What better way to celebrate the blog’s one month birthday than with sweets! 😀 Can you believe that it’s already been a month since my very first post on Ate by Ate? 27 posts later (hey, not bad at all, I only missed 3 days!), I am feeling more excited and inspired than ever and I am so, so happy that I have this blog to share with you guys.
And what I’m sharing with you all today are bakery goods from The Open Window Bakery, located inside the little mini mall at Don Mills and Steeles, just off Highway 404. The Shops on Steeles and 404 in North York (technically, they say it’s located in Thornhill because it’s just north of the 416/905 boundary, but really, I consider it in North York) is far from what you would call a shopping mecca. But! I tell this to people all the time: I will, can, and do shop anywhere. And that includes noshing. I don’t care how small the mall is. I don’t care how “dumpy” it may appear. I find something worthwhile everywhere I go and that includes sweet treats and good eats. And if you’re wondering, yes, I have come out of this little mall with loot. I bought a take-out menu organizer from the Sears Outlet store (I kid you not! This thing is awesome!) and there are Pillsbury Doughboy lip balms with my name on them waiting for me at that Shoppers Drug Mart location. When I say I can shop anywhere, I don’t lie. Hmph.
The Open Window Bakery is a place I really grew to love this past fall simply because I was around it so often! My brother (who attends the Seneca Newnham campus at Finch) had a lonely Friday morning class each week during the fall semester. We didn’t have a lot of time to travel far, so my parents and I thought, “eh, what the heck, let’s check out the little mini mall at Steeles and Don Mills”. We figured we’d grab a small bite and wander around a bit and what began as somewhat of a “last resort” turned into a fun weekly excursion and I’m so very happy that I stumbled on this bakery! The people who work here were so sweet to us and the goodies are yummy! I am still dying to try their chocolate petit fours (I know! What kind of a sweet tooth doesn’t lunge at them right from the get go?? I totally fail), but I love their jam dab cookies, oh my goodness. You know how I said I love shortbread cookies to pieces? Yeah, I also love thumbprint cookies and their jam dab cookies are lovely. They’re not overly sweet or chewy and they’re not hard or dry. The jam parts in the middle make me wiggle, I love them.
They have a variety of cakes, tarts, and cookies, including chocolate chip ones stuffed with enough chocolate chips to fill the Grand Canyon! Items are individually priced with the exception of cookies which are priced based on weight, per 100g. They serve lunch and breakfast foods as well and let me tell you, for a small bakery inside a tiny mini mall, they make a damn good veggie omelette! I had breakfast there one time and ordered the veggie omelette and it was done perfectly with green bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions. And yes, I had my jab dabs to go with them 😀 Cakes are super reasonably priced (a giant whole lemon frosted cake for $11.99?? Oooo, me!!) and most breakfast and lunch items range from $3-$5.
That’s what I love about independent shops and little “hole-in-the-wall” places. Other than sanitary reasons, I’ve never been one to stick my nose up at places that are tucked away, or to think that certain areas “just don’t have anything in them” to look at or explore. I truly believe that every little area has something valuable to offer and it’s through exploration and just walking around aimlessly that leads you to such amazing stuff. Sometimes you purposely seek things out and other times they fall right into your lap. The best things always seem to come unexpectedly and that’s what makes this such a fun adventure ❤
The Shops on Steeles and 404 is located at 2900 Steeles Ave. East, at the intersection of Don Mills Rd. and Steeles Ave. E, off Highway 404 in North York.
Update – January18, 2011: I was informed last night that the Open Window Bakery just closed its doors for business and that makes me very sad! Sorry everyone 😦
Scrapbooking materials used: white and indigo/violet cardstock (Recollections); circle paper punch and numerous colours of cardstock for said circles; bakery stickers (Sticko); brown and white polka dotted alphabet stickers (K&Company).