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I Scream, You Scream - Plus Que Parfait

Posted by Cat / June 17, 2007

20070617_PQPcounter.jpgWell, the temperature in the city has become more suffocating than an Italian grandmother. Thankfully, the plethora of fabulous ice cream and gelato shops in this town will help you keep your cool.

Today I paid my first visit to Plus Que Parfait, a gelateria-and-then-some, located on Fairmount in Mile End. The cheery exterior and triple set of french doors, flung wide open, gave a breezy and welcoming air to the place. Delicious relief from the heat was within my grasp; I could sense it.

20070617_PQPmenu.jpgThe selection of gelato flavours was small but diverse, from sharp lemon to unctuous coconut milk to a sinfully rich-looking dark chocolate. I tried the pear & cider gelato. Lovley and crisp pear flavour was not overly sweet - it was like biting into a perfectly ripe anjou, right down to the slightly granular texture of real pear flesh. So pear-like, in fact, I could imagine it pairing beautifully with an aged sheep's milk cheese or a mild blue.

Plus Que Parfait also profers an impressive range of frosty bevs, from homemade blizzards and milkshakes, to espresso and iced teas. I can't say enough good things about the chocolate milkshake. A generous shot of chocolate fudge sauce, chocolate ice cream and just the right amount of milk make this shake the perfect consistency. Not overly thin, nor is it akin to simply trying to drink a softened cup of ice cream. This is an old-fashioned shake done right - a nice thick foamy head sits on the top of the milkshake, and stays there right through to the end of the second cup. That's right, seconds. They know how to properly serve a shake at Plus Que Parfait. After pouring out your first cupful, the staff simultaneously present you with the metal blender jar, so that you can top up your shake as you please. It's a gesture that makes or breaks a bona-fide milkshake experience, in my books.

20070617_PQPicecreamtreats.jpgIf you wanting refreshment but are seeking something less creamy, I highly recommend the watermelon-cucumber popsicle. Both elements in their original fruit and veg personas fall in the catgeory that the Chinese consider to be yen or cooling foods. Combined and served up in popsicle form truly is a more-than-perfect realisation of a cooling food. I could literally feel my core temperature drop. The best part? Suck as hard as you can and the flavour lasts right down to the stick. Gone are those flashbacks to homemade frozen juice treats whose taste elements disappeared after a few good pulls on the popsicle and you were left with nothing but an icy nub. Other popsicle flavours include raspberry-vanilla and pineapple-coconut. Rumour has it there also exists a mango-lemon-chili.

20070617_PQPdog-treats2.jpgBut on top of all the frosty goodness, it's the little touches that make Plus Que Parfait, well, plus que parfait. Frozen lemon & ginger ice cubes for the ice tea (no risk of watering down the tea with ordinary cubes!), chocolate-dipped soft-serve cones for an ice-cream-trip down memory lane, some of the coolest bendy-straws ever, and bowls of water and homemade ice-cream cone-shaped dog treats for Fido. What else could one ask for during the dog days of summer?

Plus Que Parfait
60 Fairmount West
514 779-7220

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