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: 55 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto
They sell Taiwanese-style wheel cakes at Formocha (which are essentially pancakes that are cooked in a circular mold with a sweet filling) and they’re mostly pretty good. But there are a couple of issues.
The first (and biggest) issue? Red bean wasn’t a filling choice, at least when I went. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to deduct about a million points for its absence. I mean, come on. It’s the classic filling. Red bean or GTFO.
I wound up trying custard, and Oreo custard. They were both tasty enough, but (and here’s the second issue) the custard tasted off. There was something weird about it, with an almost fruity flavour that was vaguely off-putting.
The Oreo was much better — rather than the chunks that you might expect, it was filled with an entire cookie, which was surprisingly delightful.
Plus, the cakes themselves were super fresh (they cook them to order), with a slightly crispy exterior and a fluffy interior. They were good, but… come on. Red bean. Give it to me.
Location: 16 Brookers Lane, Etobicoke
Fluffernutters are delicious. That’s a fact.
In case you’ve been living an empty sham of a life and are unaware of the magic of the fluffernutter, it’s basically like a PB and J, but with gooey marshmallow sauce subbed in for the jam. It’s the best.
They have a fluffernutter-inspired flavour of gelato at Lola’s. Obviously I had to try it.
This was my first time having the gelato Lola’s. The quality is quite good — it’s not the richest or the creamiest gelato I’ve ever had, but it’s solid. It’s above average.
The flavour (called WTF – What the Fluffernutter) consists of peanut butter gelato swirled with marshmallow sauce, with Oreo bits interspersed throughout. It was really tasty. I wish the peanut butter flavour were a bit more pronounced — it doesn’t quite recapture the gooey, peanut-buttery joys of a fluffernutter sandwich — but it’s quite good regardless.
Location: 855 The Queensway, Etobicoke
This probably won’t come as much of a surprise: it turns out that the ice cream at Baskin Robbins isn’t very good. I haven’t been there in several years, but I remember it being decent enough.
Either I’ve become pickier in the meantime, or it’s become worse. Probably a bit of both.
I tried the current flavour of the month, Cookies ‘n Cake: “Cake flavored ice cream, cookie pieces, and a chocolate cake batter flavored ribbon.”
The quality of the ice cream itself was pretty bad; it was slightly better than really bottom-of-the-barrel stuff like Chapman’s, but that’s really not saying much. The texture was thin and unsatisfying.
The flavour was even worse. I’ve eaten a lot of cake in my lifetime, and none of it even remotely tasted like the ice cream here. I’m normally fine with artificial, cake-flavoured junk food, but this stuff was just vile. I’m having a hard time even figuring out how to describe the flavour — it was acrid and unpleasant and weird.
The cookie chunks were good, at least — they were Oreo pieces, so no surprise there. But the “chocolate cake batter flavored ribbon” basically just tasted like a sweeter, less chocolatey version of Nesquik chocoalte syrup. It wasn’t offensive like the ice cream, but it wasn’t particularly good, either.