Delicious Bubble Tea (Without the Tea) at Tiger Sugar

Tiger SugarLocation: 348 Yonge Street, Toronto
Website: https://toronto.tigersugar.com/

What if you had bubble tea, but without the tea?  That’s not a question I would have thought to ask, but it turns out that the answer is seriously delicious.

Tiger Sugar serves a drink called brown sugar boba milk, and yeah — it’s basically bubble tea without the tea.  It’s sweet, creamy, and amazing.  I actually tried Tiger Sugar on a recent trip to Taiwan, and I found it so delicious that I thought “I should bring this to Canada!  I’ll be rich!”

I have zero desire to run a bubble tea shop, but I was so confident that this would be a hit in Toronto that I actually reached out to the company to see if franchising was a possibility (alas, I was too late).

Tiger Sugar

And, so far at least, I was right.  Tiger Sugar opened a location downtown about a month ago, and on a recent visit (during the afternoon in the middle of the week, no less), the place was absolutely packed.

Their flagship drink is brown sugar boba milk with cream mousse, which is just as rich as it sounds.  The brown sugar gives it a nice depth of flavour that helps it not feel too sweet, despite the fact that it’s incredibly sweet.  The combo of the milk and the cream mousse is rich and satisfying.  And the tapioca balls are chewy, sweet, and tasty.

It’s definitely not something to order if you just want to quench your thirst — it’s a full-blown dessert, and it’s surprisingly heavy — but it’s so good.

A Delicious Apple Fritter at Dipped Donuts

Dipped DonutsLocation161 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Websitehttps://www.dippeddonuts.ca/

I almost didn’t order the apple fritter at Dipped Donuts.  Sanremo — an amazing Italian bakery in Etobicoke — sells an apple fritter that’s so delicious, getting one anywhere else feels like a waste of time.  How can you top it?

Well, I’m not sure if Dipped Donuts quite tops it, but it’s pretty damn close.  Their fritter is absolutely amazing.

Dipped Donuts

It’s got the perfect balance of crispy, chewy, and fluffy.  It’s sweet but not too sweet, with the rich glaze balancing perfectly with the cinnamony, apple-infused pastry.

It’s easily the best doughnut I’ve had from Dipped Donuts — and everything I’ve had from that particular shop has been extremely delicious.  It’s ridiculously good.

A Tasty Sandwich at Blackbird Baking Co.

Blackbird Baking Co.Location172 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Websitehttps://blackbirdbakingco.com/

The ham and pimento cheese sandwich from Blackbird Baking Co. is exceptionally simple.  It’s just ham, pimento cheese, and arugula.  Less is more.

Getting a sandwich from a good bakery is usually a pretty safe bet; if nothing else, you know the bread is going to be good.

Blackbird Baking Co.

And the bread here was especially tasty, with a great flavour, a lightly crispy exterior, and a nice hearty chew.  I could eat a big hunk of that bread on its own and be satisfied.  The filling is almost a bonus.

Pimento is a southern sandwich spread consisting of cheddar, mayo, and pimentos; its presence in this sandwich takes the classic ham and cheese combo and kicks it up a notch.

Blackbird Baking Co.

It’s creamy and rich, with a nice sharp cheesy flavour and just a little bit of spice and garlic.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to the meaty ham.  It makes for a top notch sandwich.

Summer’s Ice Cream: A Toronto Institution

Summer's Ice CreamLocation: 101 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://www.summersicecream.com/

Summer’s is a Toronto institution.  It’s been around since 1984, which makes it one of the oldest local ice cream joints (I think only Greg’s, which opened in 1981, is older).

It’s not a place that I feel the need to check out on a regular basis (I think it’s been something like a decade since my last visit), but if you’re in the area and you’re craving ice cream, it’s fine.

Summer's Ice Cream

It’s better than fine, actually.  It’s a decent step up in quality from most of the stuff you can get at the supermarket, but it’s definitely not on the level of the city’s better ice cream shops.

On this particular visit I got their classic flavour, Toronto Pothole, which is chocolate ice cream with marshmallow and chocolate sauce swirled in, with chunks of almonds and peanuts (though I didn’t notice any almonds or peanuts, and their description doesn’t say anything about chocolate sauce.  Did I get the wrong flavour…?).

Summer's Ice Cream

The flavour of the ice cream is a bit Nesquik-esque, and the texture is slightly gummy, but for the most part it’s rich and satisfying.  It’s nothing too mind-blowing, but it’s certainly tasty enough.

An Amazing Vegetarian Sandwich at Black Camel

Black CamelLocation: 4 Crescent Road, Toronto
Website: https://www.blackcamel.ca/

If it weren’t for Toronto Life’s list of the best sandwiches in the city, never in a million years would it have occurred to me to try the roasted veggie sandwich at Black Camel.  I suppose I’m indebted to the list, because the sandwich was quite delicious.

Black Camel is a little take-out sandwich shop that specializes in tender, slow-roasted beef brisket and pork sandwiches (they also have chicken, steak, and a BLT).

I had assumed that the roasted veggie sandwich was more of a perfunctory, vegetarian-appeasing menu-filler than something anyone would actually want to order.

Black Camel

I was super duper wrong.  The veggie sandwich was just as good as their other offerings.  Maybe better.

The sandwich consists of roasted roma tomatoes, red pepper, and eggplant, with some peppery arugula for good measure.  It’s served on a soft, fresh bun.

Black Camel

You can choose from a variety of sauces; Toronto Life recommended the Charamoula sauce, which the menu describes as a “Moroccan-inspired mayonnaise [that] blends the flavours of garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, and smoked paprika into a one-of-a-kind topping.”  The list also recommended adding Fontina cheese, and who am I to argue with the list?

It’s a fantastic sandwich.  The veggies are all tender but not mushy, with a nice herby flavour.  They’re sweet, savoury, and absolutely crammed with flavour.

Black Camel

But it’s the Charamoula mayo that’s clearly the star of the show.  It’s zesty, spicy, and incredibly assertive without being overwhelming.  It’s one of those sauces that would make practically anything taste good; the fact that the veggies themselves are quite tasty is just a bonus.

The mild Fontina cheese adds a nice creaminess that only ups the richness from the silky mayo.  It’s a shockingly delicious sandwich.