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Making the trip to St. Lawrence Market is always a mini-adventure. I rarely walk out of there without bags full of exotic vegetables, meats and sauces. My usual meanderings include a stop at the stone oven bagel stall and at least a half hour of cheese tastings but yesterday I was there with Spatula Goddess, and we had a more specific task in mind.

After extensive tastings of real vanilla extract, Spatula Goddess had decided months ago, that Saffron brand vanilla had the best flavour for the best value. I have not had the chance to experience this brand yet, as I was fully stocked with excellent British bourbon vanilla when she posted her findings. Eager to bow to her wisdom, now that I am running low on vanilla, the two of us trekked out to St. Lawrence Market and explored the crowded baking supply shops buried in it’s bustling underbelly.

Alas, no luck. The shops where we had seen it before did not have any in stock so we bought a couple other supplies and planned our next move at a pigeon invested seating area outside in the sun.

Crepes and dessert were an easy solution to the afternoon. And luckily, we were right near Le Papillon, a good place for both.

I love the atmosphere at Le Papillon on Front, but the food can be unpredictable. Spatula Goddess and I were both seduced by the description of the apple, bacon and old cheddar galette. Upon our first few bites, we both agreed it was delicious and were sated enough that we allowed the waiter to take away the little cup of unfinished maple syrup without being tempted to drink it (well, I thought of it, but resisted).

This was my dessert

The Chocolate Cake was not quite what I expected from the description, ending up being more of a lava cake. Also, I would have prefered if it had not come swimming in watery, cold custard sauce. It was quite tasty, but the presentation, textures and temperatures of the components sucked away a little of my enthusiasm. Much of my delight during dessert instead came from watching Spatula eat her lemon tart, which had been everything she hoped for.

We have agreed that this is a good start to what should become at least a monthly tradition. Restaurants and sweet shops, here we come.

Saffron vanilla, we will find you yet.