Blue Buffalo Chicken from Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese
I’ve tried Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese a couple of times and enjoyed it quite a lot. Alas, this visit wasn’t quite as stellar. I had the Blue Buffalo Chicken, which features chicken and Buffalo sauce mixed right in with the pasta, and crumbles of blue cheese on top. It’s a tasty combo, and it certainly wasn’t bad — but the pasta was overcooked, the whole thing was weirdly soupy, and it wasn’t evenly heated (the edges were piping hot, and the middle was surprisingly cold). Hopefully it was just an off day, because my last couple of visits were actually pretty special.
Beer and Brown Bread ice cream from Bang Bang
Beer and Brown Bread is a flavour that’s been popping up on Bang Bang’s menu for years, though for whatever reason I hadn’t tried it until now. It’s… weird! The ice cream itself is actually not that sweet, and captures the beer flavour with unnerving accuracy (it’s fairly bitter, like an IPA). It took me a while to warm up to it, but once you wrap your mind around it, it’s actually quite good. It’s also got somewhat crispy pieces of brown bread mixed in, which complements the beer flavour of the ice cream quite well.
Chocolate Turnover made with KitKat from A&W
Not much to say about this one — it’s a fried pie filled with chocolatey goo, with little crispy bits interspersed throughout. I feel like any fried pie is going to be tasty, and yeah, it’s good. The combo of the crispy exterior and crispy bits within adds some nice texture, and the chocolatey goo is satisfying. The whole thing is a bit too sweet and doesn’t quite have the punch of chocolate flavour that you’re hoping it might, but I still quite enjoyed it.
Margherita pizza from Pizzeria Via Napoli
I suppose you could order something from a Neapolitan pizza joint that isn’t a margherita pizza, but why would you? As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the perfect food. It’s also a great test of a restaurant’s chops, because it’s so simple that if your technique isn’t on point, and if the ingredients you’re working with aren’t great, it’s going to show. Pizzeria Via Napoli’s version absolutely hits it out of the park; the crust is flavourful, perfectly chewy, and has a good amount of char on its exterior (including the bottom of the slice). And the other ingredients are just right. Margherita test: passed!
Ramen from Ikkoi Japanese Family Cuisine
Speaking of food that’s perfect: ramen. It’s the best. I ordered the tonkotsu ramen from Ikkoi (they serve several other styles of ramen, along with sushi and other Japanese standbys), and it’s pretty decent. Is it the best bowl of ramen that I’ve ever had? No; their menu is so broad that they’re probably spreading themselves a bit thin. But there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with it. I wouldn’t go out of my way for it, but if you’re in the area and you’re craving a bowl of ramen, it’s worth a shot.
Dark Chocolate Oreo at Nani’s Gelato
Nani’s continues to be great. I don’t particularly feel the need to write about Nani’s every time I eat there, because I think it’s fairly clear by this point that I think Nani’s serves some truly stellar gelato. But I would like to note that, even though it’s not technically on the menu, Nani’s does have a kids size cup that’s pretty much the perfect amount if you’re not super hungry. It’s the same size cup as the small, but the gelato pretty much only goes to the brim instead of being mounded way up. I’m not sure why they don’t advertise this size, but I’m definitely glad I know it exists. And now you do too!
Location: 82 Lakeshore Road East, Mississauga
Scoops is a fun little ice cream shop in Port Credit that serves scoops, sundaes, and milkshakes, and that makes all their own ice cream in-house.
It actually reminds me a lot of Ed’s Real Scoop, particularly the layout, with gelato up front and the various ice cream flavours behind it.
They have a whole bunch of interesting flavours (I didn’t count, but it’s gotta be over twenty); I went with Nutella banana.
It’s pretty decent. It’s probably not worth going out of your way for if you’re not already in Port Credit, but it’s a solid scoop of ice cream. My flavour was a bit icy, but was otherwise quite rich and creamy.
The yellow colour made me worried that banana extract might be involved, but if it was, I couldn’t tell (the ice cream actually had a slightly underripe banana flavour). And of course, I don’t have to tell you that banana and Nutella are great together.
Also: I’m just happy whenever an ice cream shop is still using plastic spoons. Sorry, the environment — wooden spoons are horrible. I’m pretty sure that if they eat ice cream in hell (fart flavoured, I guess?), they use wooden spoons.
Location: 93a Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Bang Bang is a bit less exciting these days; they have a pretty set selection of permanent and rotating flavours, and once you’ve tried them all, you’ve tried them all. The early, more experimental days where there were always at least a couple of odd new flavours to try are, sadly, long gone. I can’t remember the last time I saw something new on their menu.
The quality is still fantastic, however. I had the WTF2 on my most recent visit (“a smooth dark chocolate, 70% callebaut chip”), and holy moly it’s good. Super creamy, intense chocolately flavour, good level of sweetness, and the chocolate pieces are thin enough that they still melt in your mouth (a lot of chocolate in ice cream tends to have that issue where it’s so cold that it’s mostly just crunchy with no real flavour).
New places like Good Behaviour are giving Bang Bang a run for their money, but it’s clear that Bang Bang still knows how to make a primo scoop. They’re also, as you can tell from the photo above, still doing quite well, which is nice to see.
Location: 3795 Lakeshore Boulevard West, Etobicoke
I (sort of) tried this place back in 2018, when they had frozen custard on the menu at Woodfire Sandwich Co, an offshoot of Woody’s Burgers. Alas, the sandwich place is no more, but the ice cream has been bumped up to its own thing (though it’s now inside Woody’s Burgers).
As I mentioned in my previous post, frozen custard (which is basically just standard ice cream with an added richness and flavour from egg yolks) is weirdly hard to find in the city. So the fact that The Loop Creamery exists at all makes me happy.
And it’s quite tasty. I think it’s actually improved since 2018; the ice cream is rich and creamy, with a mild but satisfying custard flavour. It’s quite good.
I went with the Old School, which is just peanuts and caramel in a vanilla base. The peanuts had gotten a bit soft in the ice cream, but it was otherwise quite tasty, with the rich custard base working very well with the ribbons of sweet caramel.