Location: 370 King Street West, Toronto
Not everything needs to be (or can be) a home run. Sometimes it’s fine for a dish to be solid — perfectly tasty, but nothing too mind-blowing.
That’s 00 Gelato in a nutshell. I don’t think anyone’s going to call it the best gelato in the city, but it’s quite satisfying.
The place is a bit odd. It’s in a closet-sized spot on King, and it’s basically just a gelato counter in a doorway. It seems super makeshift, but it’s been popping up for the last few summers, so it’s permanent enough.
I had a scoop of the Ferrero Rocher, and it’s good. The gelato itself is rich and creamy, and the flavour is quite nice. It’s a bit too sweet, but it otherwise does a great job of capturing the Ferrero Rocher flavour, right down to the crispy wafer bits.
Location: 583 Gerrard Street East, Toronto
Soul Chocolate is a delightful chocolate/coffee shop on the east end that has some seriously satisfying chocolate soft serve. Like, ridiculously satisfying.
I also tried the chocolate chunk cookie, and that’s very good too — it has a nice chewy texture, a sweet buttery flavour, and a whole bunch of great quality chocolate chunks. It’s lightly sprinkled with just the right amount of salt to offset its sweetness.
As delicious as the cookie is (and it’s extremely delicious), it’s overshadowed by the phenomenal soft serve.
Seriously: this stuff is pure magic. It’s perfectly rich and creamy, though it’s the intense chocolatey flavour that really makes it stand out. It’s got that bold flavour that you only get from great quality dark chocolate, and it’s amazing.
It actually reminds me of the thick, rich drinking chocolate that they serve at Soma — only it’s ice cream. If you’re thinking that sounds delightful, you are correct. It is delightful. Extremely delightful.
Location: 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke (inside Sherway Gardens)
I’m just gonna say it: milkshakes are for jerks.
Well, okay, maybe that’s not true. Milkshakes are perfectly delicious, but generally speaking, if I’m going to eat ice cream, I want to eat ice cream. I don’t need to drink it.
Still, I don’t mind a milkshake every now and then, and since I’ve tried all the cones at Sweet Jesus, I figured sure, why not?
I got the Peanut Butter, Pretzel & Chocolate Hazelnut shake, which features “vanilla soft serve, peanut butter sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, hazelnut-chocolate sauce, salted pretzel crumble.”
Yeah, it’s a lot of stuff. And it’s quite tasty — it tastes pretty much exactly what you think it’s going to taste like based on that description.
I find a lot of milkshakes to be unpleasantly thick; if I have to struggle to suck it up through a straw, then what’s the point? Just let me just eat it with a spoon. This, on the other hand, was easily drinkable. It was the perfect consistency, though I suspect milkshake aficionados might find it too thin.
Location: 1121 Queen Street East, Toronto
I kind of hate going to a good bakery, because I want to eat that, and that, and that, and that, but there’s only so much room inside my stomach. It’s kind of like Sophie’s Choice, but at least she only had two children to choose between; there’s like a dozen things here that look delicious.
I wound up going with the Cookies and Cream cupcake at Bobbette and Belle, but there were so many other pastries I could have picked. Everything looked great.
I’d say I chose pretty well. The cupcake features a chocolate base topped with an Oreo-infused frosting. It’s delightful. The cake is nice and moist, with a satisfying chocolatey flavour. And the frosting is sweet (but not overly sweet) and creamy, with a nice balance of cookie chunks. It’s one of the better cupcakes I’ve had in a while.
Location: 13 Baldwin Street, Toronto
One of the things that takes some getting used to in Asia is that some countries there consider white bread to essentially be a dessert. More than once, I’ve gone to a convenience store and bought what appears to be a Twinkie-esque pastry, only to realize that it’s just a plain white bun, like a hot dog bun.
Which is to say that if you’ve never had the type of Japanese cream bun they serve at Hattendo, you might be surprised to discover that the bun itself is basically just a soft, fluffy hamburger bun. Once you get used to it, however, it’s quite tasty.
I tried three: custard, chocolate, and red bean. The bun itself is quite nice. It’s soft, fluffly, and just a little bit sweet.
The custard was my least favourite of the three flavours. It was nice and creamy, but the flavour was middling; there just wasn’t much to it.
The chocolate was much better, with a pronounced cocoa-infused flavour and a satisfyingly restrained level of sweetness.
The red bean was the best of the three. If you normally don’t like beany sweets, this might just be the perfect gateway dessert — it’s super creamy and tasty, with a really nice balance between the creamy custard and the sweet red beans.