The Great Toronto Ice Cream Sundae Challenge: Roasted Marshmallow with Sprinkles
Any serious ice cream aficionado in Toronto knows Greg's Ice Cream. As the veritable godfather of sundaes, Greg Mahon virtually invented premium quality ice cream in our fair city. But in checking out any of his YouTube videos, it's clear he's less dark suits and cotton balled cheeks and much closer to a Canadian, confectioners Colonel Sanders.
Since 1981, Mahon has been stirring up both traditional and adventurous flavours in the Annex as well as supplying ice cream to other establishments. But of course, ice cream alone does not a sundae make. So on day two of the Toronto Ice Cream Sundae Challenge, I stopped by his store at the corner of Bloor and Spadina and see what Greg's has to offer.
ICE CREAM: 5/5
There's a reason Greg's basically owns the ice cream game in Toronto, no one gets the creamy texure like he does. One thing that can be an issue with some places is that they keep their ice cream too cold--not here. My bowl of roasted marshmallow ice cream was on the verge of melting from the moment it left the spoon. Thick and creamy, with a beautiful touch of burnt sugar flavouring and a soft, off white colour. It's ice cream that doesn't need toppings, but of course, there will be toppings...
With ice cream as rich as this, it's best to keep toppings simple. I opted for a little butterscotch, a touch of whipped cream and a sprinkling of, well, sprinkles.
First off, I've got to say, the toppings here are shockingly good. The butterscotch was warm and had that distinct burnt Skor bar flavour, the perfect compliment to a toasted marshmallow. And the whipped cream? I'll just say it didn't' come from a can and it was only the most subtly sweetened - just that really cleansing cool dairy taste and a density that only comes from fresh hand whipped cream.
I wish Greg's were more of a sit down dessert bar. Somewhere with a few glass dishes and the opportunity to really flaunt the product--dress it up a bit. I feel guilty taking marks off here; after all it's a takeout place with takeout bowls and takeout spoons. But a sundae of this quality deserves more than plastic and cardboard. It's really among the best the city has to offer and should be treated as such.
So the thing about Greg's is that it definitely isn't discount ice cream. It isn't outrageous, but my single scoop (toasted marshmallow), two topping (butterscotch, whipped cream), one condiment (sprinkles) sundae tops out at $7.06, basically the price of an entire tub of Breyers at the grocery store. Of course, this is much, much better than Breyers.
Here's how it works: a single scoop is $3.81, a double is $5.00. From there you choose toppings (sauces, fruit and such) for $1.25 each and condiments (sprinkes, smarties etc) for $0.75. If it sounds a little pricey it is, but you know what they say: Greg's ice cream is delicious (People say that, I've heard them).
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS: 4.5/5
As far as product goes, you'd be hard pressed to find a better bowl anywhere. But there is more to a sundae than just toppings and cold cream. So while this super tasty Annex institution is the place to go for a rich scoop of roasted marshmallow, it helps a bit if you're a little rich yourself. Perhaps the price wouldn't stand out as much with a little formal presentation, prettying up the dish. Of course, perhaps it's for the best. Something like this should be reserved as an occasional indulgence and if I could get a scoop of this stuff for a dollar I would be a very unhealthy man.
TOTAL SCORE: 21/25 (84%)
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