TIFF-Inspired Ice Cream at Sweet Jesus

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

After essentially accusing Sweet Jesus of being empty Instagram-bait, I recently came to the realization that it’s probably a bit better than I’ve been giving it credit for.  Yes, a heavy emphasis is placed on making their creations as visually pleasing as possible, but the soft serve is nice and creamy, and the flavours are usually satisfying.

That being said?  Their new limited edition TIFF-inspired creation, the Marie Antoinette, is empty Instagram-bait.

It’s a collaboration with Nadege, and it features vanilla soft serve, maple sauce, macaron crumbs, mini macarons, and a full-sized macaron on top.

The full macaron is actually the best thing about it. It has a nice, lightly crispy texture, a very subtle chewiness, and a pleasant vanilla bean flavour that isn’t too sweet. It’s a quality macaron.

Otherwise, the rest basically just tastes like plain vanilla ice cream.  The mini macarons are one-note crunchy and don’t really taste like anything, the maple sauce features shockingly little maple syrup flavour (I never would have guessed it was supposed to be maple if I hadn’t known), and the macaron crumbs just add a grainy texture.

The vanilla ice cream is tasty enough, so I certainly didn’t dislike eating it, but there isn’t a whole lot there.

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.

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.