Quick Bites: Happy Sundae, Allwyn’s Bakery, Tom’s Dairy Freeze

Banana cream pie sundae at Happy Sundae
Banana cream pie sundae from Happy Sundae

So, hmm…  I’m trying to balance my newfound desire to keep this blog negativity-free with my need to warn you that this place isn’t very good.  Because it’s not very good.  The biggest issue here is the “ice cream” itself, and I’m putting ice cream in quotes because they say right on their menu that the soft serve is dairy-free.  Here’s the thing, though: Honey’s has illustrated fairly conclusively that it’s possible to create dairy-free ice cream that’s just as creamy and delicious as the real deal.  The stuff here, on the other hand, is exactly what you fear non-dairy ice cream is going to taste like.  But in the interest of not dwelling on the negative, I’ll just say that the banana slices were quite tasty (a lot of dessert places make the mistake of using underripe bananas, and that wasn’t an issue here) and leave it at that.

Jerk chicken meal from Allwyn's Bakery
Jerk chicken meal from Allwyn’s Bakery

On the plus side, the small jerk chicken meal from Allwyn’s is a pretty great deal.  Ignore the word “small” — for eleven bucks, you get a hearty portion of rice, two pieces of jerk chicken, and a side of coleslaw.  I wish it tasted better, however.  I couldn’t taste any of the spices and complexity that you’ll find in the better versions of this dish; it was just one-note salty in a way that got really monotonous to eat.  It’s a deal, though!

Pineapple sundae from Tom's Dairy Freeze
Pineapple sundae from Tom’s Dairy Freeze

Okay, let’s end things on a more positive note.  I know I’ve written about Tom’s Dairy Freeze about a billion times on this blog, and guess what?  It’s still great!  I got the pineapple sundae this time; the sauce has a decent proportion of small pineapple chunks and sweet syrup, but it’s the ice cream itself that’s the real draw.  This is still — hands down — the best soft serve in the city.  It’s rich, creamy, and delicious.

Sad Disappointment at Crazy Crepes

Crazy CrepesLocation: 366 Church Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.crazycrepescanada.com/

Sometimes, you know you’re in trouble before you even take a bite.  This was definitely the case at Crazy Crepes, a Japanese chain that serves sweet and savoury crepes.

It was game over before it even began; as soon as I ordered my crepe, the woman behind the counter went for a big pile of pre-made crepes and started putting mine together.

Crazy Crepes

I’m not sure why, but crepes are one of those foods that deteriorate in quality within minutes of being made.  Fresh crepes are delicious; old crepes are a pale imitation of their previous selves.

I’m sorry, but when it comes to crepes: make it fresh or GTFO.  Yes, I’ll wait.  Get out of here with that dry, rubbery garbage.

Crazy Crepes

I ordered the Strawberry & Kiwi Fresh Cream crepe, which the menu notes is one of their signature creations, and of course, it never had a chance.  The kiwi and strawberries were both pretty sour, but if the crepe had been really good, it still could have been tasty.  Alas.

Chocolate Cream Pie at Bakerbots Baking

Baker BotsLocation: 205 Delaware Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://bakerbotsbaking.com/

Chocolate cream pie is one of those desserts that’s incredibly simple (it’s basically just chocolate pudding in a pie crust), but incredibly satisfying.

There’s not much to say about this; it’s exactly what you’re hoping it’ll be.

Baker Bots

The filling is dense and rich, with a very pronounced bittersweet chocolate flavour that’s nice and intense without being overpowering.

Baker Bots

The cream helps to cut the richness from the chocolate filling, and the little bits of chocolate on top add additional texture and flavour.

Baker Bots

The crust is nothing to write home about, though the pie was in the “day old” section of the bakery at a discount, so it’s possible it might have been better when it was just baked.  There certainly wasn’t anything wrong with it, but nothing about it jumped out at me.  The balance between the chocolate and the cream was so tasty, however, that it really didn’t matter.

Quality Pasta (and Even Better Dessert) at Terroni

TerroniLocation: 1095 Yonge Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.terroni.com/

I didn’t think it was possible to be offended by a bread plate, but Terroni proved me wrong.

The bread plate at Terroni costs six dollars.  And fine — I understand that restaurant margins are dangerously thin, and that charging for bread is increasingly becoming a thing.

Terroni

The issue is that the plate comes with three tiny, dried-out slices of over-toasted white bread with a few drops of olive oil sprinkled on, four pieces of taralli (which is essentially an Italian breadstick), a small handful of olives, and… that’s it.  No butter, no olive oil, just mediocre bread and a few olives.  For six bucks.  Get the hell out of here with that.

Terroni

Thankfully, the rest of the meal was much better.

I had the Garganelli Geppetto, which is a pasta dish that comes with “dandelions, homemade spicy italian sausage, fontina, parmigiano, extra-virgin olive oil.”

Terroni

A dish like this is a bit of a tightrope walk — the “sauce” is essentially oil, so it’s going to be somewhat greasy by default.  But this one goes a bit too far, and feels oilier than it should be.

Still, it’s a tasty dish — the sausage is above average and has a mild spicy bite; the cheese adds a good amount of saltiness and a mild funk, not to mention some gooey meltiness; and the pasta itself is perfectly cooked and satisfying.  It’s good stuff.

Terroni

I can’t remember the name of the dessert and I can’t find it on the menu online, but it was essentially a croissant filled with Nutella, hazelnut gelato, and whipped cream.  It was easily the highlight of the meal.  It was shockingly delicious; the Nutella and the creamy gelato (which adds even more hazelnut flavour) go amazingly well together, and the tasty croissant is a perfect vehicle.

Ice cream cones are officially dead to me — I want all my ice cream in a croissant from now on.

Delicious Mochi at Sasaki Fine Pastry

Sasaki Fine PastryLocation: 3160 Steeles Avenue East, Markham
Websitehttps://www.instagram.com/sasakifinepastry/

Sasaki Fine Pastry is the latest gem I’ve discovered thanks to the inimitable Suresh Doss, who specializes in sussing out the best non-Western eats in the city, usually out in the ‘burbs.  If you’re on Twitter and you’re not following him, I don’t even know what you’re doing with your life.

Sasaki Fine Pastry

Sasaki specializes in daifuku, a Japanese dessert in which soft, chewy mochi is stuffed with various sweet fillings.  On this particular visit they had seven flavours available; I tried mango cream, strawberry cream, yuzu cream, and sesame cream.

It’s easily the best mochi I’ve ever had.  I like mochi, but it can sometimes be a little too gummy.  But the version here had a delightfully delicate chew that almost melts in your mouth.

Sasaki Fine Pastry

The subtly sweet, creamy fillings were all great, though the strawberry — which featured a mixture of strawberry cream and sweet red bean filling — was the highlight.

Sasaki Fine Pastry

I also tried the red bean and cream doriyaki, which features a filling of sweet red bean and whipped cream that’s sandwiched between two little pancakes.  Like the daifuki, this was super fresh, subtly sweet, and extremely delicious.