OSO GOOD (874 College, at Concord, 647-283-2478) Complete meals for $10 per person, including all taxes, tip and a juice. Average muffin $1.50. Open Monday to Friday 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am to 6 pm. Unlicensed. Cash only. Access: half-step at door, no washrooms. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Unbeknownst to the Portuguese used car lot that occupies the south side of this somewhat anonymous stretch of College west of Ossington, the block that's already home to elegantly Old World Chiado and its Senhor Antonio spinoff tapas bar is about to become even more of a downtown foodie destination.
Besides an about-to-launch upscale cheesemonger (La Fromagerie, naturellement), it's also where Oso Good, a tiny storefront patisserie specializing in Betty Crocker-style baked goods, has recently set up shop.
While it offers a few inconsequential sandwiches (deli smoked turkey with alfalfa sprouts on multigrain, minimal prosciutto with bocconcini, pesto and unfortunate out-of-season tomato on calabrese ring, all $4.25), it's Oso's retro cookies, cakes and crumbles that will soon be attracting more than Toronto's gourmet glitterati.
Squares of fabulously old-school carrot cake are full of diced apricot and pineapple and topped with cream cheese icing sprinkled with crushed green pistachios ($2). Butterscotch bars ($1.85) are so gloriously dense and chewy, the Ontario Dental Association should issue an alert. Like fig newtons on steroids, both fig and cranberry bars ($1.60) come wrapped in a lovely whole wheat crust. Even the lactose-intolerant will be tempted to drink a big, cold glass of homogenized milk after their first taste of Oso's buttery cream-cheese brownies ($2.25) and psychedelic blueberry muffins ($1.25).
Though the shallow pumpkin tart ($2.25) won't cause Queen of Tarts' Stephanie Pick to lose any sleep, the house chocolate croissant ($1.50), while not in Clafouti's exalted class, is certainly better than anything I could muster.
That first-time entrepreneur Suchada Promsiri does all this by herself on a low-tech electric stove makes noteworthy Oso Good even more remarkable.