Country 032 – Czech Republic (Eva’s Original Chimneys)

: It’s a food truck, so check Twitter to see where they’re parked

This is one of those things where, once you see a picture, you pretty much have to try it.  I mean, come on — how can you not want to eat that?

And I’m definitely not alone in this — not since the epic Uncle Tetsu’s line of 2015 have I waited such an insane amount of time for food (or anything, really).  From the start of the line to me clutching one of these cones?  90 solid minutes, which is coincidentally the exact same amount of time I waited for a Japanese cheesecake.  We’ll see what novelty dessert inspires this lunacy next year.

Technically, the main attraction here — kürtoskalács (a.k.a. the eponymous chimney cake) — is Hungarian.  However, the briefly internet-famous doughnut cones (that you probably saw someone share on Facebook a few months ago) were created at a cafe in Prague.

The term “doughnut cone” is a bit of a misnomer (the pastry is baked, not fried), and to their credit, Eva’s calls these chimney cones on their menu.

The chimney is essentially a hollow tube of pastry that’s rolled in a generous amount of cinnamon and sugar and then baked rotisserie-style.  The freshly-baked cones are then filled with vanilla soft serve and topped with other stuff — I went with the Dream Cone, which comes with Nutella, butter toffee bits, chocolate sauce, and brownie pieces.

I feel pretty much the same way about this as I did about Tetsu.  It’s good, but it’s not even remotely worth standing in that insane line.

Of course, the ice cream, Nutella, and other desserty bits are all standard issue, so the question is: how’s the pastry?  It’s not bad.  It’s hard to go wrong with something rolled in that much cinnamon and sugar, though really, it’s basically just plain bread. It’s also kind of dry, especially near the top.  It definitely grew on me, but it’s nothing too mind-blowing — and let’s face it, if you put enough Nutella and soft serve on anything, it’s probably going to taste pretty good.

Eva's Original Chimneys - the line Eva's Original Chimneys - the chimney cone


Country 021 – Italy (A3 Napoli)

: 589 College Street, Toronto

Given that A3 is a collaboration between Porchetta and Co.‘s  Nick auf der Mauer and Pizzeria Libretto‘s Rocco Agostino, you’d just sort of assume that it’s going to be really good.  And you would be correct.  You would be 100% correct.

The menu is an even split between crispy goodies coming out of their fryer and piping hot pizzas from their enormous, impressive 900 degree pizza oven (which is pretty much the centrepiece of the restaurant).

We started with the “Land” assortment of fried deliciousness, which came with decadently gooey arancini, flavour-packed meatballs, fried mozzarella that would put any mozzarella stick  to shame, and perfectly cooked slices of sweet potato.  It included a little cup of marinara for dipping, but everything was so tasty on its own that it was mostly superfluous.

They serve a sandwich that changes every couple of weeks, served on what is essentially an undressed pizza that’s folded over.  It was meatball when I went, but it’ll probably be something different by the time you read this.

First and foremost is that bread, which has an addictively chewy texture and just the right amount of char from the inferno-hot pizza oven.  Can I have all of my sandwiches in this bread?  Because I want all of my sandwiches in this bread.

The inside of the sandwich was a perfect mix of rich tomato sauce, creamy pesto, and peppery arugula.  That’s not to mention, of course, the toothsome and abundant meatballs.  If I had to come up with the top five meatball sandwiches I’ve had in my life, this one would probably be on there.

We finished with the Zeppoli — little cinnamon-and-sugar-dusted doughnuts that are essentially like the best Timbits you’ve ever had, which come with a heady chocolate hazelnut sauce for dipping.  That sauce, I should note, was so good that my dining companion was compelled to drink the remains.

A3 Napoli - the Land Fritti A3 Napoli - the Meatball Sandwich A3 Napoli - the Zeppoli