Location: 12 Oxley Street, Toronto
I just had a slice of the mille crepe cake from Millie Patisserie, and it was so incredibly delicious that I’m pretty sure I can never eat dessert again. I mean, what’s the point? It’s all garbage to me now. Mille crepe cake 4 eva.
In case you’re not familiar with a mille crepe cake, it’s a magical creation in which crepes and custardy cream are layered on top of each other until you wind up with something that looks like a cake.
The version they’re serving at Millie Patisserie is next level. It’s insanely good.
On this particular visit, they had four varieties: vanilla bean, tiramisu, earl gray, and matcha. I went with vanilla bean, and holy crap it was amazing.
The custard between the crepe layers was crazy delicious. It was rich and creamy, with an intense custardy flavour and the perfect amount of vanilla. Just give me a spoon and a bucket of this stuff and I’ll eat it until I literally explode.
The tender crepes are just as good, with a very light chewiness that compliments the custard perfectly. The proportion of both is just right; it’s the perfect balance of creaminess and substance and amazingness. It was easily one of the best desserts I’ve had in ages.
It’s not cheap, however. One slice comes up to a bit over ten bucks with tax, which is so much that I almost left the store without ordering anything. But man, it is absolutely, positively worth it. Aside from the fact that it’s ridiculously delicious, the quality of ingredients they’re working with is obviously high, and I have to imagine that making one of these things is quite labour intensive. There are so many layers and they’re all so perfect.
Location: 122 Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake
The perfect pizza crust should be lightly crispy on the outside, with a soft, slightly chewy interior. Well, the Treadwell Bakery in Niagara on the Lake definitely has the “chewy” thing covered. They’ve got it covered hard.
On this particular day, they had a couple of types of slices available; the one topped with salami, prosciutto, roasted red pepper, and goat cheese caught my eye.
The flavours were actually pretty solid; the sweet peppers did a great job of balancing out the salty meats and cheese, and the slice had a garlicky, herby flavour that worked quite well. It could have used a bit more moisture, but the quality of the ingredients was good; it was a tasty slice of ‘suh.
Then there was the crust. Calling it chewy doesn’t quite communicate the enormity of what was going on here. It was downright rubbery; I was having a hard time even biting into it. When I say that it was a jaw workout, I’m not exaggerating to make a point. My jaw was literally sore by the time I finished the slice. It was nuts.
I still actually kind of enjoyed it, which tells you how good it was otherwise. But man, that crust. What the hell happened there??
Location: 1626 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
I don’t have much to say about the almond croissant at Patisserie la Cigogne other than that it was delicious and you should eat it.
It was really good, though.
I mean, almond croissants are just generally great; if they’re done well, they’re an amazing combo of crunchy, crispy, buttery, and sweet. And I honestly can’t remember the last time I had one this good — the croissant was flaky and super buttery, and there’s a very generous amount of the sweet almond filling.
I mean, look at all that filling that’s oozed out and become crunchy and caramelized. The best. There’s also a generous amount of filling inside the croissant that’s nutty and creamy and sweet. Also the best.
(The whole thing was pretty much the best, so like I said earlier, you should probably go eat one.)
Location: 120 Dundas Street West, Toronto
The lemon meringue croissant from Butter Baker is one of those things that I saw on Instagram and immediately had to eat. And yes, I know: this makes me part of the problem.
A very strong argument could be made that social media (Instagram in particular) is making our cuisine appreciably worse by incentivizing restaurants to serve visually innovative food in which the actual taste is an afterthought (e.g. Sweet Jesus).
And that’s absolutely the case here. I mean, look at that! It looks so impressive! But it gets less impressive once you start actually eating it.
For one thing, it’s almost impossible to eat without getting sticky meringue all over your face. But let’s set that complaint aside, because a lot of cupcakes are just as hard to eat without making a mess, and only a monster would argue that a cupcake isn’t great.
The two main issues here are that the croissant itself is merely okay, and the lemon curd filling is completely bland. The latter point is especially egregious; the whole appeal of a lemon meringue pie is the delightful way that the tartness of the lemon curd is offset by the sweetness of the meringue. But here, the curd is disappointingly anemic, with a limp sugariness and almost no sour bite. Because of this, the whole thing comes off as one-dimensionally sweet and boring.
I will, however, give Butter Baker props for the use of creamy Italian meringue over frothy, dull French meringue. This is correct; French meringue is for jerks.
Location: 160 Baldwin Street, Toronto
I was still hungry after the horrifying abomination I was served at Kiss the Tiramisu; I couldn’t eat more than a third of it. So I went a couple of stores down to Little Pebbles, a great little Japanese cafe in Kensington Market.
They have the usual assortment of coffees to pick from, as well as a variety of French/Japanese-inspired baked goods. I went with the Strawberry Sakura Mont Blanc, which features an almond-infused crust, pastry cream, a whole strawberry, and strawberry mont blanc cream.
Maybe I was just happy to eat something that wasn’t disgusting, but I really enjoyed this. The nutty crust was tasty, the whole strawberry was sweet and ripe, and the mont blanc cream did a really great job of balancing the chestnut flavour you’d expect with something a bit fruitier.
The whole thing was quite subdued in its flavours, but it all worked really well. I’d definitely like to come back here and try some of their other offerings, because everything looked really good.