Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream at Churnt Up
I decided recently that if I eat something I don’t particularly enjoy, I’m not going to write all that much about it — I think there’s enough negativity in the world, and I’d rather spend my energy focusing on stuff I like rather than stuff I don’t. That being said, I’ll say that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a great flavour for ice cream, and I’ll leave it at that.
Strawberry croissant at Nord Lyon
The strawberry croissant at Nord Lyon is named after the bakery; it’s always a safe bet to order a restaurant’s namesake dish, and in this case, the croissant has a nice buttery flavour and a healthy amount of sweet strawberry jam. It was pretty stale when I tried it, but maybe you’ll have better luck?
Funnel cake at Canada’s Wonderland
It turns out that Canada’s Wonderland is actually pretty boring for food — at least half of the eateries are locations of Pizza Pizza or Subway, and the rest all serve stuff like burgers and chicken strips, with almost none of the over-the-top carnival-style fun you might expect. But! They still serve funnel cakes — topped with soft serve and a chunky strawberry sauce — and they’re just as good as you remember. No… better. If there’s a better combo than fresh fried dough, creamy ice cream, and sweet strawberry sauce, I’d like to hear about it.
Location: 1533 Queen Street West, Toronto
Gus Tacos have three locations in the GTA; they’re clearly successful for a reason. My tacos were great, and my dining companion raved about his burrito. Supposedly, the tortas are quite good as well. Clearly, I need to come back.
The woman behind the counter mentioned that the barbacoa (braised lamb) taco is their most popular choice; I ordered that along with the chilorio, which turned out to be very similar to the barbacoa, but with pork. Probably not the best two choices, as they were both along the same lines — but when the tacos are this delicious, it really doesn’t matter.
The tortillas were obviously fresh, which is a must, and while both tacos were tasty, the barbacoa wasn’t kidding around. If you like the slightly gamy flavour of lamb, this is absolutely the taco for you. It’s super tender, flavourful, and thoroughly delicious. So good.
Location: 1183 Dundas Street West, Toronto
I love croissants. I mean, who doesn’t? They’re crispy, they’re fluffy, they’re buttery, they can be sweet, they can be savoury… they’re one of the world’s perfect foods, and there are few things more delightful than eating a really great one.
Well, Geste Croissanterie specializes in the stuff, and as you’d hope, they’re great. I tried a sweet one and a savoury one, and they were both seriously delicious.
I started with the smoked salmon sandwich, which they make with a croissant that’s been formed into a ring like a bagel. The croissant itself is top-notch; it’s super flaky and buttery, with a great contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender interior. But the rest of the sandwich isn’t an afterthought, with some seriously good smoked salmon that’s definitely a cut above the stuff you can buy at the supermarket.
But it was the pistachio pain au chocolat (which the man behind the counter said is their most popular item — and I can absolutely see why) that really blew me away. I’m sure it helped that it was clearly super fresh, but oh man this was easily one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while.
It features that same outstanding croissant base, which is filled with tasty chocolate and a gooey pistachio paste (I wish I had taken a picture of the interior so you could see how glorious it is). It’s very sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, and the balance of all of the components is absolutely perfect. It’s so good.
Location: 6039 Erin Mills Parkway, Unit 6, Mississauga
Manousha is a take-out gem in Mississauga that specializes in mana’eesh, a Middle Eastern flatbread that comes with various toppings. They also have a handful of interesting looking subs, but I figured the mana’eesh is probably the way to go.
And yeah, it’s definitely the way to go (though I’m sure the sandwiches are good too — I think another visit is in order).
I went with the zaatar, which comes topped with a mix of zaatar (a Middle Eastern herb blend) and olive oil, along with the chicken musakhan (a Palestinian dish featuring sumac-infused chicken with onions).
The crust is great — it’s slightly crispy on the outside, and it’s got a great balance of chewiness and fluffiness on its interior. They bake everything in a wood-burning oven, and clearly, they know how to use it.
Both mana’eesh were quite tasty, though the musakhan was the highlight. It’s a little bit tangy, a little bit sweet, and satisfyingly meaty from the tender chicken.
Cheese slice from Superpoint
Superpoint! It’s still great. This time I got a plain cheese slice, and it’s absolutely phenomenal — it’s got the perfect amount of gooey cheese, tasty sauce, and that nicely crispy/chewy thin crust. Pizzeria Badiali is right nearby also serving up top-notch slices, and I’m extremely envious of anyone who lives in the area because they’re both so good.
Mint Chocolate from Good Behaviour Ice Cream
Easily the weirdest scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream I’ve ever had — it didn’t taste like mint or chocolate. If I had eaten this blind, I honestly don’t think I would have guessed mint. It tastes more like a mild key lime pie. It’s not bad, it’s just weird when you’re expecting mint. As for the chocolate, I’m of the opinion that standard chocolate chips are useless in ice cream. They have a nice crunch, but nothing else — frozen chocolate chips are too cold to properly melt in your mouth, so they basically just crumble into little bits that you can’t taste.
Falafel from Falafel Plus
If you have “falafel” right in the name of your restaurant, you’d better be able to back that up. I’m happy to say that Falafel Plus very much backs that up: the falafel here has a great balance between crispy exterior and fluffy interior, and it’s perfectly spiced, with a herby flavour that’s very satisfying. Clearly, I’m going to have to return and try a bunch more stuff, because they have a fairly extensive menu, and based on the falafel it’s probably all tasty.