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Oct 30, 2011 07:59 AM

What it's like at Pusateri's nowadays

I was driving down Avenue Rd yesterday (Saturday) and stopped off at Pusteri's just before 6pm. No police traffic directors, ample parking. Two customers in the store. Looked around. Saw the same heaping bowls of "salads" gleaming with oil and thought that I didn't want to buy any because it was made for the same stuff to be put out the next day.

On the way out a kitchen munchkin in white standing past the cash register gave me a small tin can of chocolate. Something like the flat cans that some cigarettes used to come in in the old , old days. This chocolate is the reason for the post.

The can was elegant with a gold elastic around it. The elastic attached a small card saying amorphous nice things about "the situation". The can forbode lots of promise.

The chocolate was milk chocolate. It was as unpleasant as any chocolate that I have ever had. Stale. The flavour notes had not melded and fought with each other. The winner was sweet; a big loser was chocolate. I had a tiny bit after a nice dinner. Dessert had been a really good nashi (Chinese pear) . Pear and chocolate, right? Wrong. The chocolate was a violent barbarian attack with bad mouth feel and an unpleasant lingering taste memory.

I don't know how the chocolate was selected. I don't know if the larger criticism is that the person who selected the item didn't try the chocolate before it was put out or that he did and liked it.

The selection was dumb on all counts. If you are trying to be elegant- I don't accuse Pusateri's of aspiring- you should use dark chocolate. Also, dark chocolate is more reliable. It holds good taste character much longer than milk chocolate. And Pusater's in the circumstances - any circumstances- should have been using the very best chocolate, not this stuff.

The advantages of milk chocolate are that it is cheaper than dark chocolate, and it doesn't show a white bloom as easily if handled badly.

I would not have been surprised if the chocolate had been thrown in with a Happy Meal, although I would hope that McD would have more sense and would achieve a higher standard.

McD of course wouldn't give you the tin can with the gold elastic .


1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

Happy Meal Restaurant
4130 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M3H3P2, CA

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  1. Vinnie,

    what does Mike "the situation" from Jersey Shore have to do with Pusateri's other than both are Italian and possibly store their noodles in less than pristine environments?

    You weren't actually supposed to EAT the chocolate, they were giving you a box to store stuff in.

    1539 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5M, CA

    1 Reply
    1. Whether it's milk or dark chocolate really shouldn't be the issue (I prefer milk) but, rather than giving out cheap chocolate, they should've did a 5% off customer appreciation weekend or something like that, along with an advertisement in the newspapers apologizing and explaining the efforts they took to mitigate recurrence.

      And they're targeting the wrong people. If you're in there buying stuff, it means you've already "forgiven" them and so what's the point of the chocolate? It's the people who haven't returned whom they should be targeting.

      2 Replies
      1. re: syoung

        I won't return unless ownership changes most things are at Bruno's or Highland farms anyway. Only truffled salt or Balsamic are of interest there.

        1. re: TheDewster

          I will return, but not for many Months, as I want to be certain that all present stock (including shelved items) are gone.

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          1. I returned on Saturday, although I must admit I was a little nervous. I do believe, however, that because of what happened and because of all the scrutiny that they are now under, the place will be cleaner than it's ever been, and there's nothing to worry about.