Adventures in Sweets

This summer, I had quite a few adventures in the quest for good food. In the area of sweets, some of the more memorable are:

Saffron Passionfruit White Chocolate Ice Cream at Xococava
(St. Clair area in Toronto)

the saffron passionfruit white chocolate ice cream from xococ... on Twitpic

The smoothness and “round” texture and taste of the passionfruit really gave it a fresh feel to it and would easily be my favourite ice cream here (maybe on par with Berthillon in Paris)

Earl Grey cake at La Bambouche in Toronto

At $4.75 a slice, it seems a little pricey, but the smooth texture, great tea taste, and it being not too sweet just hits the spot. This cake, along with the green tea cake at Yogi Berry (on Yonge Street in North York) are my two choices.

Bread and Bretzel

Upon stumbling on a local food blogger, Congee, You’re My Baby‘s post about the availability of fresh egg tarts from a local bakery, I’ve been visiting Bread and Bretzel to sample an assortment of Chinese baked goods. Part of the mystery of this bakery is that they have a German facade and you really have to ask them what they have in terms of the Chinese buns and no-fixed prices. The first time, I received 6 coconut buns for $2. Upon inquiring about egg tarts, they suggested I call in, so they baked me a fresh dozen for $5 (at which point, the older lady seemed to disapprove the price he charged me). This time, I got 6 red bean buns for $5. When remarking that he charged me $2 last time, the answer was that because they were end-of-day bread (which seemed reasonable since I just showed up and asked what they had left). It’s too bad that only the coconut buns are half decent; the egg tarts uses typical tart shells (not egg tart pastry shells) and the red bean buns lack filling and are slightly too sweet. Perhaps I should visit St. Jacob’s market just to see what they sell there (and to get a better feel for the actual prices).

Cold Stone Creamery

Elena’s recent post prompted me to share about my unintended visit to Tim Horton’s in Cambridge. Every time I visit this Tim Hortons, it’s because I’m early for an appointment in the plaza behind it. This time, I noticed that it had a Cold Stone Creamery inside! Not only does this Tim Hortons have a Cold Stone Creamery, it serves CHEDDAR cheese bagels! Ever since noticing that Timmy’s don’t carry the sun-dried tomato bagels anymore, I have had yet to find a better alternative, until this visit to Tim Hortons.

And because I had time to linger, I decided to ask about the prices of the ice cream, since I could not see the prices posted anywhere! The first lady I asked didn’t know, so she had to ring one up to find out. But that seemed a hassle, so I got up and asked the manager for the prices, but the answer was more along the lines of “it depends” (on what you get).

So, I sat down and started working, reviewing a coworker’s wireframes, and the manager wanders over and asks if he answered my questions sufficiently. He had noticed that I was writing notes and wonders if I was a mystery shopper! I wasn’t, but I sure wanted to chat more about the ice cream – turns out, the prices don’t show on the LCD menus until after breakfast (who would want ice cream for breakfast? :P), that each additional topping costs about $0.75 if you don’t go for a signature feature, and that his personal choice (even before thinking of adding Cold Stone Creamery into his Tim Hortons) for quality is that Cold Stone Creamery seems to be better than Marble Slab (Elena’s post seems to confirm that as well). He also told me where there was one in Kitchener, and printed out a sample receipt for me to compare it to Marble Slab prices (not with the coupons though!). I didn’t buy any, nor did he offer me a sample to try that day, but now at least I know that Cold Stone offers a birthday club so I will try it then!

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