Have I found the best butter tarts in Ontario?
Do you have any dessert shame? No? Well, you've come to the right spot! Bakery treats are at the heart and soul of just about every trip I've ever taken, and I should have known that Port Stanley, Elgin County, Ontario would be no different. But before we begin, I have to share a primer on the single most important food in Canadian history: the butter tart.
These gooey, delectable, completely bad for your health (well, except your mental health!) treats are the perfect accompaniment to a hot drink and I've yet to meet a single Canadian who doesn't love them. (Except in Quebec, where they don't even seem to know about them! But Quebec is home to the butter tart's cousin, sugar pie). Butter tarts can most easily be described as being made with a substance similar to that which fills pecan pie, but they are much, much more. Everyone has their own subtle variations and, in Port Stanley's Killer Desserts, butter tarts are taken to the extreme.
Not only does Killer Desserts serve butter tarts in every variation you can imagine, including classics like pecan and raisin as well as new twists like peanut butter and jelly, they also pack a powerful punch. Each tart weighs in at a quarter of a pound - so naturally I ate two of them! They are completely over the top, completely unnecessary - and why are you still sitting here reading this? You should be on your way to go get some!
If you're grown up enough to act sensible and eat a healthy lunch before going tart crazy, Killer Desserts also serves fantastic soups and sandwiches. They do all the classics the way you remember them, with just one extra little twist. My grilled cheese was made with an apple chutney, while Ryan's turkey sandwich was spread with a raspberry chipotle sauce.
This sauce was so incredibly good that we went to purchase a bottle (Killer Desserts has a wall lined with gourmet condiments to bring home) only to find out it was sold out. So we purchased a jumbo sized bottle of it straight from the kitchen!
Finally, Killer Desserts has something so special that normally it would be the first thing I mentioned, if it weren't for the butter tart madness! Despite being a small shop in an even smaller community, they serve fantastic gourmet coffee, freshly ground and served in a French press. We ordered the Jamaican Blue Mountain (often described as the best coffee in the world and priced accordingly). A two-cup French press was just $5.95 and there were many other unique beans that were even less expensive.
With their legendary desserts and fantastic lunches, they would be absolutely forgiven for selling ordinary drip coffee. Selling individual presses of such rare beans is no doubt a gamble for a cafe in such a small town and I really respect the fact that they are committed to doing things the right way and not taking the easy way out.
This is the kind of place I wish I could find in every town I travel to. It was the perfect combination of classic and non-conformist, with quality and quantity both setting the bar high. I can't wait to make a return visit!
What unexpected place have you found terrific coffee and epic desserts?
Learn more about Ontario's culinary scene!
Heating Up Winter in Haliburton
The Cheese Lover's Guide to Norfolk County
The Best Sandwich Shops in Ottawa
Our lunch was kindly provided by Elgin County Tourism and we thank them for their support. All writing and opinions remain my own.