Caramel Sundae at Tom’s Dairy Freeze
Hey, gotta take advantage of Tom’s while they’re around (they’re closed all winter). On this particular visit I got a twist with hot caramel sauce, and yeah it’s as tasty as ever.
Cherry Milkjam at Bang Bang
I’ve found Bang Bang to be a bit hit-or-miss lately, but when they’re good, they’re still really good. This particular flavour is actually a “twist” of sorts — it combines cherry ice cream with dulce de leche, and yeah that’s a great combo. The cherry is a bit sour on its own, but mixing it with the sweet richness of the dulce de leche tempers its tartness and is thoroughly delicious.
Fried Chicken Sandwich at Rudy
I’ve already written about the fried chicken sandwich at Rudy (A.K.A. the Valentino), so I’m not going to beat a dead horse, but it’s still nothing particularly special. It wasn’t overcooked this time, so it had that going for it, but it was almost aggressively middling. If I you had told me it was a fried chicken sandwich from a fast food chain like Wendy’s or A&W, I would have believed you. And Rudy’s is expanding quite a bit; I guess they’re becoming a fast food chain themselves, so… it is what it is. [shrug]
Location: 1184 Queen Street West, Toronto
I recently tried the Nashville hot chicken sandwich at Chen Chen’s and found it to be a quality fried chicken sandwich that was spicy, but otherwise a bit on the bland side.
Well, clearly the Szechuan x Nashville sandwich is the way to go, because it’s thoroughly tasty — no seasoning issues here. And the fried chicken itself was just as good as last time, with a nicely crunchy exterior and a juicy interior.
I will say, however, that I’m not really sure what the sandwich does to deserve the “Szechuan” moniker; aside from a mild sweetness, it doesn’t taste all that different from standard Nashville hot chicken. I didn’t notice any numbing heat or any spicing that screams “Szechuan,” but hey — tasty is tasty. I enjoyed the sandwich. I’m not going to complain.
I also tried the sweet chili cauliflower, which the menu describes as “Fried Cauliflower tossed in sweet chili garlic sauce, topped with toasted sesame seeds, and green onions.” It’s really good — the sauce is sweet and a little bit spicy, and the cauliflower is crunchy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside (it’s tender but still has some bite — it’s not mushy at all).
Location: 655 College Street, Toronto
Bonne Nouvelle is a delightful French/Korean patisserie with a whole bunch of seriously tasty looking treats. Though they have a tempting assortment of cakes and croissants, I just wanted something small to try, so I went with the strawberry rhubarb madeleine.
I regretted it as soon as I took a bite and realized how delicious it was. Another visit to better sample their wares is definitely in order.
With its tasty glaze and injection of strawberry rhubarb filling, it’s pretty far from a standard madeleine, but it’s so good. The cake itself is seriously tasty, and the tartness of the filling does an amazing job of offsetting the pastry’s sweetness. It might be the best madeleine I’ve ever had?
Location: 256 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
I tried Otto’s Berlin Doner around when it first opened and quite enjoyed it; I’m happy to report that not only has the place not missed a step, I think they’ve actually gotten better. I just had the veal and lamb doner, and I was pretty blown away by how good it was.
Every element works so well — it’s got that great bread, which is delightfully crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and it’s got the perfect balance between tasty meat and fresh veggies, with the sauces all complementing it so well.
You can choose between garlic, yogurt, and hot sauce — or you can do what I did and get all three, which is definitely what you should do because it’s a very tasty combo (the hot sauce isn’t hot at all, but it’s hard to complain when it’s all this tasty).
But it’s the veal and lamb that really makes the sandwich sing. It’s super tender, with a great meaty flavour from the lamb and a punch of rosemary-tinged herbiness. And it’s absolutely crammed with the crispy bits that make a sandwich like this so addictive.
I mean, look at this picture. Look at the crispy bits. That’s a thing of beauty.
You can also add feta cheese and/or fries to your sandwich for a buck a piece, and again, you should definitely do that. The fries add more delightful savoury crispiness, and the feta brings creamy pops of saltiness that really rounds out the sandwich.
Location: 596 College Street, Toronto
I noticed after the fact that Tondou Ramen bills itself as “the one and only Okinawan restaurant in Toronto.” That being the case, I probably should have ordered the Okinawa soba instead of the shio ramen. Oh well.
Still, the shio ramen was mostly quite tasty, with a fairly large caveat that, to be fair, mostly applies to me and weirdos like me. Specifically: people who hate raw onion.
I’m a card-carrying raw onion hater, so you can take all of my opinions on the matter with a grain of salt, but the ramen here was a bit much. It’s topped with the usual green onion (which I’m normally okay with) along with a generous amount of sliced white onions, and it’s onion overload.
The problem is that the soup itself, which the menu describes as a “light chicken broth,” has such a subtle flavour that it can’t help but be overwhelmed by the raw onion assault. It’s all you can taste. It completely overpowers the delicate broth.
Still, everything else about the bowl was quite good, particularly the perfectly chewy fresh noodles.
I also tried the takoyaki (A.K.A. octopus balls), which was very good; oddly, the balls are deep fried (is that an Okinawan thing?), which gives them a delightfully crisp exterior.