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.
Location: 4750 Yonge Street, North York (in the Emerald Park food court)
I recently blogged about the tasty Chinese crepes at the Emerald Park food court. Also at that food court? Nanashake, which serves vegan, banana-based soft serve and shakes.
I almost got the soft serve (because I have a very hard time saying no to soft serve of any kind), but then I remembered that “shake” is right there in the name of the restaurant, so I got one of those instead.
They have a few different flavours — strawberry, pistachio, date, etc. — but the guy behind the counter said chocolate was the most popular, so that’s what I went with.
It was quite refreshing. It tasted more like a smoothie than a milkshake (it is vegan and made predominantly with bananas, after all), but whatever it is, it’s good. The banana/chocolate flavour was satisfying, and its level of sweetness was much more subtle than a typical milkshake. It probably won’t satisfy an all-out dessert craving, but it’s a refreshing and tasty beverage that I’d happily drink again.
Plus, it is (presumably) healthy; something that’s good for you and actually tastes really good is always nice.