The great Toronto Ice Cream Sundae Challenge: Burnt marshmallow espresso and caramel
A torrential downpour isn't normally the thing to get one in the mood for ice cream, or at least you wouldn't think it would be. But after a hefty walloping from Mother Nature yesterday, I headed to Leslieville to pay a visit to Ed's Real Scoop.
A post downpour bike ride is — for my money — among the best one's to be had. There is a calm in the air that makes a slow cruise incredibly satisfying. It's a time not to rush to a destination, but to glide through the streets and take stock. The whole world has this kind of glow that only comes after a serious purge — like all the energy in the atmosphere ignited and the planet needs to catch its breath — colours are bright, the air is fresh, the breeze is cool. It's a great time to be alive and apparently, a great time for an ice cream sundae.
On my arrival to Ed's I was surprised to find the place actually quite lively. Apparently post cloudburst ice cream IS a thing and more that a few people had beaten me to it.
ICE CREAM: 5/5
So as anyone who has been to Ed's can attest, the ice cream is exceptional. But I have to admit, the place had me wishing a little bit that this was a gelato challenge. The gelato display, with all the impossibly bright colours piled high, is hypnotizing — like something straight out of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.
But yes, ice cream. My sundae was a combination of Burnt Marshmallow and Mercury Espresso ice creams. A blend recommended to me for it's excellent mixability, and mixable is was. The espresso balanced the sweetness of the marshmallow perfectly, virtually erasing it with its bitterness. For some reason I always forget what a perfect vessel for coffee ice cream is, all it takes is a taste though. Exceptional.
In with my burnt marshmallow espresso was a hit of hot caramel, a ladle of peanut M&M's, and it was finished with a pyramid of whipped cream and a cherry.
The only downside to the sundae was the single ingredient I chose myself: the M&M's. I wanted something nutty and colourful and I love M&M's, so it seemed like a good idea, but they were added whole and ended up being way too big and took away from the creaminess of the other ingredients. The caramel, on the other hand, was super-duper thick and rich and very sweet and tasted like a pot full of melted down caramel chews. Perhaps the best part of the sundae was scraping the cooled parts of caramel off the bowl afterwards and pulling the sticky bits off the spoon.
The whipped cream was (sigh) from a can, but this is the first instance I've had yet of a cherry on top, which totally redeems it.
I should go easier on the whole paper cup thing; it's very common and mostly accepted. The problem is it does nothing for photographs and once all that whipped cream is added on top, you just can't see all the wonderful stuff beneath.
But I get it, take out places need take out containers. Here's the thing though, Ed's Real Scoop has seating! That means that a sundae isn't necessarily a takeout item. I won't even get into the whole environmental argument over disposable containers — I just want my sundae to look pretty.
At $5.22 per regular sized two scoop sundae, I'm going to have to stamp this one as "reasonable." I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be able to justify paying over a fiver for a bowl of ice cream, but it's high time I realize this isn't 1987 anymore and as such, you just can't get an ice cream sundae for $2.50 outside of the freezer of a 7-11. So yeah, you get what you pay for, and at Ed's you get something pretty spectacular.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: 5/5
I was impressed, plain and simple. Being a Bloordale boy, it's not often I find myself in Leslieville with a hankering for ice cream (as of this writing, it's now happened once), but I must admit I can definitely see myself making the voyage again. It's that good. Heck, put it in a glass bowl and use real whipped cream and I'd say it's damn perfect.
TOTAL SCORE: 21.5/25(86%)
Previously in this series:
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