My Search for the Best Chocolate Croissant in Toronto – Bonjour Brioche

When I was 10, I lived in Brussels, Belgium, for a short period of time while my Dad was filming a movie.  Every morning, without fail, someone would go out to fetch breakfast: pain au chocolat (better known as a chocolate croissant).  I cannot even begin to explain the luscious, buttery, flaky goodness of a Belgian chocolate croissant.  Better than Paris, the chocolate in Belgium just takes the simple pastry to a whole new level of decadence.  There are no words really…

Ever since I’ve moved back to Toronto, after I finished my undergrad in Montreal, I’ve been on a secret mission to find a pain au chocolat that compares to my childhood memory.  There have certainly been some that have come close, but they’ve never been quite good enough.  As such, since starting this blog, I have decided to slightly tweak my search; my mission is to find the best chocolate croissant in Toronto.

My first stop was Bonjour Brioche, one of my favorite neighbourhood  spots.  Acclaimed for having the best baguettes in the city, this french bakery turned lunch/brunch spot is a must for any Torontonian.  If you haven’t been, GO!!!

Their pain au chocolat is really excellently done, with great flakiness and richness.  The only suggestion I would make is that they could use a little more chocolate – but I’m also a chocolate fanatic.  The chocolate is always un-centered, which means you don’t have it in every bite – make of that what you will.

I definitely recommend them.


The Search For Quail Eggs In Nova Scotia

Since moving to Toronto and immersing myself in the culinary world, my view towards food has changed a great deal.  I have always loved great food, and have cooked and baked with my mother growing up but the options in Halifax Nova Scotia are much fewer than here in Toronto.

I recently went home to Halifax for my brother’s wedding and of course, wanted to share my love for food with my family and friends by cooking for them.  I found that I was constantly running around the city trying to find ingredients I take for granted in Toronto. I had my heart set on cooking specific dishes for my family knowing they would love what I had planned, so I was willing to spend the time to find the ingredients I needed.

I wanted to make Beurre Blanc Poached Lobster on a bed of Wilted Garlic Spinach, topped with a Soft-Poached Quail Egg. Of course, lobster was easy to get my hands on back at home, and at a fantastic price of $5.99/lb. The other ingredients of butter, spinach, garlic, white wine were all also very easy to find as they are common ingredients. The challenge was in finding quail eggs! I went to my neighborhood grocer with little hope of finding them there but figured it was worth a shot. Unfortunately there was no luck there as I had expected. My next stop was Petes Frootique, which is comparable to Pusateri’s of Halifax. Pete’s used to sell quail eggs, but they came in frozen and ultimately they decided it was not worth bringing them in. I was next sent to the Italian Market in hopes of finding the eggs there, but again no luck.

At this point I was getting discouraged but knew there was still one more chance to find my quail eggs. I had my father make the trip to drive across the bridge to Bedford to the original location of Petes Frootique to see if they would have them. They did not have any in stock as the item is simply just not in demand, but they could order me a half dozen in for $18.99 with a 15 day wait.

Needless to say, my family did not get to enjoy the meal I had originally planned, but were not disappointed in the lobster and steak I prepared for them after my day of ingredient hunting. Next time I visit home, I’ll be sure to place an order for quail eggs as soon as I arrive and plan for a dinner at the end of my trip.

Published in: on July 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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