Uncle Betty's ice cream sundae on a donut

The great Toronto Ice Cream Sundae Challenge: A sundae on a donut

The distance between Eglinton and Lawrence subway stations is about 2.5 kilometres, not an impossible distance to tackle by foot, but certainly an inconvenient one. Smack in the middle of these stations, 1.25km away from a train on either side, is Uncle Betty's diner. That's the bad news.

The good news is that the ice cream is excellent. Uncle Betty's is a 10 week-old baby serving up top quality casual diner food and premium ice cream sundaes. My server tells me the name comes from the owner's mother, a woman fierce enough to raise 15 children and stern enough that people called her uncle instead of aunt — not exactly what I associate with ice cream.

ICE CREAM: 5/5

There is a certain amount of obligation to give this ice cream a five, mostly because I already gave it a five. Uncle Betty's serves Greg's, so whether this is a five for the ice cream itself, or for Uncle Betty's decision to serve the stuff, either way--perfect score.

The first time I dined at Greg's, I sampled the toasted marshmallow and it blew my mind, so much so that I was tempted to order it again. I didn't' though, I got banana cream instead, and to be honest, it might even be better.

Yeah, I know. We're all unique snowflakes, apples to oranges, blah blah blah. Banana cream ice cream is very, very, good and I challenge anyone to say otherwise.

TOPPINGS: 5/5

I'm a big fan of this sundae for a few reasons; one being that — besides the ice cream — the star ingredient is a house made, fresh glazed donut. The old fashioned kind that's super sweet and cakey. Yeah, and the supporting roles are filled by whipped cream and chocolate sauce. So in the end, what you ultimately have is like an elegant ice cream sandwich you have to eat with a spoon.

PRESENTATION: 4/5

Ok, so far what we have is a big scoop of Greg's ice cream, sandwiched in a fresh made cakey glazed donut that is then topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. That's good enough to score some pretty high marks, but in addition to that it's also served on an honest to goodness, reusable plate. Like a nice one, that complements the dish rather than masks it — power-up.

VALUE: 4/5

For $5.00 you get a big scoop of top quality ice cream with the requisite fixin's as well as a fresh donut. The standard sundae (sans donut, but you get an extra scoop) runs $6.75. I'm comfortable with either.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: 4/5

This one stands out. The thing about ice cream sundaes is that, sure, the bar is set pretty high. It is ice cream, after all, but for the most part sundaes are way too similar, so even though they're generally mind-blowingly delicious, they're a little too like one another. I appreciate a little experimentation. I like to think it's just like what Uncle Betty used to make back in Italy, but I know that's wrong.

TOTAL SCORE: 22/25(88%)

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