An Interesting Flavour at Boho Gelato

Boho GelatoLocation: 160 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.instagram.com/boho.gelato/

Kensington Market seems like the kind of area that should have a whole bunch of ice cream shops, but it’s surprisingly slim pickings.  There’s a location of Dolce Gelato, a temporary outpost of Good Behaviour, and now this place — but that’s about it.

(There have been other shops over the years, of course, but the turnover in this area is bad even when there isn’t a pandemic to deal with.)

Boho Gelato

Boho Gelato has a pretty standard assortment of flavours, though there are a couple of unique ones.  Rosewater particularly caught my eye; I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in gelato before.  It’s a common ingredient in Middle Eastern desserts, with a very unique flavour that’s somewhat of an acquired taste (I hated it with a passion as a kid, but it eventually won me over).

The gelato itself is definitely above average, though it didn’t knock my socks off.  But that rosewater flavour is clearly a winner.  I got it with a scoop of pistachio, and not surprisingly, the two flavours go perfectly together.

Decent Mexican Food at Tacos 101

Tacos 101Location: 178 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.facebook.com/tacos101toronto/

After a long hiatus (their original location on Dundas East shut down three years ago), Tacos 101 is back, this time in Kensington Market.

I don’t think I ever visited the original location (or if I did, it wasn’t memorable enough to stick in my brain) so I can’t comment on how it compares to the Dundas location, but it’s a decent enough addition to the area.

Tacos 101

Their specialty is al pastor, a style of taco that’s filled with pork cooked over a rotating spit, shawarma-style.

Tacos 101

Mostly, it’s pretty good — the various sauces are zingy and tasty, the pork is nicely seasoned, the pineapple adds a brightness that contrasts nicely with the savoury pork, and the two corn tortillas are fresh and hold up very nicely to the overstuffed taco.  But the pork is almost entirely lacking in the crispy bits that makes this style of cooking so delightful, and it’s crazy dry.  They’re supposedly using pork shoulder, but the meat has the texture of the driest piece of pork loin that you’ve ever had.

Tacos 101

Everything else about the taco is tasty enough that this isn’t a huge issue, but it’s a shame nonetheless.

I also tried the tortilla chips with refried beans and guacamole — both dips were quite tasty, though the refried beans were a bit underseasoned, as were the chips themselves.

Tacos 101

In the case of the chips, apparently the lack of seasoning is on purpose to highlight the flavour of the dips, and, uh, I don’t think that’s the way food works?  All of the elements of a dish need to be seasoned or the whole thing will lack flavour (this is why, for example, you have to aggressively salt your pasta water, even if you’re going to toss the pasta in a flavourful sauce).

Nani’s Gelato: Still the Best Gelato in the City

Nani's GelatoLocation: 6 Charles Street East, Toronto
Website: https://www.nanisgelato.com/

I wrote about Nani’s Gelato a few times before this blog went on hiatus; back then they were operating out of a truck, and I mentioned that I think they might serve the best gelato in the city.

They upgraded to a permanent location near Yonge and Bloor last year, and there’s no longer any “might” about it.  It’s easily the best gelato in the city.

Nani's Gelato

The combo of delightfully unique flavours (they come up with a new assortment every couple of weeks) and top-notch quality ice cream is irresistible.  On this particular visit I went with salted olive oil candied pecan and toasted coconut, and both flavours were perfectly creamy and intensely delicious.  Some of the flavours here sound odd in theory, but always work — you never, ever get the sense that they’re odd just for novelty value.  The flavour combos are as tasty as they are unique.

Decent Gelato with a Fun Gimmick at Solato

SolatoLocation: Stackt Market (28 Bathurst Street, Toronto)
Website: https://www.solato.com/

Solato is a new gelato place in the Stackt Market with a pretty distinctive gimmick — the gelato itself is made on the spot in a process that’s basically like coffee pods, but for ice cream.  It’s very slick.

The menu is relatively limited; when I went, it was just vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, and a couple of fruity flavours.  You can either get the gelato by itself for six bucks, or pay an extra dollar and get a couple of toppings.

Solato

I went with hazelnut sans-toppings, and the whole process was pretty seamless; they put a pod in one of the machines, and within a couple of minutes it was dispensing soft serve gelato.

It’s fine.  It’s a fun gimmick, I guess, but it’s hard to deny that there’s better gelato in the city.

Solato

I was afraid it might taste artificial, but it has a pretty clean hazelnut flavour, albeit a weak one (the nutty taste is far from robust).  It’s very smooth, which I guess is the advantage of making it right on the spot, but otherwise it’s nothing special; it’s a bit of a shrug, especially for the price, but if you’re in the Stackt Market anyway it might be worth a shot just for the novelty value.

Tasty Jerk Chicken at Roywoods

RoywoodsLocation: 65 Front Street West, Toronto (inside Union Station)
Website: https://roywoods.ca/

It’s been a while since I’ve had a sandwich from Toronto Life’s list of the 25 best in the city, but clearly, the list is still cranking out the hits.  The jerk chicken sandwich at Roywoods is good eatin’.

Roywoods

It’s quite simple: cocoa bread, jerk chicken, coleslaw, sliced tomato, and onion (I skipped the onion, because raw onions are the worst and why anyone thinks differently will forever baffle me).

You can’t really tell from the picture, but the jerk chicken is abundant, and it’s perfectly cooked.  I wish it were a bit spicier (it has a mild kick, but not much more than that) but the satisfying jerk flavour makes up for the lack of spice.

Roywoods

The only real issue is the slightly stale cocoa bread, but there was so much moisture from the saucy coleslaw and the juicy chicken that the dryness of the bread was just barely an issue.  Eating it is definitely a multiple napkin experience.

Roywoods

I tried a couple of sides as well.  The fried plantains had a nice combo of crispy and creamy, and the callaloo — featuring flavourful, tender greens — was just as good.