Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toast - Absury Park, NJ

Toast of the Town
You had me at red velvet pancakes. And Irish Benedict = corned beef hash instead of Canadian bacon.

Peace. Love. Pancakes. - Toast's mantra, carried over to the friendly and willing, yet somewhat forgetful wait staff. Forgetful, but not forgettable, especially since they owned up to any mistakes and clearly communicated about delays.

Plus, I was already distracted by my lobster roll (breakfast and lunch are available all day). Oh, Maine lobster how I love thee! West Coast living means giving up claw meat (and taste), since Pacific/Mexican Lobster is a pincher-less mutant whose tail is tougher than nails.

And although there were only about 4 bites, it was ALL LOBSTER (only a touch of mayo and lemon), served with a mini-pitcher of melted butter. But how could I justify the $16.95 price tag for an almost-amuse-bouche?

I was reminded of Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias when she told Sally Field, “I’d rather have one moment of wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special.” Same went for lobster rolls – I’d rather have four bites of luxury, than a hoagie full of mayo and celery.

Toast earned another “A” in seafood with the shrimp BLT, where we switched out the Old Bay mayo for the refreshing cleanse of wasabi/cucumber sauce - perfection. Sides showed off sweet potato fries, but they didn’t hold a candle to the crisp class(ic)-act of Toast’s traditional version.

But tradition was bucked at breakfast, flaunting present day designs like Bananas Foster French toast (made with Challah bread) and Will's Firebird (gluten-free) pancakes. Homemade hash was salty and tender with enough sodium-filled protein to last me all day. And isn’t that what breakfast is about? That warm hug to your tummy that keeps you going? Toast spread on the edible love, thick, spinning homespun into a home-run.

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