Location: 162 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
I was pretty much completely blown away by the carbonara at Bobbie Sue’s Mac + Cheese. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all, but in all the best ways.
I sort of figured it was going to be some kind of bizarre mash-up of mac and cheese and carbonara, but it definitely wasn’t that. It was actually a legit bowl of carbonara, and it was delightful.
The menu describes the carbonara as “pancetta + Grana Padano + egg yolk.” I really enjoyed it.
The diced pancetta (and yes, it was pancetta, as it should be — not bacon) was abundant and nicely crisped up — it was crispy, salty, and porky. The sauce was rich and creamy from the egg yolks, with a nice cheesy kick from the Grana Padano (an Italian cheese that’s very similar to Parmesan). And the pasta was perfectly al dente.
It was maybe slightly too dry, but aside from that it was shockingly good. You’re barely expecting a bowl of carbonara from an actual Italian restaurant to be that delicious, let alone a mac and cheese take-out window that doesn’t have a seating area. It’s a really delightful surprise.
Location: Follow them on Instagram to see where they’ll be
There’s nothing sadder than biting into a cannoli only to find that its would-be crispy exterior has been rendered soft and chewy by the ravages of time.
Holy Cannoli, which had a booth at the recent OssFest street festival, avoids this problem quite definitively by filling their cannoli shells to order. This is clearly the way to do it. I don’t know why every bakery doesn’t do it this way.
So of course, the shell was nice and crispy, just as it should be. It’s crispy but not overly crunchy — it’s basically the perfect cannoli shell.
You can choose from either chocolate chip or vanilla filling; I went with the latter, and it was creamy, sweet, and tasty. Nothing about it particularly jumped out as being amazing, but it was a solid cannoli.
Location: 80 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Mamakas Taverna had a booth at the recent OssFest street festival on Ossington, serving up chicken and pork souvlaki. It was almost improbably good. Like, is the food at a street festival even allowed to be this good? It was easily the best souvlaki I’ve ever had.
It’s simple enough — it features pita bread slathered with tsatziki, and topped with chunks of pork and tomatoes (onions are also an option, though I skipped those).
Every element here is amazing. The pork is cooked on a spit over coals, giving it a nice smoky flavour. It’s perfectly cooked and amazingly juicy.
They chop the pork up and toss it in some kind of magical, zesty sauce; little touches like this make all the difference. The pork would have been perfectly delicious if they had just served it as-is, but that sauce kicks up its flavour, adds additional moisture, and elevates the wrap from good to great.
The creamy, mint-and-garlic-infused tzatziki is just as delicious as the pork, and complements it exceptionally well. And the bread is the perfect vehicle — it’s fresh, a little bit chewy, and amazing. The whole thing is exceptionally delicious.
Location: 93a Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Oh hey, another super delicious scoop of ice cream from Bang Bang. Are you surprised? Because I’m definitely not. They’ve been around for five years now, and they’re still serving up what is hands-down the best ice cream in the city. It’s not even close.
This particular flavour was called Horcha-ta-ta and is inspired by horchata, a sweet, creamy drink made from rice.
The ice cream itself has a really rich flavour, and is imbued with cinnamon and other spices (nutmeg I think? Some other stuff, probably?). It’s topped with sweet sticky rice, condensed milk, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
It’s delicious. It actually reminds me quite a bit of rice pudding, but with the cinnamon and other spices giving it a really interesting flavour. And of course, the quality of the ice cream is just as great as ever. It’s so good.
Location: 93a Ossington Avenue, Toronto
I think this is going to be the shortest post I’ve ever written. The tarte au citron flavour at Bang Bang is basically like the best lemon meringue pie you’ve ever had, but as an ice cream.
Lemon meringue pie? Delicious. Bang Bang? Delicious. Cram those two things together? Yeah, it’s delicious. Of course it’s delicious. That’s just math.
The ice cream is creamy and pleasantly tart, with a great lemony flavour. It’s got silky meringue swirled in for some additional creaminess and to help cut the tartness of the ice cream. And then there are buttery, delicious chunks of pie crust.
It’s all just as good as you’d hope it would be.