If there is one place in Toronto I have been to the most since the big move, it is Celena’s Bakery. Located at 2036 Danforth Avenue, this is one of the only places in the winter that you will always enjoy your hot beverage in a warm space. That is because everything is baked fresh on site. It is so popular though that if you want to stay warm, do not sit near the entrance. It is constantly being opened by other food enthusiasts who want that fresh bread, coffee, slice of cake…
We picked up some treats from Celena’s on Mother’s Day to privately honour our mom with food.
Right after I got to Toronto my sister Shannon and I (yes, that is her sneaking in the peace sign into my selfie) came for a coffee and treat.
I have not had a butter tart in a gazillion years and the pastry looked so delicate so that is what I ordered.
They did warn me that it was a bit gooey in the middle and man, they were not kidding! It was kind of like eating a molten lava butter tart. It was delicious and that pastry was super flaky and fabulous. I love that this dessert comes with its own sauce. Super clever!
I never had a bad reaction to their coffee at all so clearly they did actually serve me…
Decaf! It is actually quite strong which is impressive for decaf coffee.
This may have been the best quiche of my life. It was so delicious. The pastry was perfection and the spinach with the cheese, OMG! It is small though but so rich. This is all you need.
I picked up their chocolate caramel and sea salt tart one day and it was so divine! Yes, good idea to add the salt because otherwise it would have been too rich.
I have met many wonderful friends for lunch at Celena’s but I have also taken myself out too. I have needed a space to read, think and write. A place to process my life and come to terms with reality.
The Big Problem
Celena’s really is a wonderful spot with fantastic food but I do have one serious complaint. Their customer service. They have always done an excellent job with the food, getting my order right but… They all seem to be wearing grumpy pants. I have only had one person smile at me in all the times I have visited. They just seem to be doing their job (well mind you) and getting through the day.
I am shocked this unhappy feeling has not impacted the food which still continues to be excellent. That said, it makes me feel uncomfortable and a little sad. It may explain why so many people come in, pick up their treat and then leave.
As a result I can only give them four out of five wooden spoons. Customer service means a lot to me and that means more than just doing your job well.
Living in Toronto now and getting through Mother’s Day was challenging. This summer will mark the fifth anniversary of our mother’s passing. That said, Jamie bought some pink tulips and we got treats to get together to honour mom with food.
I bought three treats from Celena’s and divided them up so we could each have a bite, something Mom would totally have done. A pecan fudge brownie, a lemon square and of course, a Nanaimo bar, Mom’s favourite. BTW, this was by far the BEST Nanaimo bar I have ever had. All the treats were good but I do not even usually like Nanaimo bars and this was a treasure.
Shannon made Mom’s powerful garlic dip for cauliflower and added a little Latvian touch by adding fresh dill which worked perfectly. She put the bowl of dip on Mom’s plate. It felt like she was there.
We celebrated Mom’s last Mother’s Day with a PC High Tea Party so I think we did her proud this year. Every year is hard. I think that is just going to be how it is but thank you Shannon, Jamie and Celena’s for making it special.