Thursday, January 12, 2012


Toast is a dive restaurant located on SE 52nd Ave. in Portland, Oregon. Toast opened in August 2007 and is  generally known for the daily brunch dishes (although lunch items are served later in the day). Virtually everything is made in house, from the breads/pastries to the hot sauce.

On the outside, I didn't expect much of this place, despite receiving much acclaim from customers (see Yelp). A couple logos on the outside, a signboard on the sidewalk, and apparently a broken door (at least when I arrived around the turn of the new year). Inside wasn't impressing me much, either. A relatively dim atmosphere, a few tables, and a diner-like counter. The cool part, to me, was being able to see the cooks hard at work, slinging quality breakfasts out in a reasonable time.

I went with "Benny and the Mets" ($12.50): a house-made English muffin, nitrate-free ham, two poached eggs, house-made hollandaise, and a potato rosti. While I waited, I munched on a couple of free lemon poppy seed scones. Light and delicate, flavors nicely balanced.

"Benny and the Mets"
One lemon poppy seed scone...
And sure, two more because I was waiting for a little bit
The rosti is basically shredded hash browns, shaped using a cylindrical ring mold. Cooked to perfection here. The golden brown, crispy outside contrasted nicely with the soft inside.

Set the yolk free!
The benedict? Yup, score another one for Toast! Beautifully poached eggs...can we cue the porn music for the runny yolk, please? The lightly toasted English muffin produced the crunchy sensation that would send people to their own happy place. Yes, nitrate-free ham is really good ham. The lemon in the hollandaise came at me right away, an excellent meal overall.

Did I use hot sauce? Does Wile E. Coyote attempt to catch the Roadrunner? Loved the house-made hot sauce here. A lovely tang, with a slight kick (nope, doesn't come close to killing my taste buds). I'll take a double shot of it, with a sriracha chaser!

If anything, $12.50 for a benedict? It was a nice portion, I must admit.  Knowing how I eat, I'd probably still get two menu items next time. Suggestions? Kai (my server) mentioned the "Bad Ass Sandwich" ($8.50), the "Go Home Thomas" ($11.50), and Dismal Times" ($12.50). Not surprisingly, I'm a big fan of Toast! 8.5/10

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