In July, I was asked to predict the next food trend. I blurted out ‘soft serve’, and now I wish I had money on it. Just two months later, soft serve and espresso bar “Sweet Jesus” opened in Toronto on John St., north of King West. Their opening coincided with the beginning of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, which is how I (and hordes of film-goers pouring out of the TIFF Bell Lightbox) ended up there.
It’s a good thing that TIFF fans are experts at lining up, because that is what you have to do most evenings at Sweet Jesus. The menu is deceptively simple: soft serve, espresso, churros and Mexican paletas (popsicles). But it is the soft serve which has the starring role. Four flavours are available for purists (chocolate, vanilla, raspberry lemonade and burnt marshmallow), but the pimped out cones are the big draw.
Sweet Jesus will dress up your cone six ways to Sunday – well, actually eleven ways. On this occasion, I opted for my favourite combination of flavours – chocolate and nut – which is frighteningly named, “Chocolate Peanut Butter Epipen”.
Had I known that our cones would all be identically beige, I would have ordered differently. We unanimously agreed that our cones were big enough to be shared, although I cannot promise that a bowl and spoon is an option. I notice Instagrammers posting recent photos of a drip catcher, which seems useful, but was not offered on the evening of my visit.
The little alcove on John Street which houses Sweet Jesus has recently welcomed the third incarnation of La Carnita and the second location of Union Juice, making this a very popular place to meet up en route to and from events in the festival district. There is a nice little square for hanging out, too.
My next prediction? Specialty churros and Mexican hot chocolate to help us make it through the colder weather around the corner.
106 John St. Toronto M5H 1X9
Tuesday to Saturday: Espresso 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Soft serve 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday and Monday: Espresso 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Soft serve 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Twitter and Instagram @sweetjesus4life