Banana cream pie sundae from Happy Sundae
So, hmm… I’m trying to balance my newfound desire to keep this blog negativity-free with my need to warn you that this place isn’t very good. Because it’s not very good. The biggest issue here is the “ice cream” itself, and I’m putting ice cream in quotes because they say right on their menu that the soft serve is dairy-free. Here’s the thing, though: Honey’s has illustrated fairly conclusively that it’s possible to create dairy-free ice cream that’s just as creamy and delicious as the real deal. The stuff here, on the other hand, is exactly what you fear non-dairy ice cream is going to taste like. But in the interest of not dwelling on the negative, I’ll just say that the banana slices were quite tasty (a lot of dessert places make the mistake of using underripe bananas, and that wasn’t an issue here) and leave it at that.
Jerk chicken meal from Allwyn’s Bakery
On the plus side, the small jerk chicken meal from Allwyn’s is a pretty great deal. Ignore the word “small” — for eleven bucks, you get a hearty portion of rice, two pieces of jerk chicken, and a side of coleslaw. I wish it tasted better, however. I couldn’t taste any of the spices and complexity that you’ll find in the better versions of this dish; it was just one-note salty in a way that got really monotonous to eat. It’s a deal, though!
Pineapple sundae from Tom’s Dairy Freeze
Okay, let’s end things on a more positive note. I know I’ve written about Tom’s Dairy Freeze about a billion times on this blog, and guess what? It’s still great! I got the pineapple sundae this time; the sauce has a decent proportion of small pineapple chunks and sweet syrup, but it’s the ice cream itself that’s the real draw. This is still — hands down — the best soft serve in the city. It’s rich, creamy, and delicious.
Location: 1121 Queen Street East, Toronto
It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that Bobbette and Belle is one of the best bakeries in the GTA. Maybe the best? It’s right up there, that’s for sure.
I tried the apple bread pudding on a recent visit, which they heat up and serve with a very tasty custard sauce. I mean, look at it. Do I even need to mention that it’s delicious? Of course it’s delicious.
It’s crispy on its exterior and creamy inside, with a great custardy flavour. The apples give it a nice zing, and the melty chocolate (yes, there’s melty chocolate in there, in case it didn’t already seem amazing enough) compliments it so well. My only real complaint is that the apples are a bit crisp. I know some people like their apples firm in pies and baked goods, but those people are wrong. Tender apples 4 eva.
Still, the whole thing is so tasty that it just barely matters.
On another visit (yeah, I’ve been there a bunch, so what, wanna fight about it?) I tried the coconut banana cream pie, which was even better.
I love both banana cream pies and coconut cream pies, so I have no idea why it never occurred to me that you could combine the two, but you can and it’s amazing. There’s also a layer of dulce de leche at the bottom of the pie, which gives the whole thing a rich, caramely flavour — and yet it’s not too sweet. It’s perfect.
The crust is great too — crispy but not overly crunchy, with a nice buttery flavour and a mild sweetness that works amazingly well with the rest of the pie. The whole thing is ridiculously good.
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: 633 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Ice cream is the best. And while what they’re serving at Put A Cone On It probably isn’t going to knock anyone’s socks off, it’s above average ice cream. Which means that, yes: it’s the best.
Plus, they make their own ice cream, which is always nice. There’s nothing more disheartening than going to an ice cream shop only to realize that they’re serving commercial stuff like Kawartha or Nestle. I can buy that at the supermarket. Get out of here with that.
They have a handful of dairy and non-dairy flavours available; I tried the roasted banana, which is one of the dairy options.
It’s quite tasty. True to its name, it has a very pronounced banana flavour that almost reminded me of banana bread, only with a more amplified fruity flavour.
The texture was ever-so-slightly icy, and it could have been richer, but it was quite good. Like I said: it probably won’t be your favourite ice cream in the city, but you’re definitely going to enjoy eating it.
Location: 150 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Prairie Girl Bakery might just serve my favourite cupcakes in the city. There are some other contenders (the Cupcake Shoppe comes to mind), but Prairie Girl is right up there.
I like that they actually have three different sizes — standard, mini, and cutie. The mini size is absolutely perfect if you’ve just had a big meal and you want something sweet that isn’t going to make you feel completely sick. It’s still a couple of decent bites’ worth of cupcake, so it’s enough to satisfy, but not so much to make you question the way you’re living your life.
On this particular visit I got the banana peanut butter, which features peanut butter frosting with banana cake. Not surprisingly, it was great — the cake basically tasted like a lighter, fluffier banana bread. It had a really distinct banana flavour that worked perfectly with the very creamy peanut butter frosting.
The whole thing was sweet, but with enough of a balance to not be a complete sugar overload. It’s good stuff.