Location: 655 College Street, Toronto
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?
Location: 161 Harbord Street, Toronto
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.
Location: 324 Frederick Street, Kitchener
Though I was really hoping to try the kouign-amann at Ambrosia Corner Bakery, it turns out I visited on the wrong day — they’re only served from Thursday to Saturday. My disappointment was short-lived, however. As soon as I saw their Pecan Cinnamon Sticky Buns, I knew that I needed to put one in my belly ASAP.
Step aside, kouign-amann; that sticky bun has an urgent appointment with my face.
Yes. It’s as good as it looks. It’s sticky, sweet, and incredible. It looks like it might be too sweet, but it’s actually remarkably well balanced. The caramel on top has a very rich, deep flavour, and the buttery, amazing pastry is substantial enough to hold up to the generous amount of sauce. That’s not to mention the underlying cinnamon flavour, which is delightful.
But then do I even need to be writing this? You have eyeballs. Again: it’s as good as it looks.
Location: 3 Wellesley Street West, Toronto
The Chocolate Lava Croissant at 7 Baker is interesting? It’s quite tasty, but also… different.
It’s a high quality pastry, no doubt about it. The croissant is top-notch; it’s nice and buttery, with a good level of exterior crispiness and a tender texture. It’s not the best croissant I’ve ever had, but it’s clearly above average.
It’s filled with an intense, cocoa-packed chocolate pudding that’s creamy and tasty but also… not sweet. Not even a little bit.
It’s weird. It generally tastes good (though without a little sweetness to round things out, the bitterness of the cocoa is overly pronounced), but with the lack of sugar, I’m not sure what it is. It’s ostensibly a dessert, but… desserts are supposed to be sweet, aren’t they?
I certainly didn’t dislike eating it, but it’s flummoxing. I’m flummoxed by it.
Location: 35 Tank House Lane, Toronto
Cluny is a French bistro in the Distillery District that also has an attached bakery where they sell various pastries and sandwiches.
The bakery has the requisite sweets, of course, along with a handful of tasty looking sandwiches and savoury pastries (the quiche looked good, as did the tourtiere). I went with the ham and brie sandwich.
I got it toasted, though I think untoasted might be the better option. Toasting gets the bread a little too crunchified, and melts the fat in the ham, making the sandwich a drippy, greasy mess.
Even so, it’s a tasty sandwich. The bread, even in its over-crunched form, is top-notch, and the speck ham and brie work nicely together. It’s a simple sandwich, but if you’re dealing with high quality ingredients that compliment each other well, further ornamentation is unnecessary.