Unique Doughnuts at Isabella’s Mochi Donut Boutique

Isabella's Mochi Donut Boutique
: 4 St. Patrick Street, Toronto
Website: https://isabellasdonuts.com/

A mochi doughnut, for the unaware, is basically a regular doughnut, but with the addition of rice flour.  This gives it a delightfully chewy texture that works better than you might expect.  Even if you don’t like mochi, it’s worth a shot — the chewiness is definitely there, but it’s not particularly aggressive.

Isabella's Mochi Donut Boutique

They have nine flavours at Isabella’s; they all looked tasty, but I went with the s’mores (“chocolate, toasted meringue, graham crackers”).

It’s really good.  The chocolate glaze has a nice chocolatey flavour that isn’t too sweet, and while the fluffy toasted meringue isn’t super marshmallowy, it’s tasty and complements the chocolate well.  I don’t think the graham cracker crumbs made much of a difference, but it’s tasty either way.

Isabella's Mochi Donut Boutique

As for the doughnut itself, yeah, it’s good.  The chewiness is just enough to set it apart from a standard doughnut, but not so much that it feels overwhelming.  It’s really satisfying.

(Mostly) Tasty Doughnuts at Cops Doughnuts

Cops Doughnuts
: 445 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.eatcops.com/

What’s better than a doughnut?  A warm, fresh-from-the-fryer doughnut, that’s what.

Outside of a few beverages, Cops does just one thing: Tiny Tom’s-esque mini doughnuts that you can order topped with OG sour cream glaze, cinnamon sugar, or the weekly feature, which was orange sherbet when I visited.  I went with an order of six of the feature.

Cops Doughnuts

My batch had an unnervingly pale colour, and I thought, uh oh, but maybe they serve a different style of doughnut?

Alas, they do not — the doughnuts were underdone, with an interior that wasn’t quite raw, but that was softer than you’d like.

Cops Doughnuts

Still, I didn’t dislike eating them — it’s hard to go wrong with a fresh doughnut, even when it’s not quite fully cooked.  The exterior still managed to have a very light crispiness, and while I wish the interior was less mushy and more fluffy, it wasn’t unpleasant to eat.

That’s not to mention the orange sherbet icing, which was fantastic — it had a great balance of sweet and tart, and a nice hit of orange flavour.  You could put that on anything and it would be great.

Greek Doughnuts at Mr. Puffs

Mr. Puffs
: 1425 Dundas Street East, Mississauga
Website: https://mrpuffs.com/

Mr. Puffs is a chain that specializes in fried doughnut holes — they’re basically Greek-style loukoumades, though the menu and website never uses that word, referring to them only as puffs.

The puffs come topped with various sauces and flavours; the woman behind the counter said that honey cinnamon and sugar cinnamon are the two most popular, so I got six of each (an order of 12, which comes out to about eight bucks, is the smallest you can get).

Mr. Puffs

This location has just opened, so I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they’re still working out the kinks.  This style of doughnut is generally soaked in syrup, but the syrup was just drizzled on here, resulting in a final product that was just barely sweet (and the sugar cinnamon variety had the same issue).  The doughnuts mostly tasted of the oil they were fried in.

Mr. Puffs

I also think that the oil might have been a bit too hot, because the exterior was aggressively crispy (I could barely put a fork through it) and the interior was soft and gummy.

Mr. Puffs

Still, despite the issues, it’s a fun concept — assuming they work out the kinks, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Quick Bites: Amanecer Salvadoreño Restaurant, Frenchie’s Doughnuts, 3 Mariachis Mexican Restaurant

Amanecer Salvadoreño Restaurant
Papusas and a combination plate at Amanecer Salvadoreño Restaurant

This is a fantastic hidden gem in north Etobicoke.  I heard that the papusas are the thing to order here, and yeah, they’re top-notch.  But the rest of the menu is no slouch; I also tried the combination plate that came with steak, shrimp, and plantain, and everything was very, very good.

Frenchie's Doughnuts
Blueberry cheesecake doughnut at Frenchie’s Doughnuts

Frenchie’s has a fun gimmick that makes them feel delightfully distinct from a run-of-the-mill doughnut shop: they fry their doughnuts fresh and then top them to order (you can either pick from one of their pre-topped selections, or customize your own toppings). I went with the blueberry cheesecake, and the highlight was the doughnut itself; it’s cakey and still warm when you get it, like a full-sized version of Tiny Tom’s.

3 Mariachis Mexican Restaurant
The Mariachi Platter at 3 Mariachis Mexican Restaurant

That beast of a plate is the Mariachi Platter, which comes with a chicken enchilada, two chorizo tacos, a shredded beef burrito, Mexican rice, guacamole, beans, pico de gallo, and a zippy green sauce.  As the menu says, “why have one when you can have it all?”  Why indeed.  I shared this, obviously — I’m not Andre the Giant — and pretty much everything was quite tasty, particularly the burrito, which was crammed with tender, tasty beef.  The taco was a bit dry, but aside from that it was a delicious (and huge) plate of food.

The Fritter Co. at St. Jacobs Market

The Fritter Co. at St. Jacobs MarketLocation: 856 Weber Street North, Waterloo
Website: https://fritterco.ca/

The apple fritters at The Fritter Co. in St. Jacobs Market are popular.  I’ve been hearing about them for years, so when I recently found myself in St. Jacobs, checking them out was a must.

The Fritter Co. at St. Jacobs Market

The first challenge: actually finding the place in the surprisingly massive St. Jacobs Market compound, which encompasses several enormous buildings and a seemingly endless outdoor market.  I’m not sure where the largest farmers’ market in the world is, but I have to imagine this one is in the top 10.

The Fritter Co. at St. Jacobs Market

The second challenge: mustering up the patience to stand in the gigantic, slow-moving line, which wound up taking about half an hour.

The Fritter Co. at St. Jacobs Market

Maybe after all of that, no fritter could have lived up to my sky-high expectations, but the apple fritter here was… not very good?  This place is universally beloved, and sorry everybody, but I don’t get it.

The Fritter Co. at St. Jacobs Market

The fritter is interesting, I’ll give it that — each one features a full apple ring that’s the approximate thickness of a finger.  And I did enjoy the contrast between the very tart apple slice and the sweetness of the sugary exterior.  But the crisp apple slice also seems to impact the pastry itself, which was slightly undercooked around the middle in both of the fritters I tried.

The Fritter Co. at St. Jacobs Market

Otherwise, the very pancake-like pastry was fine, I guess?  And the whole thing was certainly not unpleasant to eat (the fact that they serve them piping hot from the fryer helps), but was it worth the epic half hour line-up?  Absolutely not.  If you’re coming from Toronto, save yourself the time and just go to San Remo or Dipped DonutsYou’re welcome.