FOOD -- Greetings from my kitchen, I’m Chef Dave.
I love food in all forms. There’s not much better than the food you can create with your own hands, and the therapeutic feelings you get while doing it.
But even a busy chef like myself can’t deny a simple fact:
Dining out is a wonderful experience that, when shared, can become some of the best moments you’ll carry through a lifetime.
With that in mind, I’m here to share with you some of my dining experiences. Hopefully my insights of various restaurants and eateries will inspire you to try something new, or stay away from something that’s too good to be true.
For this first column I’ll tell you about Hollywood Cone, and we’ll kick off with everyone’s favourite part of the meal… dessert!
If you haven’t seen Hollywood Cone franchises popping up around you, then you must not get out too often; they’re everywhere.
The ice-cream chain brainchild that began as a food truck in 2013 came from Durham Region based co-founder Tom Seton.
The ice-cream shop that seems to be vying for your attention boasts a larger than life atmosphere, and even bigger offerings for your sweet tooth.
The first time I walked in there it felt like I just entered a quaint and almost cartoonish factory, which was nice until I was told that the wait was 35 minutes.
My mind was blown by the extensive wait for some ice-cream, but thought it must really be something special.
After all, their menu includes ice-cream covered in an array of candy, milkshakes mixed with your favourite chocolate, and even a $25 banana split.
The prices for the basic soft serve ice-cream creations they offer range from $4 - $6, and are more than enough to raise your sugar level, and fill you up.
Their Mutant Shakes are their most famous offering and range in price from $12 - $16. These behemoths come not only filled with candy mixed in, but also have things like brownies, full-sized doughnuts, and even a funnel cake on top.
That’s right, I said on top.
While all these fancy variants on the ice-cream dessert look spectacular, their taste and quality leaves much to be desired.
The ice-cream they use is very plain almost tasteless soft-serve, but considering it’s paired with exorbitant amounts of candy, balances out for the better.
Of course once you make it through the layer of chocolate, cake, or candy coating on your dessert, you’re left with that oh so basic soft serve that leaves you disappointed.
I tried what can only be described as a peanut butter explosion. Having chocolate ice-cream topped with Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter cups, peanut drizzle, and more.
All I can say is while it didn’t ruin my love for the Reese brand of chocolates, it certainly didn’t do the fantastic mashup of chocolate and peanut butter justice.
Others in my party had milkshakes mixed with Coffee Crisp, and ice cream covered with brownies and caramel.
While they had mixed thoughts about their choices, they all agreed it was not worth a 35 minute wait.
The price is fair for what you’re getting, but comparatively you can get classic ice-cream with no fuss - or half-hour waits - at the Pickering Village Ice Cream Shoppe just west of Westney road in Ajax.
Their ice cream offerings aren’t as over-the-top as Hollywood Cone, but the quality of classic scooped ice-cream and milkshakes combined with a variety of flavours you’ll love puts this small shop far ahead of their Hollywood competitor.
While my opinion may not sway your decision either way, I hope this helps should you choose to dine for dessert at Hollywood Cone.
Until next time my foodie enthusiasts, it’s always fun to stay in the kitchen, but enjoy yourself once in a while and dine out with your friends.