I am a big fan of soft serve ice cream, and I heard a lot of hype about Sweet Jesus ice cream in Toronto since last fall. Since it’s located at 106 John Street by Adelaide, naturally, I had to try it out. I first went there on a Sunday evening this summer when the temperature was hot … and the lines were ridiculously long. Nothing is worth waiting in line for 1-2 hours, so I decided to return the next day 🙂
The tiny shop is located in the entertainment district of Toronto so parking is limited and at a premium. I drove around a few times and after failing to find street parking, I gave in a parked in a lot across the street. I am embarrassed to say the lot is a flat fee parking rate of $15. It may even be more on the weekends, but see what I will do in the name of food and trying things out for my readers??? The line up only took five or ten minutes on a Monday just before noon, and that was acceptable. The place opens daily at 7am. They also serve coffee, espresso, hot chocolate, latte’s, teas and cold drinks with some type of caffeine in them. I hear the coffee is very good and is made with beans roasted by De Mello Palheta. Starting at noon they are open for ice cream! La Carnita and Home of the Brave are parent restaurants for this brand.
For me, the main attraction is the ice cream. They have about 5-6 flavours at any one time, and they change according to the season, and there is always one dairy-free flavour, today’s was coconut. The dairy flavours were chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and vanilla and chocolate swirl. If you are just getting a plain cone or cup the charge is $4. If you jazz it up it goes for $6.50. It sounds like a lot of money but the cones are HUGE, maybe 8 inches tall! I think they should do two sizes, large and small, as these cones are mammoth and not for the faint of heart. An example of one of the the dressed cones is the Rocky Road Rage – which was chocolate soft serve, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, brownie bits, walnuts, cashews and chocolate crumble. Really this should come in a smaller size, as many people dumped it in the garbage when they were half way through. There was also Krusty the Cone, which was a take on the Simpson’s clown and consisted of vanilla soft serve, cotton candy, rainbow sprinkles and cotton candy sauce. Another choice was Red Rapture, with vanilla soft serve, red velvet cake, cream cheese icing, raspberry purée and meringue crumble. These are all ultra sweet, and indulgent. The ice cream is made in-house, and can be topped with nuts, syrups, candies, marshmallows, or cookies. There are no substitutions for the pimped-out versions. For me, the toppings distract from the ice cream. They cheapen and sweeten the taste. I am more of a purist and just like a classic soft serve. The chocolate flavour was actually quite good. It had a creamy mouth feel and the chocolate didn’t taste like chemicals as so many other soft serves do. However I was in the minority as everyone else seemed to go for the bells and whistle toppings. I guess they are unique cones and people want a treat after waiting in line for so long. Be advised there is no place to sit down inside. There were benches outside but I am not sure if they were for Union Juice next door.
People are flocking here, and it was even busy in the cool months. They serve a good product, but nothing mindblowing. Only time will tell if it continues to pack them in. They should also add decafe coffee to the menu, especially for those lined up at night and want to go home for a good night’s sleep afterwards.