Mediocre Ice Cream at Emmy’s Ice Cream

Emmy's Ice CreamLocation: 426 St. Clarens Avenue, Toronto
Websitehttp://emmys-ice-cream.business.site/

I love ice cream (and I mean, who doesn’t?).  I’m always on the lookout for the next great scoop.

I’m not going to bury the lede — Emmy’s does not serve the next great scoop.

It’s fine.  There wasn’t anything glaringly wrong with it.  But the quality is more in line with something you might get from the supermarket with the words “Nestle” or “President’s Choice” on the label.

Emmy's Ice Cream

It’s in a bit of an odd location; it’s basically part of a coffee shop (they have their own sign and door, but once you’re inside, it’s all one store).

They don’t make their own ice cream.  They source it from Dutch Dreams.  I have a vague recollection of going to Dutch Dreams well over a decade ago and not being impressed, but I was hoping that they had improved in the interim.

Alas.  I had the “Life on St. Clarens,” which is vanilla ice cream with a peanut butter swirl, along with brownie chunks and cookie dough.

Emmy's Ice Cream

Nothing about it particularly stood out.  Though the ice cream was somewhat rich, the flavour was just generic sweetness.  The same lack of flavour extended to the chunks — the brownie was just chewy and sweet, and the cookie dough was crumbly and sweet.  Nothing makes an impact.

Given the fairly unambitious array of flavours they have on offer, I suspect that they’re trying to be more of a stop for local kids than somewhere you might go out of your way for.  Which is fine.  But… don’t go out of your way for it.

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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.

Frozen Custard at Anderson’s in Buffalo

Anderson's Frozen CustardLocation: 6075 Main Street, Buffalo, NY
Websitehttps://andersonscustard.com/

Here’s a question: why isn’t frozen custard a thing in Toronto?  It’s so good, and its absence makes me simultaneously sad and infuriated, because why?  It makes no sense!

For the uninitiated, frozen custard is basically like ice cream but better.  It’s made with egg yolks along with the traditional ice cream ingredients, which gives the final product a richer, more velvety texture and an irresistibly custardy flavour.

Anderson's Frozen Custard

There used to be a frozen custard joint in the city called Jedd’s, but aside from the fact that it was never very good, it closed down.  Recently, a place called Rita’s opened near Kensington Market, but based on one sampling (which was right when it opened, so I should probably give them another shot), it just tasted like regular soft serve.

So — for now, at least — all frozen custard cravings need to be satisfied via a road trip to Buffalo.  Though the frozen custard at Anderson’s isn’t exactly the best I’ve ever had, it’s rich and creamy, and it has a really nice custard flavour.  It’ll do.