Old School Gelato at La Paloma

La PalomaLocation: 1357 St Clair Avenue West, Toronto
Website: http://lapaloma.ca/

La Paloma has been around since 1967, so it’s pretty much the OG gelateria in the GTA.  You can’t argue with that type of history; they’re obviously doing something right (though I recently panned Johnny’s Hamburgers, which has also been around since 1967, so I guess you can argue with that type of history).

Anyway, it’s good.  It might not be the best gelato in the city, but it’s definitely not the Johnny’s of ice cream.

La Paloma

On my most recent visit I had the Sicilian pistachio.  It tasted like they were using pistachio flavouring or even other nuts in there (something about the flavour was a bit off), and it was a bit too sweet, but it’s still quite satisfying.

It helps that the texture is great, with a nice creamy richness.  It’s definitely above average.

A Couple More Delicious Flavours at Nani’s Gelato

Nani's GelatoLocation: It’s a truck; check Instagram to see where they’re parked
Websitehttps://www.nanisgelato.com

Did I go right back to Nani’s Gelato after trying it for the first time the other day?  Why yes, yes I did.  What can I say; it’s really good.

This time I was able to try two flavours — pistachio, and tahini and black sesame.  Both were absolutely outstanding.

Nani's Gelato

Pistachio is a classic gelato flavour, and Nani’s knocks it out of the park.  It has a vibrant pistachio flavour that, unlike so many other places, actually tastes like real pistachio — not pistachio flavouring.

The tahini and black sesame is just as good, with a toasty, intense tahini flavour, and a restrained amount of sweetness that lets the nutty sesame flavour shine through.

I really hope this place opens a permanent location soon, because I think it’s easily a contender for the best gelato in the city.

More Dipped Cones at Les Epicuriens

Les EpicuriensLocation: 2109 Yonge Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.facebook.com/indulgeyourtastebuds/

Hey, it’s yet another place doing dipped cones.  Hooray?

Look, I can’t say no to ice cream, but as I mentioned in my review of Chocolats Favoris last year, we’ve got a lot of places that serve dipped cones in Toronto.  It’s a crowded field.

Les Epicuriens

So does Les Epicuriens stand out?  I dunno, not really?  I mean, they have a lot of dip options (a dozen when I visited), but then most of these places have a lot of dip options.  They also have a handful of toppings (various nuts, candy pieces, etc.), but that’s also par for the course.

I went with the “special vanilla” ice cream (vegan chocolate is also an option) with a pistachio dip.

Les Epicuriens

The ice cream is really good.  It’s very rich and creamy with a nice, clean flavour.  I’d say it’s about on par with Tom’s.

The dip was fine, though it was aggressively sweet and had only a mild pistachio flavour.  It basically tasted like white chocolate with a vague whiff of nuttiness.  I’d probably try a different dip next time, or just get the ice cream on its own.

More Tasty Ice Cream at Nadege

NadegeLocation780 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.nadege-patisserie.com/

The last time I tried the ice cream at Nadege, I found it to be quite tasty, but not quite on par with the best ice cream in the city, like Bang Bang or Greg’s.

On a recent visit, I tried the Baked Caramel Crunch, with features vanilla ice cream swirled with caramel sauce and chocolate chip cookie dough (the menu just says chocolate chip cookies, but the chunks were chewy and tasted like cookie dough to me).  I normally go with a cup over a cone, but having heard so many good things about the cone, I figured I needed to try it.

The cone is as advertised.  It’s amazing.  It’s crispy but not overly crunchy, with a rich buttery flavour.  It’s easily one of the better cones I’ve ever had.

Nadege

The ice cream is as I remembered.  They’re incredibly generous with the sauce and the chunks.  That sounds good, right?  And it is, but there’s a limit.  It’s like that episode of the Twilight Zone where the guy in the afterlife has everything go his way until he finally realizes that he’s actually in hell, not heaven.

The scoop was so saucy and chunky that I could barely even taste the ice cream.  It was overkill.  From what I could taste of the vanilla, it seemed like it was above average, but I honestly couldn’t particularly tell.  It was basically like eating a tub of caramel sauce with cookie dough mixed in.

Nadege

I had better luck on another recent visit with the strawberry pistachio.  This one features pistachio ice cream with a light and frothy strawberry sauce mixed in.  Strawberry and pistachio sounds like an odd combo, but it works; the sweet fruitiness of the sauce compliments the rich, nutty ice cream very well.

And since there weren’t any chunks, I was able to taste the ice cream itself, which is quite good.  I really wish they wouldn’t work so hard to obscure it.

Tasty Cookies at Cookie Scoop

Cookie ScoopLocation: 1115 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto
Websitehttps://cookiescoop.ca/

I recently mentioned that there aren’t nearly enough cookie shops in the city.  I mean, you can never have enough cookies, but the handful of shops we have in the GTA definitely isn’t enough.

Well, here’s one more, though the location is in an industrial area that’s a bit out of the way (they offer delivery on their website, and I suspect that’s where they do most of their business).

Cookie Scoop

It’s a tiny shop, but they offer a dizzying array of cookies; I decided to get six, and it was exceptionally difficult to pick from the many, many delicious looking choices.

I ultimately went with pistachio milk chocolate, peanut butter Nutella, Mars Bar cookie, Italian milk chocolate gianduja, hazelnut praline (Ferrero Rocher), and milk chocolate brownie.  All the flavours looked so good, though.  I wanted all of them, but that wouldn’t have ended well for anybody.

Cookie Scoop

 

They’re solid cookies, but they have a cakey texture that you only get from cookies that have been engineered to be perpetually chewy.  I’m guessing this is due to their delivery-heavy business, which means the cookies probably won’t be consumed until a day or two after they’re baked, if not longer.

Cookie Scoop

Don’t get me wrong — they’re quite tasty, but I prefer the classic dense and buttery cookies that they serve at a place like Craig’s.  There’s nothing wrong with the cakier variety they serve here, but the crispy/chewy texture of a more traditional chocolate chip cookie can’t be beat.

Cookie Scoop

Still, the flavours were all top notch (I particularly enjoyed the peanut butter Nutella), and despite my minor quibbles with the texture, they’re tasty cookies.