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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Still, despite the issues, it’s a fun concept — assuming they work out the kinks, it’s definitely worth checking out.
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.
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.
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 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 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 second challenge: mustering up the patience to stand in the gigantic, slow-moving line, which wound up taking about half an hour.
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 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.
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 Donuts. You’re welcome.
Is there anything more beautiful than a big box full of doughnuts? I submit that there is not. Can I eat an amazing sunset? Is a great piece of art glazed with sugar? Are any of the wonders of the world filled with chocolate or jam? No? Well then they’re all inferior to a box of doughnuts. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
I brought this box to a friend’s house (back when seeing friends was still a thing) and, between the four of us, we managed to try every single one, so suffice it to say I was all doughnuted out by the time we were done. But in the best way.
I’m not going to bother to go through it doughnut by doughnut, mostly because I don’t feel like it but also because there wasn’t a dud in the bunch. They were all very tasty, so it’s safe to say that you can’t go wrong with whatever you pick at Daddy O Doughnuts.
I will say that a couple of these were cake doughnuts and the rest were classic raised doughnuts, and I was surprised to discover that I preferred the former. The raised doughnuts were very good too, but they were a little bit dense and didn’t quite have the personality that you’ll find in the best of the best. Still, the flavours were all so delicious that it’s hard to complain too much.