Decent Ice Cream at West End Waffles and Scoops

West End Waffles and Scoops
Location
: 499 Runnymede Road, Toronto
Website: https://www.instagram.com/westendwafflesandscoops/

I generally don’t pay much attention to ice cream shops that don’t make their own ice cream, but I figured I’d give West End Waffles and Scoops a shot.  They serve Shaw’s Ice Cream, an Ontario-based company that seemed like it might be a bit more interesting than the usual Kawartha or Nestle.

West End Waffles and Scoops

Outside of the ice cream, I think West End Waffles and Scoops makes pretty much everything else from scratch, including waffles, sauces, cookies, and cones.  I went pretty simple, however, and just got a scoop of Grammy’s Cupboard, which features a vanilla base with brownie pieces, cookie dough chunks, and peanut butter swirled throughout.

It’s not bad.  It’s not on the level of the better places in the GTA, but the ice cream is nice and creamy with plenty of tasty mix-ins, and a clear step up from something you’d find in a supermarket freezer.

Quick Bites: Churnt Up, Nord Lyon, Canada’s Wonderland

Churnt Up
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.

Nord Lyon
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
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.

Quick Bites: Superpoint, Good Behaviour Ice Cream, Falafel Plus

Superpoint
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.

Good Behaviour Ice Cream
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 Plus
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.

Quick Bites: Pho Tien Thanh, Ice Creamonology, Nani’s Gelato

Pho Tien Thanh
BBQ Pork on Vermicelli at Pho Tien Thanh

Not a ton to say about this one — aside from the pork being a bit dry, this was a tasty version of a classic dish.  Most of the herbs and veggies are under the noodles, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, but there was a really good proportion of meat, noodles, herbs, and vegetables.  The meat was a little bit sweet and nicely savoury, and the whole thing was thoroughly enjoyable, if nothing too mind-blowing.

Ice Creamonology
Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake at Ice Creamonology

I wasn’t crazy about Ice Creamonology on my first visit, but I’ve been back a couple of times and it’s definitely getting better (or maybe it’s just growing on me?).  The ice cream is nice and creamy, and while it’s still a bit stretchier than your average scoop, it’s not as gummy as it was the first time I tried it.  I will say, however, that I haven’t been back since they’ve moved to Queens Quay, so I have no idea how it holds up now.

Nani's Gelato
Pumpkin Pie soft serve at Nani’s Gelato

I recently mentioned that the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen is the king of Blizzards, and this is basically just that, but a billion times better.  I tried this last October (I’m still working my way through my backlog since the blog came back from hiatus);  if you like pumpkin pie, the next time Nani’s brings this back (hopefully sooner than next October), you need to try it.  It’s so good.

Nani’s Gelato Goes to the ‘Burbs

Nani's GelatoLocation: 6039 Erin Mills Parkway, Mississauga
Website: https://www.nanisgelato.com/

This is gong to be a short one, but I couldn’t not write a post about the recently-opened second location of Nani’s Gelato, deep in the wilds of Mississauga.

It’s slightly larger than the downtown location, though still not big enough for any seating — dashing my dreams of a full, sit-down Nani’s sundae experience.

Nani's Gelato

(This is somewhat unrelated to the topic at hand, but what’s the deal with every Toronto ice cream joint being a grab-and-go experience?  Where are all the sundae bars?  And yes, I know that Demetres exists, but I’m dreaming about a place that serves ice cream on par with Nani’s or Bang Bang that also has a menu of elaborate sundaes.  Someone make this happen please.)

Nani's Gelato

Aside from the sad lack of anything even resembling a sundae, the gelato at the new location is as great as ever.  On this particular visit I got Kit Kat Cookie Monster and Double Chocolate Nutella, and they were both rich, creamy, and delicious.  The Nutella flavour, in particular, has a very intense chocolately richness and is thoroughly delightful.