December 7, 2011

Quick Trip to Toronto

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.

No comments: