I flew to Toronto a few weeks ago for a conference with my Buddhist group. After the conference I stayed in the city for a short visit with my friend emily. It was my first time there since becoming celiac, so I was eager to try some of the city’s gluten-free offerings.
By a strange coincidence, I ended up eating a lot of vegan food. And of course, a lot of baked goods. Here are a few sh0ts I took and some descriptions. I was pretty lax about photos on this trip because I forgot my camera at home and was relying on the camera on my Blackberry – not the best.
Iced latte and gluten-free dacquoise at L’Espresso Bar Mercurio
The dacquoise felt like a real indulgence, and I ate it all up before I thought to snap a picture. It’s a small, round, layered pastry with thin discs of meringue and espresso cream, very elegant and delicious. The iced latte also hit the spot on that balmy day. I really liked the atmosphere of this place too. Kind of European, very bustling. They have a good selection of GF baked goods, including cookies and cheesecake. I took a few things for the road and the almond cookie was the best. They also offer gluten-free bread for all their sandwiches, so I’ll definitely keep it in mind when I’m back in the city.
Lunch at Rawlicious
No photos. I met my friend Michelle here at the location in Yorkville. It was my first time in a raw restaurant so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I left the meal quite impressed. I appreciated the fact that everything on the menu was gluten-free, and though some things sounded more appetizing than others, there was a lot of choice. I really enjoyed the sprouted buckwheat pizza with a salad. Compared to the many GF pizza crust I’ve tried, this raw one was delicious and had a good texture too. The roasted vegetables on top were also good, and I barely noticed that the “cheese” was actually made a of cashews. The side salad was large and fresh with a great ginger dressing. The whole meal was extremely filling and I felt very virtuous when I finished.
The restaurant is small and cozy and the service was friendly. It was the perfect spot for our lunch date.
Cappuccino at Crema Coffee Co.
emily took me here for a quick coffee. Am I ever glad she did. It was one of the best cappuccinos I’ve had. Ever. Smooth and full of so much flavour I didn’t even know coffee could have. The photo isn’t much, but it was damn good.
Macarons at Nadège
I made the trek up Yonge Street to visit the new location of a pastry shop called Nadège. Wherever I travel I know I can always eat macarons, those tiny sandwich cookies made of almonds and egg whites, and since they’re still a pretty huge trend in many cities it’s fun to find new places to get them. Nadège was number one on a “best macarons in toronto” list I found online, and emily confirmed that they are excellent.
I’m so glad I took the walk. The weather was beautiful and it’s always fun to wander in a city you don’t know. On my walk up Yonge I stumbled upon a beautiful little shop called The Drake Hotel General Store where I coveted virtually everything.
Nadège did not disappoint. It’s a small storefront with a long case full of minimalistic fresh displays and a few shelves of sweet wrapped confections for sale. I was especially impressed with the fantastically coloured basil-strawberry marshmallows (above photo). I chose a few macarons for myself and a small box of chocolates to take home to J. That’s the only unfortunate part about macarons – they’re usually so expensive that I can only afford to try a few. On the other hand, they’re so sweet that a few can easily sate me.
I tried the salted caramel (always a must-try for me), blackberry chocolate and pistachio and ate them next to a nearby fountain/pool.
The salted caramel was a definite standout. I am addicted to that flavour and it was done very well. The perfect balance of salty and sweet. The blackberry chocolate was just okay, since I got absolutely no blackberry flavour from the cookie part, merely a rich chocolate from the filling. The pistachio was good too, but neither of them caressed my taste buds like the salted caramel. I was pleased to realize that the macarons from Duchess Bakeshop in Edmonton are just as good as these.
That’s all for this time, Toronto. Thanks for all the fun.