they’re great. I tried a sweet one and a savoury one, and they were both seriously delicious.
I started with the smoked salmon sandwich, which they make with a croissant that’s been formed into a ring like a bagel. The croissant itself is top-notch; it’s super flaky and buttery, with a great contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender interior. But the rest of the sandwich isn’t an afterthought, with some seriously good smoked salmon that’s definitely a cut above the stuff you can buy at the supermarket.
But it was the pistachio pain au chocolat (which the man behind the counter said is their most popular item — and I can absolutely see why) that really blew me away. I’m sure it helped that it was clearly super fresh, but oh man this was easily one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while.
It features that same outstanding croissant base, which is filled with tasty chocolate and a gooey pistachio paste (I wish I had taken a picture of the interior so you could see how glorious it is). It’s very sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, and the balance of all of the components is absolutely perfect. It’s so good.
Location: 6039 Erin Mills Parkway, Unit 6, Mississauga
Manousha is a take-out gem in Mississauga that specializes in mana’eesh, a Middle Eastern flatbread that comes with various toppings. They also have a handful of interesting looking subs, but I figured the mana’eesh is probably the way to go.
And yeah, it’s definitely the way to go (though I’m sure the sandwiches are good too — I think another visit is in order).
I went with the zaatar, which comes topped with a mix of zaatar (a Middle Eastern herb blend) and olive oil, along with the chicken musakhan (a Palestinian dish featuring sumac-infused chicken with onions).
The crust is great — it’s slightly crispy on the outside, and it’s got a great balance of chewiness and fluffiness on its interior. They bake everything in a wood-burning oven, and clearly, they know how to use it.
Both mana’eesh were quite tasty, though the musakhan was the highlight. It’s a little bit tangy, a little bit sweet, and satisfyingly meaty from the tender chicken.
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.
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 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.
Location: 858 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto
Though Phamilyeats started out as one of the many delivery-only eateries that popped up during the pandemic, they now share a space with Conspiracy Pizza and Churnt Up. They specialize in meat pies — either family-sized pot pies, or individual patties — and based on the patty I tried, they’re definitely worth checking out.
I went with the spicy beef patty, which is a classic patty through and through. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, but it’s really well executed, with a great beefy flavour and a decent level of spice.
I also appreciated that the beef was a bit chunkier than the norm. The meat in a lot of patties, particularly cheaper ones, is so thoroughly pulverized into a fine paste that it’s only vaguely recognizable as beef. That’s definitely not the case here.
And the pastry might just be the highlight, with a delightful flakiness that complements the beef filling perfectly.
Location: 1636 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
Though I’m not entirely sure that this stretch of Bayview particularly needed another fancy French bakery (Patisserie la Cigogne is just a few stores down, and Rahier Patisserie is, according to Google, a one minute walk away), but sure, why not? If the area can sustain multiple French patisseries, then go for it, particularly if the pastries are as tasty as they seem to be here.
I tried a couple of things. The first was a ham and cheese quiche in a croissant-like crust. I don’t think anyone is going to lose their mind over this one, but aside from the pastry being a bit soggy, it’s rich and creamy, and it has a good amount of ham and cheese.
I also tried the pistachio croissant, which was a clear winner — the croissant was buttery, flaky, and delicious, and the generous pistachio filling was sweet without being overwhelming.
My only complaint is that it didn’t have a particularly strong pistachio flavour (I’m guessing there’s a mix of almonds and pistachios), but the combo of the top-notch croissant and nutty filling was so tasty that it doesn’t particularly matter.