Monday, March 12, 2012

Brunch Review: Toast

So I wrote this post a couple weeks ago but for whatever reason never got around to publishing it...

Yesterday morning my grandparents came in from the suburbs to see where I live and hang out for a bit.  They got in around noon and came straight to my apartment, where I gave them a quick tour (we were hungry after all).  Now, I've been hearing about this little place called Toast from my friends-- because in Chicago, brunch is everyone's favorite weekend hobby-- but it's not in Lakeview so I hadn't been yet.

I decided we would take advantage of the fact that Grammy & Pa drove in, and I could finally try Toast.

Sadly I didn't take any photos, but this is from

Oh. Emm. Gee.  It was a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

We went to the original location in Lincoln Park, at Webster & Halsted.  Parking wasn't too bad, but in the city you absolutely need to know how to parallel park (and sadly, a lot of people don't seem to have this skill down).  When we got there we were told it would be 45-60 mins, which definitely isn't the worst wait I've seen for brunch, so we walked down the street to Starbucks.  After a leisurely 40 mins at Starby's we went back to check on the wait at Toast.  Thankfully the wait wasn't as long as the hostess had originally quoted, and we were seated immediately.

The four-top booth against the window is where we sat (from

The place is tiny, probably only seating about 22 at the tables and another 5-6 at the counter, so you're seated about a foot away from the table next to you.  I like restaurants like that, they're more cozy =)

The interior of Toast - note the Art Deco feel (from

I ordered the Pesto Scramble, Grammy ordered the Eggs Benedict special, and Pa ordered the Omelette Lorraine.  Oh, and Grammy and I also split a Nutella crepe (because we needed a break from our savory entrees. And who in their right mind can resist Nutella crepes?)

I'm obsessed with the Pesto Scramble.  It was scrambled eggs with tomato, prosciutto, gruyere cheese, and fresh house pesto.  I can't even describe how delicious it was.  I think angels were singing and dancing on my taste buds.  A lot of places that serve pesto scrambled eggs or pest omelets tend to not use enough salt or don't season it further, and this was not the case.  It was salty, but not too salty, the cheese was melty without being frustratingly stringy, and the prosciutto was a perfect addition.  I absolutely loved it.  And the breakfast potatoes served with it were cooked exactly as I like them, which I have found is apparently difficult for most restaurants.  I usually try a bite or two of the potatoes and then ignore them, but I ate everything-- literally, everything-- on my plate.

Grammy was thrilled with her Eggs Benedict special, which had bacon and asparagus.  A friend had told me Toast has the best Hollandaise sauce she's ever had, and Grammy was just as enthusiastic.  She said Hollandaise can sometimes be too heavy and overwhelm the dish, or be too light and barely add flavor, but she said her Eggs Benedict was one of the best she's ever had (and she eats E.B. a lot.  Like at least once a week, a lot).  Pa said his Omelette Lorraine was fantastic, but he's a man of few words so I don't know much more beyond that.  He practically licked his plate clean though, so I know the combination of applewood bacon, gruyere cheese, onion, and chives must've been good.  The Nutella crepe was good, but we made the mistake of waiting until after everything else to enjoy it, so it wasn't warm anymore.  Should've ordered it when we were close to finishing our main dishes.

Overall, we all gave Toast a five out of five review.  We loved everything we ordered, and Grammy & Pa were pleasantly surprised to discover Julius Meinl coffee.

I'm on a quest to go to as many brunch places as possible, but I'll for sure be going back to Toast in the near future!

What's your favorite brunch spot or your go-to entree?

Have a great Monday =)

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