Toast is one of those comforting foods that holds rank with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and other homemade recipes that have emotional healing powers. Its scent can take over a home just like any freshly baked good and its buttery golden crunch in undoubtedly better when warm. Many of my childhood mornings started with a toasted piece of wheat bread, butter, and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar; it was simple, no frills, and comforting. The little slice of bread has always been a humble treat, but ever since the grilled cheese propelled beyond kraft singles, toast was destined to follow suit and break beyond plain old butter and jam. While I won’t trade in my beloved cinnamon toast for a fancier version, I have given in to the toast trend by testing out a few other combinations at home and around town. Dense European bread toasted and dolloped with creme fraiche and salmon is a new favorite, while a brunch spot’s fluffy wheat bread topped with soft scrambled eggs elevates any diner version’s menu combo. Smeared with ricotta and drowned in a seedy jam is one of the options at Sqirl, the East Hollywood local staple that has been added to the artisinal toast list. The trend has been in full swing for nearly a year and it has been outdoing any other breakfast option since. Still, the charm of finding a re-imagined slice of bread on any menu is enough to make you try it out of interest.
While I struggle a bit between my nostalgic tendencies and foodie mindset I have no problem cutting into one particular toast pairing at my favorite weekend coffee shop. Perched on one of stools at Go Get ‘Em Tiger while facing the incoming crowd is the best seat to enjoy their avocado toast with slices of mini heirloom tomatoes, radishes, olive oil, and over-sized flakes of salt. Thick slices of brioche are pressed into golden crispy squares that then get brushed with oil and topped with bright green avocado. This breakfast treat has become one of my favorite because it’s shared with my husband on lazy Sunday mornings after a bike ride into town and a stroll through the farmers market. Chores and plans for the day disappear for that hour as we dig into our gourmet treat and mugs of coffee, mirroring that same coziness found on mornings with plain sliced bread and cinnamon sugar toast. It doesn’t matter if we are kids with little glasses of milk and a slice of Wonder, or adults with pour over coffee and sea salt topped brioche, the charm of sliced bread toasted to perfection is never lost.