After exploring her creative side by learning to decorate cakes for her parents' vow renewal, Patricia Drewnowska left a lucrative career in banking to pursue her passion for pastries. Drewnowska honed her craft under the tutelage of Food Network chefs and the finest cake-wizard schools in North America, eventually founding a custom-cake bakery that has earned praise from "Wedding Bells," "ET Canada," and the Globe and Mail. In the kitchen, Patricia and her brother, Konrad––a classically trained french-pastry chef––will into existence elegant multi-tier wedding cakes, colorful desserts for kids' birthdays and baby showers, and rich, homemade macaroons and cookies. Visitors to the cafe swoon over the scent of freshly made pastries, before devouring cupcakes in flavours such as madagascar vanilla, red velvet, and black currant, each iced with layers of chocolate ganache or buttercream.
The team of grilling maestros at Lick’s Homeburgers & Ice Cream bring a menu of burgers, wraps, and diner fare to life with quality ingredients, such as lean ground steak and fresh vegetables delivered daily. The Lick's homeburger ($4.99) is a savoury patty made from steam pasteurized Canadian beef, that can be topped with mango chutney or zucchini relish before it chugs toward expectant mouths atop a fresh-toasted bun. Lick’s soy-based vegan Nature burgers ($5.49) sate palates with their hefty quarter-pound composition virtually devoid of cholesterol. A Chick’n Lick’n wrap ($6.99) snuggles barbecue chicken breast and melty cheese into a soft tortilla, and trans-fat-free regular fries ($2.89) cooked in 100 per cent canola oil before dutifully accompanying main dishes on the harrowing voyage from kitchen to human stomach to whale stomach.
The macaron display case at Ruelo Patisserie is an edible rainbow of tiny, round sandwich cookies. Each flavour is lined up in neat rows, waiting to be savoured with a cup of afternoon tea or alongside another treat from the café. These little sandwich cookies are even known to make an appearance in the shop's extravagant cakes. The cakes are made with classic French cooking methods and the bakers use only natural ingredients every step of the way.
When coming up with a recipe for The Mad Italian’s gelato, the owner enlisted the help of a Italian family who had been using the same recipe for generations. A selection of more than 50 flavours includes milk-based varieties, such as dulce de leche and pumpkin pie, and an additional reserve of water-based flavours takes on fruitier variations, including blood orange and blueberry basil. In addition to scooping authentic gelato, the staff brews Caffè Haiti espresso, a 100% arabica blend imported directly from Rome.
Owner Eli Turkienicz wondered what he could add to the menu to combat the wintertime slump of gelato sales and frozen tongue syndrome. In true gelateria form, the answer came in a cone: Zazzu hot pizza cones. The savoury treats portably encase toppings such as meatballs and mozzarella or turkey and basil pesto. The cooks also whip up a menu of salads and paninis.
What began as a single store with a single recipe in 1983 has since expanded to coat tongues across Canada with its handcrafted, always-fresh repertoire of premium ice cream. The aroma of freshly baked waffle cones roams freely throughout each Marble Slab Creamery location, luring customers counterside to watch staff members blend nuts, fruits, and candies into a variety of ice cream flavours atop a frozen slab. Ultra-fresh ingredients, including dairy products from local farms, vanilla from Madagascar, and fine European chocolates with up-to-date passports join forces to infuse each bite with an extra punch of sweetness. In addition to standard cones, Marble Slab Creamery's daily-made ice cream can also be savoured in the form of ice cream cakes, milkshakes, and floats, and low-fat yogourts offer a lighter, equally delicious alternative.