Location: 655 College Street, Toronto
Bonne Nouvelle is a delightful French/Korean patisserie with a whole bunch of seriously tasty looking treats. Though they have a tempting assortment of cakes and croissants, I just wanted something small to try, so I went with the strawberry rhubarb madeleine.
I regretted it as soon as I took a bite and realized how delicious it was. Another visit to better sample their wares is definitely in order.
With its tasty glaze and injection of strawberry rhubarb filling, it’s pretty far from a standard madeleine, but it’s so good. The cake itself is seriously tasty, and the tartness of the filling does an amazing job of offsetting the pastry’s sweetness. It might be the best madeleine I’ve ever had?
Location: 256 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
I tried Otto’s Berlin Doner around when it first opened and quite enjoyed it; I’m happy to report that not only has the place not missed a step, I think they’ve actually gotten better. I just had the veal and lamb doner, and I was pretty blown away by how good it was.
Every element works so well — it’s got that great bread, which is delightfully crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, and it’s got the perfect balance between tasty meat and fresh veggies, with the sauces all complementing it so well.
You can choose between garlic, yogurt, and hot sauce — or you can do what I did and get all three, which is definitely what you should do because it’s a very tasty combo (the hot sauce isn’t hot at all, but it’s hard to complain when it’s all this tasty).
But it’s the veal and lamb that really makes the sandwich sing. It’s super tender, with a great meaty flavour from the lamb and a punch of rosemary-tinged herbiness. And it’s absolutely crammed with the crispy bits that make a sandwich like this so addictive.
I mean, look at this picture. Look at the crispy bits. That’s a thing of beauty.
You can also add feta cheese and/or fries to your sandwich for a buck a piece, and again, you should definitely do that. The fries add more delightful savoury crispiness, and the feta brings creamy pops of saltiness that really rounds out the sandwich.
Location: 596 College Street, Toronto
I noticed after the fact that Tondou Ramen bills itself as “the one and only Okinawan restaurant in Toronto.” That being the case, I probably should have ordered the Okinawa soba instead of the shio ramen. Oh well.
Still, the shio ramen was mostly quite tasty, with a fairly large caveat that, to be fair, mostly applies to me and weirdos like me. Specifically: people who hate raw onion.
I’m a card-carrying raw onion hater, so you can take all of my opinions on the matter with a grain of salt, but the ramen here was a bit much. It’s topped with the usual green onion (which I’m normally okay with) along with a generous amount of sliced white onions, and it’s onion overload.
The problem is that the soup itself, which the menu describes as a “light chicken broth,” has such a subtle flavour that it can’t help but be overwhelmed by the raw onion assault. It’s all you can taste. It completely overpowers the delicate broth.
Still, everything else about the bowl was quite good, particularly the perfectly chewy fresh noodles.
I also tried the takoyaki (A.K.A. octopus balls), which was very good; oddly, the balls are deep fried (is that an Okinawan thing?), which gives them a delightfully crisp exterior.
Location: 14B Brookers Lane, Etobicoke
I’ve been back to Lola’s a couple of times since my first visit in 2018, and I think they’re just getting better and better.
On my first visit I found the gelato to be above average, but nothing that’s worth getting too excited about. Now, on the other hand, I think maybe you should be getting a little bit excited. It’s very, very good.
I had Peach Blueberry Sundae, which features a really delightful combo of fresh peach and blueberry flavours. It hadn’t even occurred to me that those two fruits would work so well together, but clearly they do because the flavour is delicious.
And the texture is just right, with a really satisfying level of creaminess and absolutely none of the iciness that you sometimes get in fruity ice creams. It’s top notch.
Location: 2853 Dundas Street West, Toronto
I’ve written about Chica’s Chicken many, many times on this blog. I’ve mentioned that I think they serve the best fried chicken in the city, and that’s still probably true — even if I wasn’t crazy about this particular sandwich.
The Jalapeno Popper Sando, as per their menu: “boneless fried chicken topped with chipotle aioli and pickled jalapeños, served on a toasted brioche bun.”
The fried chicken is as delicious as ever; it’s the perfect combo of crispy (but not overbearing) exterior and juicy interior. It’s so damn good.
I’m not quite as sold on the rest of the sandwich, however. It’s that chipotle aioli. It’s sweet. I like the sweet/salty combo as much as the next guy, but holy moly the level of intense sugariness here is a bit intense. It overpowers the other flavours of the sandwich. I find the Sweet Heat sandwich at Chica’s to be a bit on the sweet side, and this one is even sweeter, somehow. Between the sweet sauce and the sweet brioche bun, the flavour is extremely one note.
It also tastes absolutely nothing like a jalapeno popper, which is odd. The whole point of a jalepeno popper is the contrast between the tangy cream cheese and the spicy bite of the jalapeno, and I don’t think there was any cream cheese here?? Or if there was, I couldn’t taste it over the aggressive sweetness.
Also, I don’t think I’ve ever had a jalapeno popper that was even remotely sweet. Am I the weird one, or is Chica’s?
Oh well. Everything else on the menu is so good that I don’t particularly care, but this is still an odd misstep from an otherwise great restaurant.