Jack's Bakery & Pastry
There is a lot going on in Jack's Bakery and Pastry: a bunch of guys are watching Portuguese news and eating cake with a guy in an apron, the radio is blaring some clubby top ten, a child is crying for some sweet bread... and the lottery counter appears to be quite popular.
I watch one man purchase "the winning ticket" and wave it in the faces of everyone at his table (all of whom are vaguely disinterested) and tuck it into his wallet with preemptive triumph... Jack's is open 24 hours, and has adopted a few quirks accordingly.
The coffee ($1.43) tastes a bit burnt. In retrospect, I should have had an espresso drink. Because when I got my bill, I noticed my was brew dubbed "Canadian" which usually translates as "not the thing to order." So Jack's is the kind of place that serves good espresso and burnt drip coffee... I notice too late that the regulars are drinking lattes.
I have no reason to believe that the lone bagel flavour (sesame $0.45) will be the best choice given that Jack's is primarily a Portuguese bakery and there's lots of fine looking breads, buns, baguettes. But my mind's been on bagels, and I want some. I take two and they're pretty good. Not really dense or chewy enough, but fresh with a nice toasted sesame taste; definitely a solid bagel for a one-bagel shop. And you can't beat the price.
The mini corn bread buns look hearty ($0.75). They go down tough, a bit on the hard side. But they have that good corn bread texture that leaves me satisfied after a couple, toasted with some cheese and pepper. (I also like the charming hand-written sign someone made for them.)
My best (and most obvious) purchase was the custard tart ($1.00). I've never had a bad custard tart from a Portuguese bakery and this one is no exception. But still, I enjoy it more than most because it comes in a mini size... like the corn bread. I like this trend.
The service was excellent - really pleasant. I like all the minis and I like the quirks here. If I lived closer (or had a car) I'd totally come to Jack's for some midnight bread, a latte and a lottery ticket... the winning ticket, like the one that guy purchased.
Photos by Alyssa Bistonath.