Location: 366 Church Street, Toronto
Sometimes, you know you’re in trouble before you even take a bite. This was definitely the case at Crazy Crepes, a Japanese chain that serves sweet and savoury crepes.
It was game over before it even began; as soon as I ordered my crepe, the woman behind the counter went for a big pile of pre-made crepes and started putting mine together.
I’m not sure why, but crepes are one of those foods that deteriorate in quality within minutes of being made. Fresh crepes are delicious; old crepes are a pale imitation of their previous selves.
I’m sorry, but when it comes to crepes: make it fresh or GTFO. Yes, I’ll wait. Get out of here with that dry, rubbery garbage.
I ordered the Strawberry & Kiwi Fresh Cream crepe, which the menu notes is one of their signature creations, and of course, it never had a chance. The kiwi and strawberries were both pretty sour, but if the crepe had been really good, it still could have been tasty. Alas.
Location: 28 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Donut Monster is a really acclaimed doughnut joint from Hamilton that recently opened a location in Toronto’s Stackt Market. I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about their doughnuts for a while now — if they hadn’t opened an outpost in Toronto, taking a long drive to Hamilton might have been in order.
I’m so glad I didn’t drive all the way to Hamilton for this.
I tried the Cherry Cheesecake Bullseye, which features sour cherry pie filling, cream cheese icing, and a graham cracker crumble.
I know a lot of people are more concerned about a doughnut’s fillings/toppings than anything else, and on that level this was pretty decent — the balance between the tart cherries and the sweet frosting was actually quite good.
But the doughnut itself was seriously disappointing; it was dense and dry and boring. It was like Wonder Bread. There’s nothing to it. I’m pretty sure the prepacked doughnuts you can get at the supermarket aren’t much worse.
It certainly wasn’t unpleasant, but from a high-end doughnut place it’s a huge let-down.
Location: 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke
Cheesecake Blues — which is a featured flavour, and not a part of the regular menu, sadly — might be the best thing on Sweet Jesus’s menu.
Here’s how they describe it: “Blueberry soft serve ice cream, cheesecake bites, blueberry sauce, graham cookie crumbs, Maria milk cookie crumbs, wafer crumbs, white chocolate bits.”
The ice cream is the highlight; the flavour is a lot more subtle than you’re expecting. Typically, fruity ice cream tends to punch you in the face with fruit flavour, but this one is more like blueberries and cream. It’s creamy, mellow, and delightful.
The crumbs on the exterior are a bit odd — they’re supposedly cookie crumbs, but the texture is soft and cakey. I’m not sure if that’s intentional, but either way, it’s tasty.
There are also cheesecake chunks and blueberry sauce, which obviously work quite well together. The whole thing is surprisingly good.
Location: 3235 Highway 7, Markham
The Cups is a little dessert shop in the First Markham plaza that specializes in bingsu, a tasty Korean shaved ice dessert.
I generally liked shaved ice, though sometimes, it’s a bit watery. The Cups has a fairly ingenious solution for this issue: they use milk instead of water for their ice, which gives the dessert a much richer, creamier consistency.
I ordered the mango bingsu, which features mango chunks, cheesecake chunks, condensed milk, mango sauce, and whipped cream.
It’s quite good. The mango pieces are ripe and sweet, and the ice-to-stuff ratio is pretty much right on point. Plus, the aforementioned milk ice ensures that the whole thing has a satisfyingly creamy consistency.
On another visit, I tried the red bean, which features soybean powder, mochi cubes, almond flakes, red bean, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I think I might have liked it even better than the mango, though the ice-to-stuff ratio was a bit off. It needed a bit more red bean (I don’t think there was any in the middle).
Location: 510 Yonge Street, Toronto
Creme brulee: delicious. Crepes: delicious. A creme brulee crepe? Yes please.
I will, however, admit that I was skeptical; would this be one of those Instagram-friendly food mash-ups that never should have been mashed up?
Nope, it’s exactly as delicious as you’re hoping it’ll be. Actually, no; more delicious.
My only real complaint is that the top didn’t have the sugary, crackily crispiness that you’re looking for, despite being thoroughly torched.
Other than that, it was top notch. The custard was a little bit too sweet — I suspect that it came from a mix — but it was still quite tasty, and certainly got the job done.
There was also quite a bit of it; every bite had a generous amount of custard, even right at the bottom of the cone.
The crepe itself was the highlight; it was freshly made, with a chewy interior and a lightly crispy exterior that set it apart from the norm. It complimented the custard perfectly.
I enjoyed it so much that I went back a few days later for round two. I tried the Mango Raspberry, and it was just as good as the creme brulee. The crepe had the same addictive crispy/chewy contrast, and the filling featured a great balance of tartness and sweetness, with perfectly ripe chunks of fruit.