Phipps Bakery Cafe
Some mornings, a person just needs a muffin. And Phipps Bakery happens to make the best cornmeal muffins I've ever found - plus, Phipps is a satisfying holdout against the coffee chains that line Eglinton en route to Yonge.
Phipps has scones, cakes and all manner of danish-like treats (there's also a great lunch buffet, if you're planning to eat between 11:30am and 3pm). For people who like to bake, there's a whole selection of cookie dough for sale in the open freezer near the cash. But for my money, no one can beat Phipps' cornmeal muffins for breakfast - I wish they sold those in freezer bags.
On Friday, I decided I'd finally tackle the pile of bills and mail that I'd been avoiding for three weeks; I knew I'd need cheering up, so I dragged all my envelopes down to Phipps. I lingered for a while at the counter, drooling (discretely) at the cakes, before finally ordering a giant cinnamon-raisin rugelach, along with my standard cornmeal muffin.
With my muffin, and my extra rugelach, I considered sitting on the sunny patio, but the traffic on Eglinton was getting me down, so I stayed inside and sorted through my mail...mostly bills, with a magazine I didn't know I subscribed to thrown in for good measure.
Whenever a bill made me grouchy, the cinnamon raisin rugelach restored my faith in humanity. Which is a lot to ask of a common pastry, especially when rugelach are often dry and depressing.
But this one...ahhh....sticky and chewy and flaky, all at once, as rugelach is meant to be. So fine that I nearly bought another on my way out.