The Great Toronto Ice Cream Sundae Challenge
With the warm weather finally here and the official start to summer imminent (June 21st!!), it is finally time to unpack the flip flops, lather on the sunscreen and start complaining about the heat. But really, it's not so much the heat as the humidity, right? And one surefire way to beat-the-humidity (doesn't quite have the same ring to it) is perhaps the holiest of all edibles: a badass ice cream sundae.
It's the saving grace of 35 plus degree weather, an excuse to sit down in front of a big bowl of velvety ice cream piled high with all sorts of sweet, rich, fruity toppings and dive in--guilt free. After all, you've earned it just for surviving these hot, humid, hazy days.
Our first entry into this summertime sundae challenge is a 30-year-old ice cream institution at Bathurst and St Clair. On any given evening you'll find line-ups in excess of 45 minutes outside Dutch Dreams at 78 Vaughan Road. 45 minutes--for ice cream! But good things come to those who wait and Dutch Dreams is worth it.
ICE CREAM - 4.5/5
With 36 flavours available at any time and upwards of 50 in rotation including frozen yogurt and sorbet, there will certainly be something here for everyone. It also doesn't hurt that the ice cream itself is top notch--smooth and creamy. The sundaes at Dutch Dreams are two scoops; I ordered mint chocolate chip and a new flavour of theirs--Spiderman. Spiderman is named as such because of its mix of blue and red colours. The flavour itself was good, if a little difficult to pinpoint. Kind of a rich, tangy blend of banana and vanilla I think. Both were excellent and very generous portions.
TOPPINGS - 4/5
Since having to choose between 36 flavours of ice cream and countless topping options is a shade of hell for an indecisive person like myself, I let them choose for me. What I received was something heavy on the fruit and light on chocolatey sweets, which worked for me. The ice cream is so rich already that the mixture of strawberries, blueberries, banana, pineapple, and both green and yellow kiwi helped freshen the dish up. Of course, it was then covered in a layer of whipped cream (awesome!), which I suppose negates the whole fruit thing, not that I was in the market for a "health conscious" sundae in the first place.
What's so great about Dutch Dreams (besides the ice cream of course) is the lack of pretension. This kitchy little patchwork piece of heaven makes sundaes to suit the taste buds first, they're over-the-top enormous and packed full with treats to pick out and nibble on. The sundae begins with an oversized martini glass, next is a house made waffle bowl placed inside and held in place with some sliced fruit. Add to that two giant scoops of ice cream, a heart attack's worth of whipped cream and even more fruit and you're golden. Of course, they do these creations custom, so if fudge sauce or caramel is your thing just say so.
VALUE - 4.5/5
Prices start at $6.75 for a plain two-scoop sundae and go up to $7.25 if you want to add a waffle bowl (you do). There's enough here to share easily, which makes this a pretty reasonable little treat. It's the perfect excuse for a little summertime bike ride.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS-- 4/5
The thing about an ice cream sundae is that's it's pretty darn difficult to mess it up too much. When the base of a dish is a couple of scoops of top quality ice cream, there's not really any real danger of things not working out. Especially when what is being added to that is whipped cream, fresh fruit and a sweet waffle bowl. Even still, Dutch Dreams sets the bar pretty high at the inaugural competitor. Oh, and while your there. You might want to take home a selection of their Dutch treats, salty licorice or Stroopwafels anyone?
TOTAL SCORE- 20.5/25 (82%)
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