The Food District: Part 2
Continuing from my last post, this is the second part of my experience at the newly opened The Food District at Mississauga’s Square One shopping centre. If you missed out on Part One, you can read it here.
Ma’s Best Quality Soup
My friends and I were thinking of trying this place out, but after having the hummus spread and the two pastas, we wanted to save our stomachs for doughnuts. Nearing the end of our meal, one of the staff of Ma’s Best Quality Soup came over to give us samples to try.
We all tried the Golden Cauliflower Soup. Due to its colour, it may look like it has some squash in it but in that little sample cup, it was all cauliflower. That small sample cup packed enough cauliflower flavour to know that this is definitely cauliflower soup. The soup wasn’t watered down; it had a nice viscosity to it. Because it was so much cauliflower flavour, it did have a slight tang to it.
It was good but a little too much cauliflower for my liking. But if you REALLY love cauliflower, I would suggest it. I do want to try the other soups they have because if the rest pack as much flavour as the Golden Cauliflower Soup, then they should be tasty as well.
The Wine Shop and Tasting Room
This wasn’t on my place of places to go to, mainly because I don’t really drink alcohol that much. However, my friends and I saw that there was a free sample at The Wine Shop, so we decided to check it out. The sample was for a cider called No Boats On Sunday ($4.95 per bottle).
I’ve had cider before and I’ve never been much of a fan of them. But this was really good. There is 5% alcohol in it and for someone that doesn’t drink that much, you can barely taste it. It tastes sweet, tart, refreshing, and light. The best way to describe: It’s like drinking sparkling apple juice. The sample we had was also chilled and I think that’s the best way to drink it.
As told by the staff, also labelled on the bottle, the cider is made from 100% Canadian grown apples. I think that’s great because we’re supporting a Canadian product and business. The lone bottle is $4.95, which I think is a great price. Or, you can buy a 4-pack with a specialty cup included for about $19.95.
The Pie Commission
I knew I wanted to bring something back for my family to try and when I found out there was a pie place, I knew that was the thing to bring home. The Pie Commission has both savoury and dessert pies. If you are eating certain pies that need to be warmed, they will give you a warm one. If not, they have ones that aren’t in there warming oven for you to take home.
I got two savoury pies for my family to try: Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash (~$8.95) and the Braised Beef Rib(~$8.45). The individual pies are five inches wide, which is plenty of pie for yourself or to share. You can also grab a larger size if you have a large gathering. Also, there are instructions on reheating/baking the pies, depending if you’re taking a frozen or to-go pie.
The Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash has the following in its filling “Buttermilk chicken breast, confit chicken leg, roasted bacon, sautéed mushroom and leek folded into a creamy roasted garlic cheddar mash potato.” This one was slightly odd in taste. It kind of tasted like a chicken pot pie but with a tang to it. It may be the leek causing the tang. You do taste the chicken meat but I didn’t taste any bacon. The pie crust was very good though. Even after reheating the pie, the crust was crispy, flaky, and very buttery, which I loved.
The Braised Beef Rib was my favourite between the two. This one had a filling of “Braised tender chunks of beef simmered in red wine and homemade veal stock with mushroom, roasted yukon gold potato and sweet potato.” This pie had a lot more flavour and had more of a wholesome pie taste and feel to it. The beef was tender; it wasn’t dry. I do wish there was a little bit more meat in it. Again, like the first pie, the pie crust was so tasty.
I highly recommend trying out this place. It’s delicious and you get your money’s worth. Next, I’ll have to try the dessert pies!
The Box Donut
My friends and I saved this place for last. When I was doing my research for places to try at The Food District, once I saw The Box Donut, I was sold. Instantly. No joke. I love doughnuts. I am a self-proclaimed doughnut connoisseur.
While perusing their website, I noticed there were twenty-two pages of doughnut flavours. Did I go through all twenty-two pages? YES. I. DID. I made a list of the flavours I wanted to try, if they had them and marked which ones were the must-try.
When we went to check out the doughnuts, they obviously didn’t have all the twenty-two pages worth of doughnuts but they still had a large variety. The doughnuts are categorized into five labels: Basic, Classic, Fancy, Limited, and Exclusive. The price of each doughnut depends on its label. A Basic doughnut is $3.70, a Fancy one is $4.69, a Limited doughnut is $4.99, and an Exclusive one is $5.69. Pricey but for gourmet doughnuts, it seems normal.
My friends and I split a box of six doughnuts: Blueberry Cheesecake ($4.99), Strawberry Basil ($4.99), Crème Brûlée ($4.69), Pistachio Raspberry ($5.69), Lemon Curd Pistachio ($5.69), and Hazelnut ($4.99).
This doughnut has a blueberry cream cheese filling with a blueberry glaze, topped with a little blueberry. I love blueberry and cheesecake, so I had high expectations for this. I was slightly disappointed. It was good but I wanted a little more flavour. You could taste some blueberry and cheesecake flavour but it was a bit mild for my liking. This also wasn’t overly sweet or tart. I would still get this again though.
Coated with Callebaut white chocolate, filled with strawberry jam, and topped with liophylised strawberries, this doughnut was WAY too tart. I have a sweet tooth and MY GOSH, did this heighten my sour taste buds! The liophylised strawberries killed this doughnut. They were the tart perpetrators. I initially thought the strawberry jam was overly tart but in fact it was the liophylised strawberries. Honestly, because of how tart it was, I couldn’t taste anything else. Not even the white chocolate.
This was my favourite doughnut of the six. The doughnut has a caramelized sugar glaze with a bourbon vanilla filling. This really reminded me of a Boston Cream doughnut and those are one of my favourite kinds of doughnuts, so that’s probably why I really liked this. The caramelized sugar glaze does need a little more taste to it. It was very light. But the filling was perfectly sweet and it had good amount of filling. Would definitely get this again.
I love pistachio flavoured foods, so I had high hopes for this. This doughnut had a filling of pistachio cream and an artisan raspberry jam, iced with a Callebaut white chocolate, and sprinkles of pistachio and bits of liophylised raspberries. Sadly, the tart attack was in full effect for this as well. What I do like about this doughnut is that the pistachio cream and raspberry jam is separated. One side has the pistachio cream, the other half is filled with raspberry jam. The raspberry side was tarty. But if you just have the pistachio cream side, it really tones down the tart taste of the liophylised raspberries. The pistachio cream also wasn’t too sweet and had a smooth, thick, creamy texture.
Lemon Curd Pistachio
This doughnut has lemon curd, a pistachio cream filling, Callebaut white chocolate and sprinkles of pistachio. Despite it having lemon curd, this was not, I repeat, NOT, as tart as the Pistachio Raspberry or Strawberry Basil doughnuts. BLESS MY TASTE BUDS. I don’t know it’s supposed to have lemon curd in the filling but all I could taste or see was pistachio cream. I was not complaining about that, since I highly prefer the pistachio over the lemon. This did have some tart taste to it, so I believe it was in the icing/glaze but the pistachio cream really toned it down. I think the pistachio and lemon really complement each other and balanced the flavours.
Filled with a hazelnut cream, covered in Callebaut dark chocolate, and topped with a hazelnut roletti. This doughnut was kind of generic tasting. It was your typical gourmet chocolate tasting doughnut. It was good but nothing mind blowing. You can definitely taste the difference that the dark chocolate makes. It gave the doughnut an added depth of chocolate flavour. The hazelnut roletti just tasted like those wafer sticks.
Did I enjoy these doughnuts? To an extent, yes. I particularly loved the Crème Brûlée one and would re-try the Blueberry Cheesecake and Lemon Curd Pistachio. I do like that the doughnuts are square shaped. It does make the doughnut a bit easier to eat and easier to share. The dough is soft, not thick, and not oily but it was missing something. I always found that doughy pastries in Europe to taste much better than North American ones and I think because of different food policies and climate, so this could be why I felt it was missing something. I mean, I would grab the doughnuts again but they aren’t my top favourites.
The Food District is definitely trying to recreate the experience of a local food market within a shopping centre. I think it achieves it in some way but it ultimately feels like a fancier food court. Browsing at some of the other places, I noticed that one place had a lobster roll for $26! Insane. It’s lobster from Nova Scotia but even a lobster roll ordered in Nova Scotia would not be that price. That is why I feel like it’s a fancier food court because of some of the ridiculous price gouging. I also didn’t try out Brød because I’ve tried the Danish Pastry House before and loved it, so I wanted to try new places.
Do I think it’s worth trying out? Yes. The Food District does give a sense of community and if you are going with family, friends, etc., this place does create that kind of table manner.
If you’ve tried out places from The Food District, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!