Gelato Disappointment at La Viziatta

La VizziataLocation: 2470 Yonge Street, Toronto
Website: None

La Viziatta might be the oddest gelato shop I’ve ever been to.  It’s inside a video game store.

I don’t mean that they’re neighbours, or that they sell gelato on one floor and games on another.  I mean that it’s a video game store with a gelato counter.

La Vizziata

But sure, why not?  I’m sure the costs to operate a business in a high-traffic spot like  Yonge and Eglinton are quite high.  So if you can split them with someone else, you may as well go for it.

And they have an interesting assortment of flavours, including the one that brought me here: peanut butter and jelly.

La Vizziata

Sadly, it’s not nearly as amazing as you’d hope.  The gelato isn’t particularly creamy, the peanut butter flavour is fairly anemic, and the “jelly” is actually an overly sweet syrup rather than jam or jelly.  None of the elements are particularly offensive — I ate it all, and if you put another cup in front of me I’d eat that too — but nothing is as tasty as it should be.

Of course, it’s hard not to compare it to the PB and J flavour at Bang Bang, which is almost unfair — that might just be one of the best scoops of ice cream that I’ve ever had.  It’s the exact opposite of what they’re serving here: it’s super rich, it has an intense peanut butter flavour, and the balance with the jam is absolutely perfect.

Fluffernutter Goodness at Lola’s Gelato

Lola's GelatoLocation: 16 Brookers Lane, Etobicoke
Websitehttps://www.lolasgelato.com/

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.

Lola's Gelato

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.

Lola's Gelato

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.

A Pleasant Surprise at Sweet Jesus

Sweet JesusLocation: 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke (inside Sherway Gardens)
Websitehttp://www.sweetjesus4life.com/

I mentioned recently that I like Sweet Jesus, but that it looks better than it tastes.  Well, I think that the abysmal soft serve at Kiss the Tiramisu and Loukomania Cafe have completely readjusted the way that I evaluate soft serve.  They were a very visceral reminder that bad soft serve can be really bad.

Suddenly, Sweet Jesus is looking pretty good.  Because I just went to their location in Sherway Gardens, and I quite enjoyed it.

Sweet Jesus

I got the Oh Hungry, which is similar to the flavour I got last time — vanilla ice cream, caramel and peanut butter sauces, peanuts, chocolate chips, and a chocolate drizzle.

It was shockingly delicious.  All of the sauces, nuts, and chocolate went really well together  (true to its name, it tasted similar to an Oh Henry bar), and there seemed to be a better ratio of toppings to ice cream.  Plus, the vanilla ice cream was rich and creamy.  It still didn’t have much of a flavour beyond a general sweetness, but it wasn’t overly cloying and the texture was on point.

I don’t know if the quality has gone up or if my expectations have gone down, but either way, it was good stuff.

Mediocre Ice Cream at Emmy’s Ice Cream

Emmy's Ice CreamLocation: 426 St. Clarens Avenue, Toronto
Websitehttp://emmys-ice-cream.business.site/

I love ice cream (and I mean, who doesn’t?).  I’m always on the lookout for the next great scoop.

I’m not going to bury the lede — Emmy’s does not serve the next great scoop.

It’s fine.  There wasn’t anything glaringly wrong with it.  But the quality is more in line with something you might get from the supermarket with the words “Nestle” or “President’s Choice” on the label.

Emmy's Ice Cream

It’s in a bit of an odd location; it’s basically part of a coffee shop (they have their own sign and door, but once you’re inside, it’s all one store).

They don’t make their own ice cream.  They source it from Dutch Dreams.  I have a vague recollection of going to Dutch Dreams well over a decade ago and not being impressed, but I was hoping that they had improved in the interim.

Alas.  I had the “Life on St. Clarens,” which is vanilla ice cream with a peanut butter swirl, along with brownie chunks and cookie dough.

Emmy's Ice Cream

Nothing about it particularly stood out.  Though the ice cream was somewhat rich, the flavour was just generic sweetness.  The same lack of flavour extended to the chunks — the brownie was just chewy and sweet, and the cookie dough was crumbly and sweet.  Nothing makes an impact.

Given the fairly unambitious array of flavours they have on offer, I suspect that they’re trying to be more of a stop for local kids than somewhere you might go out of your way for.  Which is fine.  But… don’t go out of your way for it.

Instagram-Friendly Ice Cream at Sweet Jesus

Sweet JesusLocation: 106 John Street, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.sweetjesus4life.com/

I don’t think there’s a more blatant case of an Instagram-famous restaurant than Sweet Jesus.  They serve up concoctions that are so finely-honed to be drooled over on social media that actually eating them almost feels like an afterthought.

They mainly serve very elaborately topped cones that are impossible to eat without making a huge mess; but then, what do they care?  Again: actually eating them is secondary to the likes that they’ll accrue online.

Thankfully, they eventually acquiesced to common sense and offered the option of a cup instead of a cone, which is slightly less photogenic, but much more reasonable to eat.

I got the Sweet Baby Jesus, which is supposed to come with caramel soft serve (I’m pretty positive it was actually vanilla) topped with peanut butter caramel sauce, chocolate peanut crumble, and chocolate sauce.

Sweet Jesus

I should note that I actually like Sweet Jesus.  I’ve been there a bunch of times, and I have no doubt that I’ll be back a bunch of times.  But it could be so much better.

The biggest issue is the soft serve itself.  It’s fine; it’s basically on par with what they serve at ice cream trucks.  I like the stuff, but it’s not exactly high quality ice cream.

And because they insist on making these things as cones instead of the sundaes they should obviously be (for no reason other than that the elaborate cones look better on Instagram), the ratio of sauce/toppings to ice cream is way off.  This would be fine if they were using better quality ice cream, but they’re not.  Which means that the big pile of ice cream you’re left with after the toppings have been eaten feels kinda useless.

As for the Sweet Baby Jesus, it was tasty enough.  Peanut butter and chocolate is a surefire combo, and yeah, it works here.  But both of the problems I mentioned above are definitely present.