Lansdowne Cone

The great Toronto Ice Cream Sundae Challenge: Menu options

The thing I like about the Lansdowne Cone is that they have a sundae menu. Rather than just displaying a giant list of possible ingredients, patrons can select from a carefully assembled list of recipes with names like Cookie Monster (two scoops cookies n' cream, hot chocolate fudge, mini Oreos and whipped cream), Mud (two scoops French vanilla, hot fudge, cookie crumbs, whipped cream and gummy worms) or — and this was my selection — Peanut Butter Smother (1 scoop peanut butter chocolate, hot chocolate fudge, mini peanut butter cups and peanut butter chips).

It feels good to be able to order off a menu. When I go out for dinner I don't take a peek inside the fridge to see what's available before explaining to the chef what to make for me; I trust their trained palate and experience will come up with something much better than I could myself. I'd like the same in a sundae.

ICE CREAM: 4/5
Owners Alex Sinclair and Andrew Helfrich got their start in the ice cream biz at Maypole — a parlour and ice cream supplier — out in Etobicoke. Both had dreams of owning a place of their own and, abracadabra, here's The Lansdowne Cone. Of course there is far-more time and hard work that went into it than that, but those questions are better left for ask Alex or Andrew. I'm here to talk about ice cream.

Lansdowne Cone has about 16 flavours available, all sourced from their former employer, Maypole, from a no-sugar cappuccino, to pomegranate, to titles like Caramel Canoodle and Caribou Tracks. My scoop of peanut butter chocolate was pretty satisfying despite the fact that everything in the bowl was of such similar flavour and so rich that it was hard to really identify the peanut butter in the ice cream. I was definitely getting more chocolate. Regardless, it was a just the thing for a muggy summer evening.

TOPPINGS: 5/5
How can you go wrong with peanut butter cups, peanut butter chips and chocolate sauce? Patrons are more than welcome to design their own sundaes with their own mixture of things like mini marshmallows, crushed chocolates and chewy candies. There's plenty to choose from. I prefer the curated approach though — after all, they're the experts.

PRESENTATION: 3/5
It seems this is the category to master in this challenge, as few establishments have been able to get full presentation marks and unfortunately, Lansdowne Cone sits alongside giants like Greg's and Ed's Real Scoop in this category. Granted, that's not bad company to keep, but this is the area where there is room to shine! It's easy to make a delicious sundae, why not make it look that way too?

VALUE: 4/5
At $5.09 this sundae is priced relatively competitively with others. It's got a lot of treats sprinkled on top, but it's only one scoop of ice cream. I'm slowly becoming accustomed to the idea of $5.00 ice cream though. So I won't kick up too much of a stink. Bottom line is this was a great sundae. Good enough in fact, that I've gone back for another since first trying it, which is even more of a compliment since I'm in the middle of an ice cream sundae challenge and am already eating much more of the stuff than I should be.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: 5/5
As I said before, I love that there is a menu. Firstly because it simplifies the cumbersome process of buying an ice cream sundae. Phew, right? I mean, first scanning the different ice cream options and then having to bury yourself in the headache of not only topping possibilities, but their combinations as well? I mean, it can be too much for a sophisticated city slicker to bear. That's why I like to keep things nice and easy and "One Peanut Butter Smother, please," just about does it.

TOTAL SCORE: 21/25 (84%)

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