Eggy Custardy Morsels


When we moved into our current home there was a little corner store / coffee shop run by Mario and Maria, an older Portugese couple. About six months later they closed so the building could be renovated. No one ever expected it to be a 26 month hiatus. Not too long ago they returned, converting the corner store to more of a coffee shop.

Personally, I still find the coffee a bit harsh, but Maria makes these unbelievable Portugese egg custard tarts. Available every day, these little three-bite wonders are perfect, flakey pastry with just a little give and filled with a sweet, smooth, almost brulé-like yellow egg custard. The edges are carmelized just a little, almost burnt, but not quite which adds yet another dimension of flavour and texture.

I’ve always been a sucker for custard, and the most accessible egg tarts in this city are the Asian ones. Usually these are not as sweet and the consistency is varied. I’ve not found one I can definitively say I’m fully enamoured with. Not so here. I can’t help myself, and though I can usually avoid getting one on alternate weekends, it’s not uncommon for one of these morsels to be the secret impetus for a short stroll with my daughter. Oh, and they’re only $1.25 each. A pittance for such amazing home baking though you’ll need at least two if you’re hoping to savour them throughout your cup of coffee.

At the risk of demand outstripping supply, and against my better judgement, I’ll share the location: Dias Coffee Shop, corner of Commercial Street and East 20th in Vancouver. Best get there early, and before me.


5 Responses to “Eggy Custardy Morsels”

  1. Posted on June 19th, 2009

    I’ve had really great/fresh flaky egg tarts first thing in the morning at Keefer Bakery in Chinatown or at certain chinese restaurants when it’s on the dim sum menu (eg. Golden Harvest Seafood Restaurant on Main & 32nd). I am VERY picky about my egg tart flakiness–if it’s the premade shells (eg. Maxims), too oily or the egg custard separates from the shell then I tend to pass.

  2. Posted on June 30th, 2009

    I fell in love with the Portuguese version of the egg & custard pastries when I spent a month there in 2000. They are a rare and delicious treat. I don’t know what time that store opens, but be warned. The race is on!

  3. Posted on July 2nd, 2009

    You can also get Portuguese egg/custard tarts at Union Market on Union & Hawks in Strathcona. I find them a bit too sweet for my taste…

  4. Posted on July 3rd, 2009

    I too sampled the real thing in Lisbon…amazing.
    Pretty good replicas baked in a small shop at W Broadway and MacDonald.

  5. Posted on October 6th, 2009

    If you like the portugese tarts then you should visit Universel Bakery on Rupert and 22nd (approx), where they bake fresh portugese tarts and other wonderful portugese sweets.

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