Are you craving eggs and bacon? Or a vegetarian brunch? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Note: This article was updated by a current expert in June, 2016. The review below was done a few years past, much has changed at Toast. Check it out for yourself!
When Toast on Market opened a few years ago, it was the buzzed-about eatery. I tried to eat there several times but was thwarted by the time constraints of my own job and its incompatible midday break schedule. Needless to say I was thrilled this morning when a rare break in my busy schedule allowed for brunch at the NuLu hotspot.
The Atmosphere at Toast
The outside of the building is unremarkable. Without an address and a sharp eye, it would be easy to pass it by. Metered street parking helps to locate the restaurant, but metered parking is also a drag, especially for the gentleman that was sitting beside me and my wife who had a traffic ticket and a wheel boot waiting for him.
After a short wait, my wife and I were seated at a two-person table. The tables in the restaurant are so close together that it feels like you're sitting at a grill table at a Japanese-style bistro. The restaurant was packed at 11 a.m., and the loud atmosphere is not conducive to meaningful conversation.
The Food at Toast
The coffee at Toast on Market tasted burnt and anemic. I salvaged one cup with plenty of cream and sugar, but I went water-only after that. My wife complained to me of the same problem, so I know I wasn’t being overly critical. There is a huge selection of other drinks to choose from, but most are $5 and up, almost as much as many of the meals.
Food selections range from between $6 and $13. From the time we ordered to the time our food was served, approximately 25 minutes had passed. I ordered a French toast dish called “The King.” It was a brioche filled with peanut butter and banana, lightly dusted with confectionary sugar, and served with a side of syrup and hash brown casserole. Upon first bite, the dish had a medicinal flavor much like a cough syrup. And while I waited for my taste buds to become acclimated to flavors I’d never experienced in a brioche dish, the taste never improved.
The hash brown casserole was dished-out with what had to be an ice cream scoop. It was cold and tasted of nothing in particular.
My wife chose to make her own three-egg omelet with spinach and white cheddar cheese. It was served with two pieces of toast and a cup of mixed fruit: apples, oranges, and grapes. The omelet arrived bare with no accouterment on top as might have been expected if ordering an omelet anywhere else on the planet. It was a flat yellow rectangle and boring to the eye. The filling as ordered was as bland as the outside of the dish. While the cheddar family of cheeses usually brings a little punch of maturity and nuttiness of taste, this cheddar was almost provolone in nature.
The fruit cup was just a fruit cup and nothing more. These superficial observations are included to emphasize just how ho-hum the sensory experience was from eye to mouth. I tasted a bit of apple, and even it was devoid of any kind of flavor.
The Overall Experience
My expectations of Toast on Market may have been too high based on the hype the restaurant normally gets around town. I found nothing special to recommend for others and can’t imagine eating there again based on my first experience. The best way to review the restaurant may be to share a final anecdotal comment. My wife told me that I had to taste her toast. She slathered the shingle in strawberry jam and handed it my way. She gave me what had to be the driest piece of bread ever served in a restaurant setting.
It was like trying to eat an oversized communion wafer without the wine chaser. The only way I could get it down was to take a slip of water and allow the bread to saturate in my mouth before swallowing. Even the toast at Toast on Market wasn’t good. However, the name of the eatery does carry a stern warning: toast is the most boring breakfast food I can think of, and the same can easily be said about Toast on Market.
Note: This article was updated by a current expert in June, 2016.