Quick Bites: Moxie’s, Tom’s Dairy Freeze, and Blackbird Baking Co.

Moxie'sDouble Cheese Nachos at Moxie’s

Before having these nachos, I hadn’t been to Moxie’s in several years.  My recollection is that the place was deeply mediocre, and hey, wouldn’t you know it, it’s still deeply mediocre.  The nachos were fine-ish; they’re somewhere in the vicinity of fine, I guess?  For something called “Double Cheese” nachos, there were a lot of dry chips, and there otherwise isn’t much going on here other than some chopped tomatoes and sliced jalapenos.  It’s one-note in its flavour, and desperately needs something with a bit of acidity/zinginess to perk it up a bit (salsa could have filled this role, but the salsa here tasted like it came out of a jar — and a particularly shoddy one, at that).

It’s also crazy overpriced for what it is; with the pulled chicken (which was basically stewed chicken mush) and guacamole (which was exceptionally bland), the platter comes up to a whopping 29 bucks, which is a galling amount to pay for such a mediocre plate of nachos.

Tom's Dairy Freeze
Hot Fudge Sundae at Tom’s Dairy Freeze

I’ve written about Tom’s Dairy Freeze a couple of times before, which is why I didn’t bother writing a whole post about this, but it’s worth noting that the hot fudge sauce here is above average.  It’s not great, mind you (the ice cream itself is definitely the reason to come to Tom’s), but it has a decent chocolate flavour, and it’s not overly sweet.  It’s definitely a cut above a place like Dairy Queen.

Blackbird Baking
Cinnamon Bun at Blackbird Baking Co.

Like the almond croissant at Blackbird Baking Co., the cinnamon bun is a lot more subtle than you’re expecting it to be — but it’s also delicious.  It’s basically like a croissant and a cinnamon bun had a baby.   The croissants at Blackbird are quite good, so yeah, this is as good as you’d hope.

Surprisingly Tasty Carbonara at Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese

Bobbie Sue's Mac + CheeseLocation: 162 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://bobbiesues.com/

I was pretty much completely blown away by the carbonara at Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese.  It wasn’t what I was expecting at all, but in all the best ways.

I sort of figured it was going to be some kind of bizarre mash-up of mac and cheese and carbonara, but it definitely wasn’t that.  It was actually a legit bowl of carbonara, and it was delightful.

Bobbie Sue's Mac + Cheese

The menu describes the carbonara as “pancetta + Grana Padano + egg yolk.” I really enjoyed it.

The diced pancetta (and yes, it was pancetta, as it should be — not bacon) was abundant and nicely crisped up — it was crispy, salty, and porky.  The sauce was rich and creamy from the egg yolks, with a nice cheesy kick from the Grana Padano (an Italian cheese that’s very similar to Parmesan).  And the pasta was perfectly al dente.

Bobbie Sue's Mac + Cheese

It was maybe slightly too dry, but aside from that it was shockingly good.  You’re barely expecting a bowl of carbonara from an actual Italian restaurant to be that delicious, let alone a mac and cheese take-out window that doesn’t have a seating area.  It’s a really delightful surprise.

Choices, Choices, and More Choices at The SOS

The SOSLocation: 118 John Street, Toronto
Website: http://sospasta.ca/

I know that this is an odd complaint that most people probably won’t agree with, but I’ll admit that restaurants that offer a million different combinations kind of bug me.  If you’re going to do this, at least give me a few suggestions so I have an idea of what works well together.  How am I supposed to know which sauces compliment which pasta varieties?  And which toppings work best with those?  I’m not a chef.  Why are you getting me to do your job for you?  Do you want me to come into the kitchen and cook my meal as well?

The SOS

Which is to say that at The SOS they have 11 types of pasta, 10 sauces, 11 toppings, and absolutely no guidance on what goes best with what (at least not without asking the cashier and holding up the line like a jerk, which I didn’t particularly care to do).

The SOS

Thankfully they have a daily special; on this particular day it was panko-crusted mac and cheese, which I obviously ordered.

The SOS

It’s quite tasty.  The pasta is perfectly al dente, and the sauce is incredibly rich and creamy, with a mild cheesy flavour.  The crispy panko offers a nice bit of texture.  It’s slightly underseasoned, and nothing about it rocked my world, but it’s a solid bowl of mac and cheese.

A Towering Pile of Nachos at Sneaky Dee’s

Sneaky Dee'sLocation: 431 College Street, Toronto
Website: https://sneaky-dees.com/

The nachos at Sneaky Dee’s are frequently called the best in the city, and yeah, I can see why.

I ordered the King’s Crown (“crisp corn tortilla chips covered with salsa roja, piled high with frijoles, ground beef, tomatoes, onions, mixed peppers, jalapenos, melted cheese, topped with guacamole & sour cream”).  At 26 bucks, it seems like it might be overpriced until it comes to the table and you realize it’s enough to feed three or four hungry people.

Sneaky Dee's

It’s super tasty.  All of the components work really well together, and it’s so loaded with stuff that you’re never going to get a dry chip.

If anything there’s too much stuff — the tortilla chips can’t really hold up to the insane deluge of cheese and toppings.  It’s fine at first, but after a few minutes all of the chips in the middle are complete mush.

It’s also a bit one-note rich, though the bottle of vinegary hot sauce they bring with the plate helps out a lot in this regard.

I feel like it’s probably a bit too haphazard to be the best nachos in the city, but it’s certainly delicious.

A Lauded Veal Sandwich at Kantene

KanteneLocation: 1059 Dundas Street West, Mississauga
Website: https://kantene.com/

The Veal Supreme at Kantene was recently named the best veal sandwich in Ontario by a group including John Cattuchi (of You Gotta Eat Here and Big Food Bucket List fame).  If that’s not a reason to check the place out, I don’t know what is.

The sandwich consists of “Grilled Eggplant, melted Bocconcini in a fresh tomato based basil sauce with melted Provolone and crispy Parmesan on a soft bun.”

It’s a solid veal sandwich.  The breading is nicely seasoned and has the perfect amount of crunch, and the veal is nice and tender (if a bit dry).

Kantene

The sauce doesn’t quite have the oomph you’ll find in the best veal sandwiches, but it’s certainly tasty enough.  And of course, tender eggplant and veal are best friends.

The bocconcini wasn’t quite melted all the way through, but for the most part it was gooey and satisfying.  As for the crispy Parmesan, it’s a great idea in theory, but it had a profoundly burnt, bitter flavour that was actually quite unpleasant.

Kantene

You can get the sandwich mild or spicy; the spicy version features pickled peppers that do a nice job of cutting through the richness of the sandwich.  They’re quite mild, however, and I missed the intensely spicy bite of the un-pickled peppers you normally find in a sandwich like this.

The bread is great, with a lightly crispy exterior and a fluffy interior that holds up admirably to the very saucy sandwich.

Its a tasty sandwich — but I don’t think it’s the best in Mississauga, let alone all of Ontario.