FYI: Tom’s Dairy Freeze is Closing for the Season Soon

Tom's Dairy FreezeLocation630 The Queensway, Etobicoke
Websitehttp://www.tomsdairyfreeze.ca/

…Specifically, it’s closing in just over a couple of weeks, on the 25th of November.  So you should probably head over there while you still can.

Yes, it’s starting to get a bit chilly outside, so an ice cream joint with no indoor seating probably isn’t too high on your list of priorities.  But delicious is delicious — cold schmold.

I just tried the Jack and Jill sundae, which features vanilla soft serve topped with chocolate and marshmallow sauces.  The soft serve was as creamy and tasty as ever, and the chocolate/marshmallow combination is a clear winner.

Top-Notch Gelato at Piccolina Gelato

Piccolina GelatoLocation: 85 Portland Street, Toronto
Websitehttps://piccolina-gelato-e-altra-roba.business.site/

Piccolina Gelato is a tiny little ice cream shop (it’s about the size of a large walk-in closet) that sells gelato and soft serve ice cream.

Maybe it’s because it’s such a small and unassuming space, but my expectations weren’t particularly high.

I was pretty blown away by how good it was.

Piccolina Gelato

I had the chocolate hazelnut, and man, it was good.  It was maybe a touch too sweet, but aside from that it was first-class gelato.

The texture was amazing — it was rich, silky, and incredibly creamy.  It was profoundly satisfying, and certainly, right up there with the best in the city in that regard.

The flavour was almost as good.  It had a very assertive chocolate/hazelnut flavour that was quite Nutella-esque.  It also had a very generous amount of nut pieces and chocolate chips that helped to amp up the flavour and the texture.

Honestly, aside from the sweetness thing (a minor complaint), everything about it was great.  I really, really enjoyed it.

Subtle (and Delicious) Pastries at Roselle Desserts

Roselle DessertsLocation: 362 King Street East, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.roselleto.com/

I think “subtle” is the best word to describe what they’re serving at Roselle Desserts, a charming little bakery on King, just around the corner from the Distillery District.

I tried three things: a chocolate chunk cookie, a chocolate souffle cookie, and a raspberry madeleine.

Roselle Desserts

The souffle cookie was the best of the three.  It had a rich, deeply cocoa-infused flavour, with a surprisingly subtle amount of sweetness.  It also had a really satisfying texture: lightly crispy on the outside, and soft and fudgy on the inside.

Roselle Desserts

Lack of sweetness seems to be a theme here; the chocolate chunk cookie was also way more subtle than the norm.  It’s a great quality cookie, with a nice chewy texture and a very generous amount of tasty chocolate chunks.

Roselle Desserts

Unlike the other two, the lack of sweetness felt like a detriment with the madeleine; this one was way too subtle for its own good, with only a vague whisper of raspberry flavour.  The sweetness here was so restrained that I’m not even sure this should be classified as a dessert.

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies at Craig’s Cookies

Craig's CookiesLocation: 1537 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.craigscookies.com/

Though there are a handful of places to get delicious, freshly-baked cookies in the GTA, there are very few dedicated cookie shops.  It’s actually kind of baffling; everybody loves cookies, don’t they?

There’s Felix & Norton in Markham, and apparently there’s a place called Robyn’s Cookies that I literally just discovered on Google moments ago, and… that’s about it.  There used to be Moo Milk Bar near the Beaches; they had amazing cookies, but alas, they went under.

Craig's Cookies

Thankfully, there’s a new contender in Toronto’s very un-crowded cookie shop field: Craig’s Cookies.

They sell nothing but cookies and ice cream cookie sandwiches.  I have a lot of respect for a place that does one thing, and does it well.

Craig's Cookies

And man, does Craig’s Cookies ever do it well.  They have a whole bunch of really delicious-looking cookies; I went with Nutella, which is a standard chocolate chip cookie with a whole bunch of Nutella in the middle.

Pretty much anything with that much Nutella is going to be delicious, but I was actually shocked at how good the cookie itself was.  It had a perfect flavour, a great crispy/chewy contrast, and enough chocolate chips to give it that chocolatey hit, but not so many that it’s all you taste.

Craig's Cookies

It also had a great balance of salt, which I think is the secret with a cookie like this.  You need a little bit of salt to help balance out the cookie’s sweetness, and Craig’s nails this.  There’s just enough salt for it to do its job, but not so much that it stands out.  Perfection.

Middling Gelato at Ed’s Real Scoop

Ed's Real ScoopLocation: 189 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.edsrealscoop.com/

I’ve mentioned before that I quite like Ed’s Real Scoop, but that really, their sweet cream is where it’s at.  It’s outstanding.  Their other flavours are disappointingly hit-and-miss.

But in all my dozens of visits to the place over the years, I’ve never bothered to try their gelato.  This is going to be a short post — more of a PSA than anything else — because it’s not very good.  I’d advise that you stick to the ice cream.  Specifically, stick to the sweet cream.

I tried the pistachio and the bacio (chocolate hazelnut), and both of the flavours were pretty weak.  There just wasn’t much there, other than a generic sweetness.  This tends to be an issue with their ice cream, too, but at least in that case they’re starting with a great quality base.

Alas, the gelato itself was thin and underwhelming, with barely any creaminess at all.  It’s a waste of time when the ice cream is right there.