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Flaky Tart is one of Toronto’s best-kept allergy-friendly secrets, and it’s hiding in Mount Pleasant. I lived in the area for for five years and never once went into the bakery because I didn’t know they were free of peanuts and tree nuts! Current owner, Lisa Biemans, assures me that they mention their allergy-friendly status on their Facebook page, website, and in store, but it was certainly news to me! Maybe I was oblivious, or maybe they need to shout it a bit louder, but either way, I’m glad I (re)discovered this yummy little spot.
Flaky Tart is take-out only, but it is a decent size and can easily accommodate a stroller or two. They offer a wide range of sweet treats, including delectable scones, tarts and beautifully decorated cookies, along with custom-made cakes.
But the deliciousness doesn’t end there. Their savoury offerings are also outstanding. On my recent visit, I ordered one of their hearty steak and mushroom pies. The $25 price tag seemed steep, but I’m glad I wasn’t scared off. When I put it on the table for dinner, my daughter squealed “YUMMY!” and ate it so quickly I wasn’t able to get any photos of the pie when cut open. The crust was nice and flaky, living up to the bakery’s name, and the pieces of steak and mushrooms were surprisingly large, tender and flavourful.
Also on the savoury side: their bacon and cheddar scones. I went in craving one of their delicious sweet scones (the only item of theirs I’d tried), but when I saw this gorgeous thing, I decided I was up for trying something different. I half expected the saltiness of the bacon to overwhelm the taste, but the flavour blended nicely with the cheddar, making for a lovely snack.
For sweet treats, I tried one of their shortbread snowflake cookies and a giant butter tart (of course). The cookie, which was beautifully decorated for the winter season, was buttery and perfect. And, it looked so good I had to eat it before I even got back to my car. As for the butter tart, I have a well-known soft spot for them. I don’t usually get to enjoy them because of my allergies, so this was an extra-special treat! The crust on these big tarts was perfectly flaky and beautifully browned. The sticky-sweet filling spilled out after my first bite, making a bit of a mess, but it tasted so good that I didn’t mind having to go through all those extra napkins.
I am grateful that when Lisa took over the shop a couple of years ago, she decided to continue running it as a nut-free facility. She said she likes that people with certain allergies can eat their baked goods, while people without allergies can also eat there and not even notice an allergen’s absence.
In terms of accommodating other allergies, she will take special orders, but it comes with a “buyer beware” warning, mainly because certain allergens (like eggs, dairy and gluten) are on site. And while there is no sesame lying around, she can’t guarantee a zero percent cross-contamination risk the way she can with peanuts and tree nuts, and she doesn’t want to mislead customers when their health is at stake. If you have any concerns, it is best to call the store directly and discuss your needs.
I am thrilled to have found yet another allergy-friendly bakery, and I will gladly make a point of stopping in at Flaky Tart whenever I happen to be in the Yonge and Eglinton area. In retrospect, perhaps it’s best that I didn’t know about them when I lived there—both my wallet and waistline would have suffered!
This allergy-friendly restaurant was reviewed by guest blogger, Liz Frederiksen. Liz is a proud Torontonian and a lifelong food allergy thriver. A copywriter and social media coach by trade, Liz is happiest when hula hooping, hiking, or sharing good food with her family. All opinions are her own.
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