White Lily Diner Makes a Mean Meatloaf Sandwich

White Lily DinerLocation: 678 Queen Street East, Toronto
Website: http://whitelilydiner.ca/

At this point, I’ve eaten several of the sandwiches from Toronto Life’s list of the best in the city.  That’s a solid list.  And the meatloaf sandwich from White Lily Diner (Toronto Life’s 12th best sandwich) is absolutely outstanding.

White Lily Diner

The sandwich features a thick slice of meatloaf, mayo, a sweet tomato sauce, and pickles.  An egg is an optional surcharge, but of course you need to get the egg.  Every sandwich is improved by the addition of a fried egg with a gooey yolk.  That’s just science.

Oh, and did I mention that it also comes with a bowl of gravy on the side for dipping?  Because it does, and it’s glorious.

White Lily Diner

It’s an incredibly rich sandwich — there’s the butter-laden toast (which they make in house, and which is amazing), the weighty slice of meatloaf, the fried egg, and of course, the gravy.  That sandwich doesn’t take any prisoners.  It’s not kidding around.

It’s also delicious.  The meatloaf is perfectly spiced while still retaining a nice beefy flavour.  It has a great texture, not to mention a nice crispy exterior from the griddle.  The rich gravy only amps up the beefy flavour.

White Lily Diner

But it’s perfectly balanced; the pickles and the sweet tomato sauce ensure that it never feels one-note rich.

It comes with a salad on the side (and trust me, you don’t need anything heavier than that to accompany this sandwich) which is dressed with a simple vinaigrette; it works as a nice counterpoint to the very rich sandwich.

Delicious Doughnuts at Glory Hole Doughnuts

Glory Hole DonutsLocation: 1596 Queen Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.gloryholedoughnuts.com/

I checked out Glory Hole Doughnuts when it opened and was thoroughly unimpressed.  That was a few years ago, and in the meanwhile it’s been piling up accolade after accolade.  Another visit was in order.

Glory Hole Donuts

Yeah, everyone is right about this place: it’s great.

I had the bread and butter doughnut, which is a classic raised doughnut topped with brown butter icing, toasted breadcrumbs, and cinnamon.

Glory Hole Donuts

The doughnut itself was perfect; just the right amount of fluffiness and chewiness, with a really nice flavour and no oiliness (this was an issue on my first visit, but not even a little bit this time).

Glory Hole Donuts

The icing was creamy, slightly nutty from the brown butter, and perfectly sweet.  The breadcrumbs add some crunch and a mild toasty flavour.  The sweet cinnamon-infused flavour, the creamy icing, and the crispy breadcrumbs are an irresistible combo.  It’s an amazing doughnut.

A Decent Sandwich at Gold Standard

Gold StandardLocation: 1574 Queen Street West, Toronto
Website: http://breakfastsandwich.ca/

There’s basically nowhere to go but down from Gold Standard’s breakfast sandwich.  It’s bordering on sandwich perfection.

I just tried the Sabich from Gold Standard’s new location on Queen, and yep: it’s not as good as the breakfast sandwich.  It’s not even close.

Gold Standard

The sabich, per their menu: “egg salad, fried eggplant, cucumber, pickles, parsley.”

It’s fine.  It’s decent enough, but the breakfast sandwich is clearly the thing to order here.

Gold Standard

There’s certainly nothing wrong with it; the egg salad is nice and creamy, as is the meaty eggplant.  The cucumber adds a bit of crunch, though some additional texture would be nice.

The biggest problem is that all of the components are basically on the same wavelength; the flavour is one-note.  It’s boring.  It needs some acidity to round things out.  The pickled onions add a slight vinegary bite, but there isn’t enough of them to make much of an impact.

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.

Passable Noodle Soup at Pho Vistro

Pho VistroLocation: 259 Queen Street West, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.phovistro.com/

The pho at Pho Vistro was fine.  There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it, and I didn’t dislike eating it.

But it made no real impression on me; my biggest takeaway is that it was food and I ate it.  It wasn’t memorable in any particular way.

Pho Vistro

They have a few different varieties of pho on the menu; I ordered the restaurant’s namesake dish, which features beef and chicken.

The broth had a nice, clean chicken flavour, but almost none of the distinctive spicing you expect from a good bowl of pho.  They have a couple of bottles of sauce on the table that add a nice dose of spice and zestiness; these are absolutely essential.  On its own, the soup is seriously bland.

Pho Vistro

The slices of chicken and beef are okay, but they all had a vaguely leftovery flavour, and they’re all a bit tough.

The broad rice noodles are what you’d expect. They’re good.

Pho Vistro

It all adds up to a very inoffensive meal that I can’t imagine anyone getting too excited over.