To me, the name Golden Wheat is evocative of home made, salt of the earth, old world goodness. On a really sunny spring day, my roommate Alyssa and I are sauntering through Little Italy, full of belly-filling pizza but still feeling a craving for dessert. Recalling a vague memory of excellent grilled cheese from Golden Wheat (the bread was extra rich, somehow), we decided to pop inside, hoping the coffee and sweets were equally good.
On this particular day, light was pouring through the windows and over everything, especially the metal chairs (which got really hot) and the pastries, which made them look very... yellow and earthy, warm and delicious. They had a huge shelf of crusty looking loaves and baguettes, those Easter breads with an egg baked inside and, curiously, a few loaves of Wonderbread.
"Mmm their bread is so good," Alyssa says to herself, but orders a slice of pudding instead ($3.00). It comes to our table thinly drizzled with caramel. It is cold and milky and comes apart in clean, smooth pieces with the slightest skin.
I'm enticed by many things. There are tons of gigantic flake pastries filled with cream and custard, huge Danishes and thick, bready slices of cake. I eye the rum balls. I'm not even sure that I'm in the mood for a rum ball but I can never help myself once I see one. So I get one of those ($1.25). There is also a jar of little tarts, labeled simply, "miniatures" in interesting flavours like "orange" and "beer". I choose a beer-flavoured tart ($1.25). It has the consistency of a macaroon with a moist sweetness concentrated in a dense, sugary base. The upper crust is flaky and slight. I can't taste the beer, but that's okay, it's delicious.
We both get a coffee and they come miniature as well, a good three or four sips. I'm not too happy about it because they're regularly priced ($1.29) and not particularly strong. But since they're accompanying some excellent baked goods, I can let it go. Next time I'll get an espresso.
Photos by Alyssa Bistonath.