76 Boundary Street, West End
I've been doing a lot of posts on big restaurants... time for a change. I want to talk about little things that make me happy. There's been 'things I like' posts in the past where I get to mention the specific items, flavors, products etc that I become obsessed with for at least a short while.
Baklava is an episodic obsession of mine. It can be almost unbearably sweet but so damn good. There is, however, a Super Dessert which enables baklava to be enjoyed without sugary head spins.
Ara Beeka is a tiny cafe along Boundary Street in West End. It caught my eye because it specializes in petite Turkish and Greek pastries. If you snatch a peek at the display cabinets, you'd be hard-pressed to stop yourself from going in.
I'm quite fond of the decor - it's bright, green, inviting and comfortable. Some people like dark cafes with lots of corners. I believe that the atmosphere you want depends on the mood you're in but GENERALLY speaking, I like sunlight streaming in (especially in Winter).
Now... to get to the good stuff. Ara Beeka has this ingenious (and interestingly named) menu of ice-cream desserts. In each case, there's a combination of ingredients that accompanies one of their pastries or sweets. Accompaniments include: ice-cream, coffee, syrup and more.
My favorite is Mac Koz which composes of a crushed lady finger (kind of like a small baklava) with vanilla ice-cream and a shot of espresso. You've probably heard of affogato before? That's ice-cream with an espresso shot... I love it, but this is BETTER. You can NOT understand how awesome the texture and flavor of baklava, ice-cream and coffee work together until you've tried it for yourself. The CRUNCH, the NUTTINESS, the BITTERNESS and the CREAMINESS. Mmm... delightful.
Charlie tried the Donny Righteous which is a crushed piece of shortbread with vanilla ice-cream and 'Ara Beeka's secret syrup'. Similar concept and again, very delicious. I prefer my pick because in my opinion, the coffee hit elevates the dessert to beyond awesome.
I've tried Ara Beeka's little pastries before too but I haven't got any piccies. I hate Turkish Delight but apparently they make a good one.
The last time I was at Ara Beeka, I saw that they have a food menu too - lots of savory platters that sound great. I'll be trying them in the future (and will report here, of course).