Happy National French Toast Day! This special food holiday was recently celebrated on November 28. French toast also happens to be my favorite breakfast/brunch item, which is no surprise since I have a big sweet tooth. I’m on a mission to try all the best French toast dishes in the Boston area, and hopefully around the world since it is a dish that is enjoyed in so many countries.
It doesn’t take rocket science to whip up a French toast meal: soak slices of bread in a mixture of beaten egg/milk/cream, fry both sides on a skillet, and finish it off with a sweet topping (i.e. powdered sugar, maple syrup, chocolate, cinnamon, fruits, whipped cream, jelly, jam, etc.). The key to delicious French toast is using the right kind of bread (i.e. challah or brioche) that is stale and thickly sliced; it makes a huge difference in texture.
Here are my top 5 French toast dishes from a growing list of what I’ve tried so far at local Boston and Greater Boston restaurants.
For classic challah french toast, my favorite is from Zaftigs Delicatessen, a Jewish deli and restaurant in Coolidge Corner/Brookline. The toast comes with a generous amount of powdered sugar and fresh sliced strawberries, plus a side of maple syrup. The texture is fluffy, but not soggy. I look forward to trying their other French toast options, such as banana stuffed or chocolate. Come early for weekend brunch – the restaurant can get very busy.
Another favorite of mine is the vanilla brioche French toast from Gaslight in the South End. It’s served with blueberry compote that is both sweet and tart. Another sweet feature? This dish is served on Gaslight’s prix fixe menu for $9.95 and includes juice, coffee/tea, and shortbread.
The lemon ricotta French toast at Trident Booksellers & Café on Newbury Street is a must-try. In fact, it’s probably one of their most popular breakfast items. I am normally not a fan of ricotta unless it’s in cannoli but the filling is creamy, smooth and not overly sweet. The blueberry sauce is delicious and the portion is huge. I love the cozy space and unique setting since it is part-bookstore.
At Deep Ellum, their French toast dish is made with Portuguese sweet bread. The toast is sweet enough alone and doesn’t need maple syrup. I love the spices added to this and the simple garnish of confectionary sugar and a marble-size ball of butter.
Currently, my go-to restaurant for French toast is Sugar Baking Co. in Roslindale. Sugar Baking uses thick cinnamon raisin bread and for toppings, the toast is drizzled with a sweet creme anglaise and a sprinkle of fresh bluberries and powdered sugar. This dish is only available on the Specials menu (usually on weekends). I love the contrast of the toasty exterior and soft interior. Don’t forget to order a side of their addicting crispy home fries. If French toast doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, Sugar Baking is also part-bakery, showcasing their beautifully decorated cupcakes and pastries.
Are you a fan of French toast? If so, where’s your favorite restaurant to get some? Happy National French Toast Day from Boston Bakes!