Clash of the croissants
According to legend, the croissant was first baked after the 1686 defeat of the Turks by the Austrian army, its crescent shape mocking the Islamic symbol on the Turkish flag. When the NOW Test Kitchen last surveyed local patisseries to find the best croissant, Clafouti was crowned king.
Since then, Marc Thuet 's take on the flaky classic has been heralded as a contender to the pastry throne. We decided to pit the two against each other.
In size, shape and colour, both are virtually identical, the only difference being the light egg glaze giving Clafouti's rendition an attractive sheen. Thuet has the edge on butter, though Clafouti's is still obscenely rich, but then again Thuet's weighs in at only 3 ounces compared to Clafouti's 4. Clafouti gets the clear advantage when you factor in that its plain croissant costs $1.40 versus Thuet's two bucks.
Clafouti's swoon-worthy chocolate-almond croissant ($2.05) is in a class of its own.
Weekend afternoons in Kensington Market have become a mob scene, with as many day-trippers wandering its groovy streets and just hanging out as actually shopping in its stores.
My Market Bakery has always been one of the area's smallest yet busiest. Add just three customers and the cozy storefront recalled the crowded cabin scene from the Marx Brothers' A Night At The Opera. To rectify the situation, the bakery has moved down the block (184 Baldwin, 416-593-6772) and into a slightly larger space that used to be that frozen food store that went bust (go figure). Far from ideal, My Market's still a zoo on Sundays.
Did someone mention I Deal Coffee ? The Kensington beanery with the confusing handle has just opened a second branch over on the west side (162 Ossington, at Foxley, 416-534-7700). Caffeine fiends know the scene - independent, organic and bird-friendly beans served on a soon-tocome patio perfect for wasting the day away over a cup of joe, a jazz cigarette and an existential novel.
Though I pass by regularly, until a reader recently pointed it out, I hadn't noticed that Miss Saigon , one of NOW's favourite Vietnamese eateries, has gone missing. Sure, it seems exactly the same - lush tropical plants, aquariums full of goldfish - but look closely and you'll see that the sign out front says that the former Miss has been re-branded Hello Saigon (394 Spadina, at Nassau, 416-597-9333). Owner/chef Simon Chau is also MIA and has been apparently spotted in the wilds of Richmond Hill.