Purchased at: Wegman’s, 675 Alberta Drive, Amherst NY
Remember the Chipwich? Because I certainly do! In my childhood it felt like it would be a part of my life forever, but then it became harder and harder to find, and it was eventually taken off the market altogether.
Well, it’s back! Alas, it’s still not available in Canada (sorry if I got your hopes up), but if you’re willing to drive to Buffalo (because we all know that driving to Buffalo for an ice cream sandwich is a totally reasonable thing to do), it’s easy enough to find.
And yes: it’s just as glorious as I remembered. No… more glorious.
It’s pretty simple — it’s vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chunk cookies, and rolled in mini chocolate chips.
No, it’s not gourmet, but the contrast between the soft cookies, the creamy ice cream, and the great crunch you get from the chocolate chips is pretty magical. I was prepared for this to be more about the nostalgia than anything else, but it’s actually quite tasty.
Location: 7355 Bayview Avenue, Thornhill
They sell something called Chocolate Buffalo at Bagel Nash, a bakery in Thornhill. I really don’t have a whole lot to say about it, but here’s a few points:
- I hadn’t even heard of a Buffalo pastry up until this point.
- It was bad.
- No, like really bad.
- Like, I tried it, I had a few other people try it, and then I threw it in the garbage. That bad.
- It was incredibly dry (it was possibly one of the driest pastries I’ve ever had), and it didn’t taste nearly as deliciously chocolatey as it looked. It was mostly just sour, oddly. It tasted a bit like an enormous rugelach — but then I’ve never had a rugelach that bad.
- I have no idea if it’s an acquired taste or if it was just terrible, and I don’t particularly care to find out. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever try a Buffalo again.
Location: 6075 Main Street, Buffalo, NY
Here’s a question: why isn’t frozen custard a thing in Toronto? It’s so good, and its absence makes me simultaneously sad and infuriated, because why? It makes no sense!
For the uninitiated, frozen custard is basically like ice cream but better. It’s made with egg yolks along with the traditional ice cream ingredients, which gives the final product a richer, more velvety texture and an irresistibly custardy flavour.
There used to be a frozen custard joint in the city called Jedd’s, but aside from the fact that it was never very good, it closed down. Recently, a place called Rita’s opened near Kensington Market, but based on one sampling (which was right when it opened, so I should probably give them another shot), it just tasted like regular soft serve.
So — for now, at least — all frozen custard cravings need to be satisfied via a road trip to Buffalo. Though the frozen custard at Anderson’s isn’t exactly the best I’ve ever had, it’s rich and creamy, and it has a really nice custard flavour. It’ll do.
Location: 6643 Transit Road, Buffalo, NY
When I was a kid, my family and I used to go to Florida every summer. We’d always drive there, and a stop at the Cracker Barrel was a must. It’s not exactly gourmet, but if you’re craving greasy southern comfort food, it nicely fits the bill.
Their current special is something called Southern Bowls; I went with the Sausage, Grits Cakes n’ Green Tomato Gravy Bowl, which I couldn’t resist. I mean, read this description from their menu and tell me you don’t immediately want to eat it:
Enjoy a fresh take on Southern flavors with two deep-fried stone ground pimento cheese grits cakes and our Sweet Pepper n’ Red Skin Hash topped with sausage patties, two scrambled eggs, and shredded Colby cheese all smothered in our green tomato gravy with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
And it’s pretty much exactly what you’d think it would be from that description. None of the individual components stand out as being particularly great, but they all kind of meld together into one cheesy, creamy, delicious mess. In particular, the zingy green tomato gravy does a great job of adding a pop of vibrant flavour, and cutting through the richness of the eggs and the cheese and the grits.