Location: 307 Queen Street West, Toronto
Mizzica recently opened a second location at Queen and John, and clearly they haven’t missed a step because the gelato I just tried was absolutely fantastic.
Actually, I think this flavour perfectly encapsulates Mizzica’s greatness. It’s a bit of an odd one, and almost certainly wouldn’t have been much more than an interesting novelty at any other gelato shop. Here, on the other hand, it was surprisingly delicious.
That flavour? Gorgonzola, mascarpone, and pistachio. Yes, that gorgonzola, the famous Italian blue cheese.
It’s honestly shocking how delicious it is. The gorgonzola flavour is actually quite pronounced, and yet it totally works as part of this sweet scoop of gelato. I couldn’t even tell you why or how. It shouldn’t. But it does.
The sweet pistachio paste that they top it with complements it perfectly, and the whole thing is luxuriously creamy and so much better than you’d imagine. With a lot of weird flavours like this, even when I like them, I think, well, I never need to have that again. But this was legitimately delicious. I could eat it a million scoops of it.
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: 29 McCaul Street, Toronto
The first thing you see before you enter the door at Mizzica is a big banner with the various awards they won at the Gelato Festival World Masters, which certainly seems like a promising sign.
And then you try the actual gelato, and it’s pretty clear why they won those awards — holy moly it’s good, please give them all the awards.
They have a bunch of delicious looking flavours, but I went with the Cassata Siciliana, which is based on an Italian dessert of the same name (which is basically a boozy cake filled with candied fruit and creamy ricotta).
It’s so good. It’s filled with chunks of cake, dark chocolate, candied fruit, and sweet ricotta, and everything about it is crazy delicious. The balance of all the ingredients is just right, and the gelato itself is super smooth, rich, and creamy. I was wondering if they could keep up that stratospheric level of quality; I’ve been back a few times since this particular visit, and yeah, this place is the real deal. It’s some of the best gelato in the city.
Location: 229 Geary Avenue, Toronto
Though I’m all about the simple joys of a margherita pizza, occasionally, a more interesting assortment of toppings can be just what the doctor ordered. Case in point: the Green Out pizza at North of Brooklyn, which comes topped with “Mozzarella, Spring Cream, Spinach, Semi-Dried Tomatoes, Salsa Verde, Pecorino.” It’s about as far from the simplicity of a margherita pizza that you can get, but it’s so, so good.
“Green” is right there in the name, and yeah, the abundant spinach and herby spring cream (which is basically cream with herbs mixed in) definitely gives the pizza a verdant glow. It looks like it might be overwhelming, but it’s just right — the tender spinach balances so well with all the other ingredients.
The hearty spinach, the pops of sweetness from the tomatoes, the zinginess from the salsa verde, the gooiness of the mozzarella, and the saltiness of the pecorino is just a perfect storm of deliciousness. It’s surprisingly great.
But a pizza lives and dies by its crust, and that’s where this thing really shines. It’s super thin and crispy, but not even remotely crackery — it’s got a great balance of chewiness and crispiness, with a surprising amount of substance given how thin it is, and a great flavour. It helps that it’s perfectly cooked, with a nice even char that never overwhelms. The toppings are all extremely tasty, but it’s the superlative crust that really puts this in the pizza stratosphere.