Carrot Cake Doughnut at Dipped Donuts

Dipped DonutsLocation: 161 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.dippeddonuts.ca/

Dipped Donuts: still great.  I tried the blueberry basil doughnut from this place last year, and it was seriously tasty.

The one I just had — the carrot cake — might have been even better.  It’s outstanding.

Dipped Donuts

It’s a raised doughnut topped with cream cheese frosting, carrot cake chunks, candied walnuts and ginger, and a caramel drizzle.

It’s definitely sweeter than the last doughnut I tried, but it was just right.  The frosting was gooey and satisfying, and the chunks of cake were seriously tasty.  The nuts and the ginger amps up the flavour, and the caramel?  Come on.  It’s indulgent and amazing.

Dipped Donuts

And of course, the doughnut itself was just as good as I remembered, with a nicely substantial texture and a great flavour.  It’s a top-shelf doughnut.

Tasty Fried Veal at San Francesco

San FrancescoLocation: 5101 Dixie Road, Mississauga
Website: http://sanfrancescos.com/

There’s nothing quite like a veal sandwich.  It’s just a whole bunch of fried veal and rich tomato sauce in a hearty bun.  It’s probably not something you want to be eating on a regular basis (unless you’re keen on getting a massive heart attack), but every now and then it has to happen.  It’s pure, unadulterated comfort food.

My go-to is California Sandwiches, but a location of San Francesco recently opened near me, so I figured I’d give them a shot.

San Francesco

You can choose from all kinds of toppings for an additional fee, but I went with the basic sandwich and ordered it spicy, which meant it came with a generous amount of blazing-hot jalapenos.

The thing that stands out the most about the sandwich is how incredibly tender the veal is; it might just be the most tender veal I’ve ever had in a sandwich like this.  Your teeth glide right through it like butter.  It’s amazing.

San Francesco

The exterior is moderately crispy, but not quite enough to hold up to the sauce — it sogs up almost instantly.  It’s not quite as good as California Sandwiches in that regard.

Speaking of California Sandwiches, I think their sauce is marginally better; the sauce here is quite tasty, but it feels like the flavour could (and should) be amped up by a notch or two.

San Francesco

I think California has the overall superior sandwich, but it’s very, very close.

The sizes are a bit funny.  They have two sizes: baby and regular.  I ordered the regular, and my dining companion ordered the baby.  As it turns out, I (and anyone with a normal-sized appetite) would be perfectly happy with the baby.  Regular is enormous.  Baby should really be called regular, and regular should be called jumbo.

Delicious Butter Tarts at Abbey’s Bakehouse

Abbey's Bakehouse by RedsLocation: 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga (inside Square One)
Website: http://www.sircorp.com/abbeys-bakehouse/

I love butter tarts, but they’re one of those things that I’m sometimes wary to order; when they’re tasty they’re very tasty, but they can easily be throat-burningly sweet.

But I had specifically heard that the tarts at Abbey’s are quite good, so it seemed like a safe enough bet.

Abbey's Bakehouse by Reds

They’re not just good.  They’re great.  I’m not sure if they’re quite on the level of the Maids’ Cottage in Newmarket, which serves my favourite butter tarts in the GTA, but they’re clearly way above average.

The filling is sweet but not too sweet, with a rich caramelized flavour and a nice gooey consistency.  The crust is great too — it’s buttery and shortbready, and compliments the sweet filling perfectly.

Abbey's Bakehouse by Reds

The crust-to-filling ratio is also on point.  This can easily trip up a lesser butter tart, but here the balance is just right — there’s enough crust to offset the sweet filling, but not so much that it dominates.  It’s delicious.

Fish and Chips at McDonald’s

McDonald's Fish and ChipsLocation: 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke
Website: https://www.mcdonalds.com/ca/en-ca.html

I just posted about the Nanaimo Bar McFlurry, which is part of McDonald’s soon-to-end (on the 17th) Great Canadian Tastes promotion.  And now I’ve tried the other item in that menu, Fish and Chips.  Because of course I did.  What did you think, that McDonald’s was going to introduce fish and chips and I wasn’t going to try it??  Get out of here.

McDonald's Fish and Chips

It’s fine, I guess.  When I first heard about it, I assumed they were just going to throw a Filet-O-Fish patty on some fries and call it a day, but this isn’t that.

The meal comes with two pieces of fried haddock that basically taste like any number of middle-of-the-road frozen fish filets you can get at the supermarket (it’s not reconstituted fish pieces, so it’s got that going for it).

McDonald's Fish and Chips

They’re nice and crispy, and when I had them at least, they were freshly fried — but they definitely have that distinctive processed flavour that lets you know they were made in a big factory many miles away and then frozen.

The fish itself was dry, but it could have been worse.  Like I said, it was fine.  Not great, but perfectly edible.

The meal comes with a little tub of tartar sauce, which is zippy and surprisingly oniony.  I wasn’t crazy about that (raw onions are the worst; why everyone thinks they’re acceptable to eat is a complete mystery to me), but it was definitely a bit more interesting than you’d expect.

Tasty (and Unusual) Doughnuts at Flipside Donuts

Flipside DonutsLocation: 12 Case Goods Lane, Toronto
Website: https://flipsidedonuts.com/

Though I’ve had many, many sweet doughnuts in my lifetime (and so have you, I’m guessing, unless you’re living out some kind of Encino Man scenario and have just emerged from the ice), but I can’t say I’ve ever had a savoury one.

There’s a first time for everything, of course, and if what Flipside Donuts is serving up is any indication, savoury doughnuts are way better than you’d think they’d be.

Flipside Donuts

Flipside serves mini doughnuts a la Tiny Tom, and if you order one of their savoury concoctions, you get eight little doughnuts with various toppings.

I ordered the Spadina Streetcar: “8 mini donuts covered in hoisin, braised duck, pickled vegetables, sesame aioli, cilantro.”

Flipside Donuts

The doughnuts themselves are great — they’re freshly fried, just as you’d hope they’d be, with a mild sweetness that works quite well with the savoury toppings.

The texture is a bit more dense and cakey than Tiny Tom, with a lightly crispy exterior that’s incredibly satisfying.

Flipside Donuts

And the toppings are delicious.  Hoisin and duck is obviously a boffo combination, not to mention the extra punch of creaminess that you get from the aioli.  And the freshness of the cilantro and the vinegary punch of the slaw helps to cut the richness from the other elements.  The duck itself is a bit dry, but mostly, the dish works way better than you’d think.

Flipside Donuts

I also tried a few of the sweet doughnuts.  I tried Bellwoods Bonfire (“toasted spiced walnuts & hickory smoked maple syrup”), South Coast Sour (“lemon curd, toasted poppy seed”), Danforth Drizzle (“pistachio butter, Toronto honey, puff pastry”), and Viva YRT (“sweet mango puree & toasted coconut”).

Flipside Donuts

There wasn’t a dud in the bunch, though the Danforth Drizzle, with its rich pistachio flavour, was my favourite.