Location: 1134 The Queensway, Etobicoke
There’s something magical about a meaty Italian sandwich, despite its simplicity. Just a whole bunch of cold cuts on bread? Too simple, right?
Wrong. Especially if it’s as good as it is here.
I was actually planning on ordering the hot veal sandwich, but when I went in, the guy behind the counter sold me on the cold cut sandwich on focaccia, which he said is a Thursday and Friday special. There was something about the way he described it, and his promise that I was “gonna love it!” had me convinced.
I think they describe it better on their website than I ever could:
This signature sandwich is only available on Fridays. That’s the day we take fresh Rosemary & Roasted Sweet Pepper Focaccia and stuff it with generous layers of Mortadella, Genoa Salami, Capocollo and Provolone and then smother it with hot Muffuletta just for fun. We’ll forgive you if you curse when you try this one. Our regulars have lovingly named this the “F@#*in Focaccia Sandwich”.
I know it seems like they’re overselling it, but you know what? I don’t think they are. The focaccia is perfectly soft and chewy, with some nice flavour from the rosemary and the peppers. The fat stack of cold cuts are all super tasty and really well balanced, the cheese adds a bit of creaminess, and the muffuletta gives it a nice zingy pop that cuts through the richness. It’s a top-notch sandwich.
Location: 28 Kensington Avenue, Toronto
I’ve tried to get the cinnamon bun from Fika Cafe a few times, and it’s been sold out every time.
I finally got one. It was worth the wait.
Fika Cafe is a Swedish bakery and coffee shop in Kensington Market; they sell a Swedish-style cinnamon bun, and it’s fantastic.
It’s basically like a cross between a Swedish cardamom bun and a more traditional cinnamon roll, and it’s so damn good. It tastes more strongly of cinnamon than cardamom, but that slightly floral cardamom taste is definitely there; it’s a delightful balance.
Everything else about it is pretty much perfect — it has the perfect amount of sweetness, with a light sugary glaze and additional pops of sweetness and texture from the pearl sugar on top. It’s pretty restrained, however, so if you’re expecting a Cinnabon-esque sugar-bomb, look elsewhere.
The pastry itself is dense but not too dense, with a nice chewy texture and just the right amount of fluffiness. And of course, the aforementioned cinnamon/cardamom balance is just right. It’s one of the best pastries I’ve had in a while.
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.