Location: 325 Central Parkway West, Mississauga
Dairy Queen is currently serving their Fall menu of Blizzards, which means the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard (a.k.a. the king of Blizzards) is back. I probably should have ordered that, but how could I resist something called a Cinnamon Roll Centres Blizzard?? You’re going to take the best part of a cinnamon roll and mix it with ice cream??? Yes please, give me a million of those please.
Dairy Queen describes this as “soft cinnamon roll pieces and brown butter cinnamon topping blended with our world-famous vanilla soft serve,” and alas, it’s not nearly as great as you’d hope.
They mix some cinnamon flavour right in with the soft serve, which is nice, but the “soft” cinnamon roll pieces are actually not soft at all (they have more of a chewy cookie consistency), and taste absolutely nothing like the sweet, gooey, delicious middle of a cinnamon roll. They’re just kinda dry and chewy, and while they’re cinnamony, they also have an odd flavour that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
I didn’t hate eating it, I guess, but the notion that this has anything to do with a cinnamon roll honestly feels like false advertising. Can we sue Dairy Queen? I feel like we should sue Dairy Queen.
Tacos at King’s Tacos
The most interesting thing about the tacos at Kings Tacos might just be the way they serve them — an order comes with a very generous platter of meat (in this case the King’s Special, which comes with pork, beef, chorizo, onion, bacon, and cheese) and tortillas on the side, and you build it yourself. It’s interesting, and it’s a great value, because that pile of meat is not kidding around. That’s not to mention the very generous bowl of free (and tasty!) tortilla chips and sauces that comes with the meal. It’s not just a good value, however: it’s quite tasty, too.
Cinnamon Bun at Bakerbots Baking
I’ve heard the cinnamon bun at Bakerbots referred to as one of the best in the city, and yeah, that sounds about right. It’s absolutely fantastic, with a slightly crispy exterior and a gooey (but not overly gooey and sweet, like a Cinnabon) interior. The pastry itself is top-notch, with a nice chewy texture and a flavour that ensures that the cinnamon bun isn’t just one-note sweet. Is it the best in the city? It could be!
Jokbal at Hanyang Jokbal
I mean, look at that glorious pile of pork. Do you even need me to say anything? Jokbal is a Korean dish featuring braised pig trotters; I tried the half and half, which is half jokbal and half bossam (pork belly, if I recall correctly). You eat it wrapped in lettuce with some of the tasty sides and condiments on the table, and yeah. It’s delicious. Again: look at it.
Location: 621 Saint Clair Avenue West, Toronto
I was thinking recently about how much I miss the Prairie Girl Bakery, which served the best cupcakes in town for years, and then became a tragic victim of the pandemic. A quick googling revealed that the owner has subsequently opened a new place which, as you might surmise from its name, specializes in sticky buns.
I’m not sure why it’s not getting more hype, because it’s seriously, seriously good.
They serve a stellar sticky bun. It’s sweet, saucy, and perfectly moist. The pastry itself is ultra-fluffy and delightful, and the cinnamon/caramel flavour is right where you want it to be.
I just checked their website and apparently the default version has pecans, which I either didn’t see or they didn’t have when I visited. Clearly, I’m going to have to go back, because it seems pretty clear that pecans would enhance this thing.
I also tried the version topped with cream cheese frosting, which was very good, though I have to admit that I preferred the plain. The frosting was tasty, but the sticky bun was already so incredibly delicious on its own that the cream cheese kind of just got in the way.
Seriously though, pecans?? I need to go back ASAP.
Double 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.
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.
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.
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.