A Decent Cheeseburger at Matty’s Patty’s

Matty's Patty's
Location
: 923a Queen Street West, Toronto
Website: https://www.mattyspattysburgerclub.com/

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first.  This place is called Matty’s Patty’s, but should clearly be called Matty’s Patties.  Apostrophes: they’re not that complicated!  Maybe spend the five minutes it would take to figure out how they work before you name your restaurant?

You might argue that the name is wrong on purpose because it looks better, since both words are so similar, to which I would reply that no, you need to get out of here with that.  That’s BS and we all know it.

You might also argue that no one cares, and that maybe I should be talking about the food, since that’s the point of this whole thing.  And yeah, that’s fair.

Matty's Patty's

The food is fine!  They have two main things on the menu: “Matty’s,” which is a hefty seven ounce burger that comes with mustard sauce, pickles, and onion.  I tried this about a year ago, when this blog was on hiatus, and enjoyed it.

The other thing on the menu is “Patty’s,” which is a more traditional griddle-smashed cheeseburger that you can get as a single, a double, or a triple (a vegetarian version made with Impossible Meat is also an option).  This one comes topped with either Matty’s Patty’s sauce, pickled jalapeno mayo, or spicy ketchup sauce.  I went with the single and had it topped with pickled jalapeno mayo.

Matty's Patty's

It’s pretty decent.  Nothing about it blew me away, but the patty has a very mild beefy flavour and a nice texture thanks to the course grind.  It could stand to be beefier and juicier, but you could absolutely do worse.

The pickled jalapeno mayo mostly just tasted like a slightly zingier version of regular mayo, which is too bad because the burger really needed something a bit more acidic to cut through the richness of the gooey cheese and the patty.

The bun was probably the highlight, oddly enough.  It was super soft, squishy, and fresh, with just the right amount of heft to stand up to the patty.  It kinda reminded me of the potato rolls that have become so popular in the GTA, but better.

Amazing Gelato at Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe
Location
: 29 McCaul Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.instagram.com/mizzicagelato/

The first thing you see before you enter the door at Mizzica is a big banner with the various awards they won at the Gelato Festival World Masters, which certainly seems like a promising sign.

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

And then you try the actual gelato, and it’s pretty clear why they won those awards — holy moly it’s good, please give them all the awards.

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

They have a bunch of delicious looking flavours, but I went with the Cassata Siciliana, which is based on an Italian dessert of the same name (which is basically a boozy cake filled with candied fruit and creamy ricotta).

Mizzica Gelateria & Cafe

It’s so good.  It’s filled with chunks of cake, dark chocolate, candied fruit, and sweet ricotta, and everything about it is crazy delicious.  The balance of all the ingredients is just right, and the gelato itself is super smooth, rich, and creamy.  I was wondering if they could keep up that stratospheric level of quality; I’ve been back a few times since this particular visit, and yeah, this place is the real deal.  It’s some of the best gelato in the city.

Top Notch Pizza at North of Brooklyn

North of Brooklyn
Location
: 229 Geary Avenue, Toronto
Website: https://www.northofbrooklyn.com/

Though I’m all about the simple joys of a margherita pizza, occasionally, a more interesting assortment of toppings can be just what the doctor ordered.  Case in point: the Green Out pizza at North of Brooklyn, which comes topped with “Mozzarella, Spring Cream, Spinach, Semi-Dried Tomatoes, Salsa Verde, Pecorino.”  It’s about as far from the simplicity of a margherita pizza that you can get, but it’s so, so good.

North of Brooklyn

“Green” is right there in the name, and yeah, the abundant spinach and herby spring cream (which is basically cream with herbs mixed in) definitely gives the pizza a verdant glow.  It looks like it might be overwhelming, but it’s just right — the tender spinach balances so well with all the other ingredients.

North of Brooklyn

The hearty spinach, the pops of sweetness from the tomatoes, the zinginess from the salsa verde, the gooiness of the mozzarella, and the saltiness of the pecorino is just a perfect storm of deliciousness.  It’s surprisingly great.

North of Brooklyn

But a pizza lives and dies by its crust, and that’s where this thing really shines.  It’s super thin and crispy, but not even remotely crackery — it’s got a great balance of chewiness and crispiness, with a surprising amount of substance given how thin it is, and a great flavour.  It helps that it’s perfectly cooked, with a nice even char that never overwhelms.  The toppings are all extremely tasty, but it’s the superlative crust that really puts this in the pizza stratosphere.

Quick Bites: King’s Tacos, Bakerbots Baking, Hanyang Jokbal

King's Tacos
Tacos at King’s Tacos

The most interesting thing about the tacos at Kings Tacos might just be the way they serve them — an order comes with a very generous platter of meat (in this case the King’s Special, which comes with pork, beef, chorizo, onion, bacon, and cheese) and tortillas on the side, and you build it yourself.  It’s interesting, and it’s a great value, because that pile of meat is not kidding around.  That’s not to mention the very generous bowl of free (and tasty!) tortilla chips and sauces that comes with the meal.  It’s not just a good value, however: it’s quite tasty, too.

Bakerbots
Cinnamon Bun at Bakerbots Baking

I’ve heard the cinnamon bun at Bakerbots referred to as one of the best in the city, and yeah, that sounds about right.  It’s absolutely fantastic, with a slightly crispy exterior and a gooey (but not overly gooey and sweet, like a Cinnabon) interior.  The pastry itself is top-notch, with a nice chewy texture and a flavour that ensures that the cinnamon bun isn’t just one-note sweet.  Is it the best in the city?  It could be!

Hanyang Jokbal
Jokbal at Hanyang Jokbal

I mean, look at that glorious pile of pork.  Do you even need me to say anything?  Jokbal is a Korean dish featuring braised pig trotters; I tried the half and half, which is half jokbal and half bossam (pork belly, if I recall correctly).  You eat it wrapped in lettuce with some of the tasty sides and condiments on the table, and yeah.  It’s delicious.  Again: look at it.

Outstanding Pastries at Barbershop Patisserie

Barbershop Patisserie
Location
: 859 College Street, Toronto
Website: https://barbershoppatisserie.square.site/

I’m sorry to have to inform you, but this is one of those “stop whatever you’re doing right now and visit this bakery” moments, so whatever you’re doing right now — even if it’s important — stop it immediately.  Get in your car, or get on public transit, and head over to Barbershop Patisserie.  It’s the real deal.

Barbershop Patisserie

I’ve been there a few times now, and everything is fantastic.  Apparently their most popular pastry is the lemon bichon, which is kind of like a kouign-amann — it features a flaky, croissant-like laminated pastry and an exterior layer of crispy sugar, which has a deep, dark caramelized flavour.  But it’s also filled with a generous amount of creamy, tart lemon curd, which contrasts perfectly with the sweet exterior.  It’s not the most photogenic dessert ever, but man it’s amazing.  It’s probably one of the best pastries I’ve ever had.

Barbershop Patisserie

The chocolate chip cookie isn’t quite as mind-blowing as the lemon bichon (what is?), but it’s a top-notch cookie, with a great contrast between its crispy exterior and chewy interior, and a very generous amount of above average chocolate.  The light sprinkling of salt on top helps to balance things out.

Barbershop Patisserie

I also tried the wild blueberry custard tart, and hey, guess what?  It’s delicious.  It features a great balance between the creamy custard and the sweet blueberries, and of course that buttery pastry is outstanding.

Barbershop Patisserie

But why are you still reading this?  You should be on your way already.