Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Let's get TOASTED!

After two recommendations from our facebooking friends Hazel and Craig, we finally decided to visit the morning meal magicians at Toast to put their plates and our palates to the test. So, grab your breakfast eating hats and hold on as Abbe and Jebby visit Toast to see what their friends say is a meal to remember.

Abbe’s Meal: Badass Sandwich- Fried eggs, Bacon, Goat’s milk cheese, and greens on toast with a Rosti.
This sandwich was badass to say the least. The inspiring combination of fresh goat’s milk cheese, melting all over tender bacon and eggs with “I just picked this off the plant, literally” tasting arugula and crispy, thick cut toast was enough to convert me to a permanent Toast patron.
When my plate of food first came to the table I was dismayed to see my eggs very undercooked. I had asked for over medium, which in egg speak, usually means fully cooked whites and mostly runny yolks. What I got at first was runny whites and runny yolks leaking all over my rosti and toast. The waitresses however were extremely hospitable and immediately had my eggs re-cooked and my plate cleaned of the previous egg’s innards. This time the eggs were fully cooked, which still wasn’t what I asked for, but nonetheless was delicious with my sandwich.
The bacon was perfectly crafted, thick slices cooked to a crispy edge and a tender middle. All the flavors complemented each other so well and to top it all off was my delicious rosti. Up until our visit to Toast I had been a rosti virgin, only having eaten similar provisions like potato latkes that my bubby makes. Once the eye-popping flavors of butter, eggs, tender yet crisp potato and salt and pepper hit my anticipatory tongue I walked through a newly opened door of the magical myriad of potato application. Who knew you could take a rather plain yet versatile vegetable and turn it into a Disney World type experience for your mouth? Obviously the Swedish knew and then they gave us rosti.
I would highly recommend this meal to any knew visitor or seasoned frequenter of Toast, in fact I’m half tempted to do that car salesman pitch of “I’ll eat my hat if you aren’t satisfied” shpeel. It’s THAT good.
Abbe’s Drink: Grapefruit Mimosa- Fresh Grapefruit juice served with Cava.
I’m a mimosa advocate. By the time we sat down I was ready to blurt out “I’ll have a mimosa!” to our smiling waitress. She recommended the grapefruit to me and I am pleased to say she has good taste. The combination of champagne and juice seems simple enough, but believe me, it can be a horrendous experience when not done with craft. However, not by the master mimosa makers at Toast; they use a Spanish sparkling wine called Cava, which I had never tried before and it was a delicious replacement for champagne to accompany my grapefruit juice. After one sip I asked our waitress if they fresh squeezed the juice because the flavor was so exquisite it HAD to be fresh squeezed. In fact, the juice came from a Portland based company called Aloha, no I don’t mean the dismal SW city next to Beaverton. I was excited to learn about how local Toast’s ingredients truly are. The coffee, the juice, heck I expected a goat to be tied up in the back yard named Bessy who gave them the milk for their cheese.
In summation, try their cocktails, or better yet, just have a MIMOSA!

Jebby’s Meal: Dismal Times - Ground hanger steak, white cheddar cheese, chives, greens, served open faced on toast with two fried eggs and a rosti.
If you had told me before I came to Toast that an open-faced egg, ground beef and cheddar sandwich on toast would be one of the better breakfasts I have eaten, I would say you were nuts. But it was. Honestly, I only decided to order the Dismal Times because they were out of what I REALLY wanted, The Occasional Hedonist. I was really in the mood for breakfast, and many of Toast’s dishes sound more like lunch or dinner. Cassoulet? Tomato sauce? Steak? I came to eat breakfast and that’s what I intended to do. I figured that you guys probably get sick of listening to me review biscuits and gravy and eggs Benedict, so I ordered the only other thing on the menu that sounded breakfasty enough to satisfy my cravings without being made out of cereal, and that was Dismal Times.
            I didn’t really get it right away. After the first bite, I remember asking myself “Um, why did you order this, again?” but the second bite… oh, that second bite. I cut into the over-medium egg and the hot, runny yolk filled all the nooks and crannies made by the ground hanger steak and melted the cheese a little more thoroughly. That second bite was breakfast heaven on my tongue. The ground steak had just a little pink on it still and was full of big, beefy flavor. I don’t eat red meat very often, but when I do I like it still bleating for clemency, so good on you, Toast, for not overcooking my meat. This isn’t just ground beef.  The ground hanger steak at Toast has that nearly indescribable savory richness of beef flavor that you get when you eat the first bite of a filet mignon. Combined with the peppery arugula, rich yolk, creamy white cheddar and pillowy toast, it makes for the perfect breakfast sandwich. You will never want to defile your palate with an Egg Mcmuffin again. My parents have this incredibly annoying habit of dumping loads of hot sauce on everything they eat, so I usually make it a habit to avoid doing it myself. However, Toast makes a mighty fine hot sauce, and a few splashes of it taste really great on the Dismal  Times.
            Another thing Toast does really well is their rosti, which graces most dishes where hash browns or home fries would usually reside.  Their rosti is simple, but delicious: shredded potato, egg and butter that is crunchy outside and creamy on the inside. My favorite.
Jebby’s Drink: Apricot Fizz - Dark and spiced rum with apricot, lime juice, and ginger ale.

            I am sad to say that my drink at Toast was not as tasty as my food. I was really looking forward to the Apricot Fizz, as I love both apricots and booze, but I was disappointed here too. The apricot was sadly absent, and all I could taste was sweetened lime. Don’t get me wrong, I love limes, but I wanted apricot and I was let down.  Don’t let the Apricot Fizz put you off going there though, the food is more than worth it. 

Our Overall review of Toast:
So what makes a restaurant cool in Abbe and Jebby's growing book? Our list, let us show you it.
1. Local/ fresh/ seasonal: Restaurants that serve locally purchased and seasonal produce, cruelty free meats, and vegan/vegetarian options are always a bonus. Toast is about as local as you can get, serving fresh and delicious items from awesome P-town purveyors, whether it's veggies, meat, coffee, or juice.
2. Knowledgeable: We always feel that a restaurant can far surpass it's many competitors by being knowledgeable about the food they serve, what's in it, where it comes from, if they've tried it, and what they think of it. We want to know what's going in our bellies and if you think our bellies will be satiated. The very knowledgeable people at Toast gave us great recommendations and were happy and ready to answer all of our inquisitive foodie questions.
3. House-made accoutrements: There is always originality in a restaurant that makes it's own versions of condiments, drinks, seasonings, etc. Toast makes their own badass hot sauce, which complimented both our meals and we think that making something common into your own unique creation, makes you stand out.
4. Good service: The service that the staff at a restaurant gives can make or break any one's experience, whether they're unfriendly or just inattentive. Toast's friendly service and smiling staff made our meal one to remember.
5. Atmosphere: We feel that the atmosphere of any eatery is a cornerstone to a positive nosh, heck, even distasteful art can ruin a good meal. Toast is a warm and bright environment with comfortable seating, good ambiance, adorable art, and overall aesthetically pleasing surroundings. We felt right at home as we dove face first into our delicious meals.
6. Coffee: Nothing goes better with a taste-bud-bursting breakfast than a strong cup of well crafted Joe. Toast serves a locally made coffee called Courier, which at first taste was a little weak for Jebby and I. The second time around was stronger and I sipped with pleasure, but Jebby felt it was still a skosh too flimsy. Obviously everyone has their feelings about how they like their coffee or don't like it for that matter, but for us, we like it strong, bold, and fragrant.

These six points are just an outline of how we like to grade our restaurant experience and I think we'd both agree that Toast deserves an A!
So if you're looking for a locally minded, friendly, attentive, and unique meal, we would recommend you give Toast a try.

Toast's brilliantly crafted and mouth watering menu can be viewed at

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