There was a time (many moons ago) that I lived in Brantford, and I barely explored the Telephone City at all. I moved there after years of living in Toronto, and by comparison, I did not see (or appreciate) what the city had to offer. Sure, it was at a time in Brantford’s history that it was just on the cusp of economic and cultural growth, so it didn’t seem as vibrant as it is today. I just never took the time to really discover Brantford. Fast forward several years, and now, the city of Brantford has become a place we love to visit and explore. There are many fantastic restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, food stores, and breweries that are all just a small part of what is making Brantford (and Brant county) grand.
During the pandemic, many of Brant county’s stalwart businesses have become a part of our weekly routine. When many of the big grocery stores became challenging (and overly time consuming) to shop at, we noticed many small businesses, including many in Brantford were making the task of getting staples super easy. We started to recognize the value of making the trek to Brantford to shop at the small farm markets, meat shops, local dairy producers, bakeries, and much more for our weekly groceries.
Our Staycation destination
With social distancing practices in place and the fact that we go to Brantford almost every week anyway, we have made it our meeting place with ‘Rogue_Momma’. It is a convenient place to meet up outdoors and enjoy time together while still being responsible citizens. We have enjoyed picnics together in Mohawk Park- which is a lovely spot to visit along the banks of Mohawk Lake, and we regularly meet up at Dairee Delight for the best soft-serve ice cream around, and some tailgate conversation, and much more.
Our weekly visits allow us the opportunity to learn a little bit more about ‘Bell City’ and really discover Brantford. We are always looking for other places to check out that we have never been to before. During a recent visit, we saw a small, simple sign in the grassy knoll along the road near a strip plaza, that said: “maple butter tarts”. This plaza is one I have driven past many times, and never given any thought to, but….. butter tarts. So, we went to discover this place selling maple butter tarts.
San Agostino’s has been in business in Brantford since the 1970s, and they have been serving up traditional European baked goods, and Italian dishes for decades. They offer a variety of meats, pasta, salads, and sandwiches to take out and serve at home. Also, they have a vast array of mouth-watering pastries and baked goods such as cannoli, cakes, tarts, and cookies.
The Butter tarts
For those of you on your own butter tart quest, San Agostino’s bakery should be on your butter tart bucket list. They have 3 (that’s right, 3) very distinct categories (varieties) of butter tart options for you to enjoy – with over 14 flavours from which to choose. Depending upon your personal preferences, there are going to be butter tarts that will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.
▪️ They have the square pan baked butter tarts in plain, raisin, and pecan.
🔸There are the maple butter tarts – which are a large, traditional round tart made with real maple syrup. (plain, raisin, and walnut)
🔹 And then…. there are the gourmet butter tarts. These butter tarts are a real treat. They are larger than the others and come in a variety of great flavours. Such flavours as salted caramel (a Roguetripper favourite), toffee (another fave), Nutella, chocolate lovers, caramel walnut, pecan, plain and raisin. These are the tarts we will be discussing here.
The gourmet butter tarts have a beautiful made by hand appearance, and the pastry has a hand-rolled look. Some tarts are darker than others but never burnt. The decorations and embellishments are pretty and plentiful, and they identify the flavour of the tart. These butter tarts are huge, amply filled, and very appealing to the eye.
The pastry is relatively thick and firm, but it still has a flaky texture. There is a crispness to the crust that Is enjoyable, and there is a hint of salt that enhances the buttery flavour of the pastry when you bite into it. The crust is substantial enough that it holds the massive amounts of filling in place nicely, without being too much crust in every bite.
The filling of these butter tarts is made with real butter – and you taste it in every mouthful. The filling is thick, creamy, and very smooth. There isn’t much ooze factor to these butter tarts because of the butter, which gives a real unctuous quality to them. The plain butter tart, as you might imagine, isn’t as sweet as the other (gourmet) flavours but it is still a very sweet butter tart. You may need to sit down and take your time with flavours like chocolate, Nutella, toffee, and salted caramel. The sweetness is off the charts on these bad boys. There is no sugary crystallization nugget on the bottom of these butter tarts – which is probably a good thing.
Crust to filling ratio
Very good….correction…. excellent. The gourmet butter tarts at San Agostino’s are filled right to the top with that decadent, sweet nectar.
If you love a really sweet butter tart – and I do mean really sweet – this is the butter tart for you. There is no shortage of flavour in these gourmet tarts. They don’t just offer a hint of the flavour – they pack these butter tarts to the rafters with the flavours. I don’t think you will find a salted caramel butter tart with MORE salted caramel in it than this.
Their sign for the maple butter tarts may be what drew us into San Agostino’s, however, it’s their quality baked goods that keep us coming back. We have been a few times now, and each time we try something new. If you are in the Brantford area, I would recommend you pop into this classic European style bakery and enjoy some of their amazing sweets. Try the Sicilian cannoli – they are spectacular.
With our newfound appreciation for all of the possibilities that exist in the Telephone city, I think Roguetrippers will need to spend more time and really Discover Brantford.
*note: All butter tart reviews are our opinions only, based on our experiences and personal preferences. Your experiences and opinions may vary.
If you know of a great bakery making amazing butter tarts, we would love to hear from you. Let us know about them, so we can plan a future road trip to check them out, and include them in our #ButterTartQuest.
Contact Roguetrippers with your suggestions.
After posting this article, I was made aware that these butter tarts are made by Carla’s Cookie Box, and not by San Agostino’s.
San Agostino’s maple butter tarts are their house-made tarts, which are quite popular. They are the ones with the scalloped edges.