Location: 206C Queen Street South, Streetsville
It’s always a good sign when a bakery puts one of their pastries in a paper bag and it becomes translucent with buttery goodness. If the paper bag looks pristine? Sorry, that pastry probably sucks. I don’t make the rules.
Though they have an assortment of sweet and savoury pastries, the specialty at Kate’s Town Talk Bakery is clearly the butter tart, which you can get with pecans, raisins, raspberry Nutella, or on its own.
I got the pecan variety, and oh man, it’s good. The sign outside says that the butter tarts here “rival the best you’ve ever tasted,” and you know what? They’re not wrong. I wish the filling were a bit gooier, but other than that it’s basically butter tart perfection: the crust is perfectly flaky, the filling has a great toffee-like flavour, and it’s got those great crispy caramelized edges that are pretty much irresistible.
I’m not sure that it’s the best best butter tart that I’ve ever had, but it’s right up there, that’s for sure.
Location: 6 Charles Street East, Toronto
I wrote about Nani’s Gelato a few times before this blog went on hiatus; back then they were operating out of a truck, and I mentioned that I think they might serve the best gelato in the city.
They upgraded to a permanent location near Yonge and Bloor last year, and there’s no longer any “might” about it. It’s easily the best gelato in the city.
The combo of delightfully unique flavours (they come up with a new assortment every couple of weeks) and top-notch quality ice cream is irresistible. On this particular visit I went with salted olive oil candied pecan and toasted coconut, and both flavours were perfectly creamy and intensely delicious. Some of the flavours here sound odd in theory, but always work — you never, ever get the sense that they’re odd just for novelty value. The flavour combos are as tasty as they are unique.
Location: 324 Frederick Street, Kitchener
Though I was really hoping to try the kouign-amann at Ambrosia Corner Bakery, it turns out I visited on the wrong day — they’re only served from Thursday to Saturday. My disappointment was short-lived, however. As soon as I saw their Pecan Cinnamon Sticky Buns, I knew that I needed to put one in my belly ASAP.
Step aside, kouign-amann; that sticky bun has an urgent appointment with my face.
Yes. It’s as good as it looks. It’s sticky, sweet, and incredible. It looks like it might be too sweet, but it’s actually remarkably well balanced. The caramel on top has a very rich, deep flavour, and the buttery, amazing pastry is substantial enough to hold up to the generous amount of sauce. That’s not to mention the underlying cinnamon flavour, which is delightful.
But then do I even need to be writing this? You have eyeballs. Again: it’s as good as it looks.
Location: 93a Ossington Avenue, Toronto
After the cubano disappointment at La Cubana, I wondered: would Bang Bang pull the same thing? It’s been several months since I’ve had their ice cream. Has it gone downhill, too?
Nope. It’s still easily the best ice cream in Toronto, and some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had.
Bang Bang tends to have at least one new flavour in their rotation, and this time it was the Bad Dad Joke, which they describe as having miso pecans and butterscotch.
It was so damn good.
As usual, the ice cream itself was absolutely superlative: rich, creamy, and amazing. The flavour was just as good, with the butterscotch and the toasty nuts being a perfect match. The flavour was a bit more complex than you’d expect — whether that’s the miso or something else, I have no idea, but it was ridiculously good regardless.
It also had these white chunks in there, and I have no idea what they were (meringue, possibly?) but they added a nice crispiness to the ice cream that worked quite well.