Finding Solace at Toast Fairgrounds

Not long after we returned home from our evacu-vacation to Tuscaloosa, John and I tried a new spot for breakfast with not so great results. Instead of outing them here on my blog, I decided to wait for a few months to see if things ironed out. In the meantime, we still had an intense hankering for a tasty, well-prepared breakfast, so the next day we tried again.

If you’ve kept up with me for a while, it will come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of anything and everything coming from Cara and Evan Benson. Be it the lovely French cafe Tartine (and their fabulous king cakes) or my all-time favorite Toast on Laurel Street. I’ve yet to visit French Toast on Decatur Street (oh but I will!) and there’s another Toast that should be opening soon on the Westbank.

Since I knew, unequivocally, that breakfast at Toast would be excellent, I checked out their Instagram feeds to see if they’d reopened after the storm. As it turned out, the original Toast on Laurel Street was undergoing renovations (even before the storm), so we took the extra jaunt out to Toast Fairgrounds.

I’d been to this location on Gentilly Boulevard a few times before, and on the way out there visions of their chicken and waffles were dancing in my head. But by the time we got there and were seated, I’d changed my mind a hundred times. It’s always a rough decision. Do I get the hangar steak and eggs? Or proscuitto, honey and ricotta-laden toast? Maybe sweet crepes with bananas and Nutella? Decisions!

I ended up with a B.L.T. made on toasted sourdough with roasted tomatoes, thick-cut bacon and sunny-side-up eggs with a side of their wonderful ratatouille. The yolk dripped out all over my hands with every bite, something that might annoy other diners, but I was ecstatic. Naturally, at a place called “Toast,” you’d expect to find great bread. Being primarily a “bakester,” Cara Benson makes incredible breads, everything from scones and brioche to French baguettes, and her sourdough is no exception. And here I thought I’d never find decent sourdough outside of San Francisco!

John actually ordered toast, a selection he’d enjoyed several times in the past at the Laurel Street location. It’s a thick, toasty slice topped with cured salmon, cream cheese, capers and softly scrambled eggs — a dish he quickly devoured, only to move on to my ratatouille.

The whole experience, sitting outside and eating good food, significantly eased my anxiety after the craziness of the past week. Thanks for welcoming me home, Toast, I appreciate it more than you can know.

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