More Tasty Ice Cream at Nadege

NadegeLocation780 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.nadege-patisserie.com/

The last time I tried the ice cream at Nadege, I found it to be quite tasty, but not quite on par with the best ice cream in the city, like Bang Bang or Greg’s.

On a recent visit, I tried the Baked Caramel Crunch, with features vanilla ice cream swirled with caramel sauce and chocolate chip cookie dough (the menu just says chocolate chip cookies, but the chunks were chewy and tasted like cookie dough to me).  I normally go with a cup over a cone, but having heard so many good things about the cone, I figured I needed to try it.

The cone is as advertised.  It’s amazing.  It’s crispy but not overly crunchy, with a rich buttery flavour.  It’s easily one of the better cones I’ve ever had.

Nadege

The ice cream is as I remembered.  They’re incredibly generous with the sauce and the chunks.  That sounds good, right?  And it is, but there’s a limit.  It’s like that episode of the Twilight Zone where the guy in the afterlife has everything go his way until he finally realizes that he’s actually in hell, not heaven.

The scoop was so saucy and chunky that I could barely even taste the ice cream.  It was overkill.  From what I could taste of the vanilla, it seemed like it was above average, but I honestly couldn’t particularly tell.  It was basically like eating a tub of caramel sauce with cookie dough mixed in.

Nadege

I had better luck on another recent visit with the strawberry pistachio.  This one features pistachio ice cream with a light and frothy strawberry sauce mixed in.  Strawberry and pistachio sounds like an odd combo, but it works; the sweet fruitiness of the sauce compliments the rich, nutty ice cream very well.

And since there weren’t any chunks, I was able to taste the ice cream itself, which is quite good.  I really wish they wouldn’t work so hard to obscure it.

Beyond Sausage Egg and Cheese from Tim Hortons

Beyond Sausage Egg and Cheese from Tim HortonsLocation: 2960 South Sheridan Way, Oakville
Website: https://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/index.php

The fake meat gold rush continues; I think it’s safe to say that, before long, all of the fast food chains will have imitation meats from places like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods on their menus.

Tim Hortons is the latest, with three new breakfast sandwiches featuring sausage that looks and tastes like sausage — but isn’t.

I tried the Beyond Meat burger from A&W last summer, and I thought it vaguely approximated real meat, but wasn’t going to fool anyone.

The Beyond Sausage at Tim Hortons is much more convincing.

I got the Egg and Cheese, which features a Beyond Sausage patty, an omelette patty, and processed cheese on an English muffin.

Beyond Sausage Egg and Cheese from Tim Hortons

The sausage certainly isn’t great, but it convincingly tastes like an actual sausage — a mediocre sausage, mind you, but if I hadn’t known it was fake meat, I wouldn’t have guessed.  That’s impressive.

(Of course, emulating a lousy, ultra-processed sausage is much, much easier than emulating one that actually tastes good, but one step at a time, I guess?)

There was something about the spicing that I found vaguely unappealing, and the flavour was particularly aggressive, presumably to cover up the lack of a meaty flavour.  But for the most part, it’s decent enough.

The texture is dead-on.  Unlike the Beyond Meat burger I had at A&W, it’s not mushy at all.  It’s a bit dry, and no one’s going to confuse it for a decent quality sausage, but the texture is basically identical to the type of mediocre sausage you’ll find at a place like Tim Hortons.  I was surprised at how close it got.

Otherwise, the sandwich was typical Tim Hortons, which is to say it was pretty lousy — the cheese was barely melted, the omelette was rubbery, and the English muffin was dense and dry.

Roast Beef Perfection at Donna’s

Donna'sLocation: 827 Landsdowne Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://donnas.ca/

Yep, another sandwich from Toronto Life’s top 25.  Another damn good one, too, so clearly this list is not to be trifled with.  These sandwiches aren’t kidding around.

Donna’s serves a roast beef sandwich that’s topped with parsnip, horseradish sauce, crispy fried onions (or shallots?), and watercress.  As per Toronto Life, the meat is marinated in beef fat and honey.  It’s superb.

Donna's

The sandwich is awash with flavour, but everything works so well together — it never feels too assertive or busy.  First and foremost is the very healthy pile of thinly-sliced roast beef.  It’s beefy, tender, and just a little bit sweet from the honey.  It’s great.

Donna's

The horseradish sauce is creamy and zingy, with a nice even burn that makes its presence known, but doesn’t overwhelm.  The parsnip is kind of ingenious.  It’s thinly sliced, and on first glance it looks like cheese.  But it’s soft and creamy, and adds a bit of a starchy heft.

Donna's

It’s all on a soft, fresh, slightly chewy roll that compliments it perfectly.  Toronto Life calls it the fifth best sandwich in the city; that sounds about right to me.  It’s really, really good.

Tasty Cheese Tarts at Pablo

PabloLocation: 1800 Sheppard Avenue East, North York (inside Fairview Mall)
Website: https://pablocanada.com/

It’s hard to go wrong with a Japanese cheese tart.  It’s basically just a little cheesecake, and it’s delicious.  If you’re a cheesecake fan, there’s absolutely no reason cheese tarts shouldn’t be in your life.

Pablo

The version they sell at Pablo might not be the best one I’ve ever had, but it’s pretty darn tasty.

The filling is sweet but not too sweet, with a rich cheesecake flavour.  I wish it had been a bit creamier, but it’s quite good.

Pablo

The crust could have been a bit more crisp, but again, it’s very good: it’s nice and buttery, with an almost shortbread-like flavour.  The crispy crust and the creamy cheesecake is a fairly irresistible combo.

Hand-Pulled Noodles at Omni Palace Noodle House

Omni Palace Noodle HouseLocation: 235 Consumers Road, Toronto
Website: https://www.omnipalace.ca/

I’ve mentioned many times before that a big bowl of chewy, hand-pulled noodles is pretty much the best.  That’s just a fact.  If you disagree?  You’re wrong, and I hate to have to tell you this, but you’re living your life like an idiot.

Sorry, but someone was going to tell you eventually.  It may as well be me.

Omni Palace Noodle House

The main thing to order at Omni Palace is the Traditional Lanzhou Beef Noodles, which is a pretty basic bowl of noodle soup topped with thinly sliced beef, cilantro, scallions, and sliced radish.

The broth is actually quite tasty — it’s very salty, but it also has a nice beefy richness, and a mild tingling numbness from sichuan peppercorns.  Once you add a heaping spoonful or two (or three, or four) of the smoky, flavourful chili oil, you’ve got a pretty memorable bowl of soup.

Omni Palace Noodle House

The chili oil is surprisingly mild, so you have to add a decent amount if you want a nice kick.  That works out quite well, however — it’s so tasty that the bowl seems to get more and more delicious with every additional spoonful.

Omni Palace Noodle House

Then, of course, there’s the noodles, which are available in nine levels of thickness.  I went with what they call classic, which is quite spaghetti-like in size and shape.  The noodles have all the satisfying chewiness that you’re hoping for, and they’re the perfect thickness for this particular dish.

The only thing here I wasn’t crazy about was the beef; it was a bit tough, and the flavour was middling.  But everything else is tasty enough that it really doesn’t matter.