Worth the Wait

It's always a blast having friends who enjoy heading out to try new places (or at least new to us) around town. I have a couple of groups of friends who love to venture out for Sunday brunch. Last Sunday, a handful of us took a trip over to the eastside to try what I've heard to be a brunch hotspot, Toast.

Now one thing about me and dining is this: I hate waiting more than 30 minutes to be seated. And when I called to make a reservation for our party of seven at Toast, I learned that the tiny venue did not take reservations - something that I hate. But I bit my tongue and decided to hang in there - warning the group ahead of time.

I arrived at 10:30 a.m. as the group decided on an 11:00 a.m. meeting time - thought I'd get there and begin the wait for everyone. The tagline of Toast is ...A neighborhood restaurant. And that it most certainly is. As I slid into my parking spot directly in front of the door at SE 52nd and Steele, I was greeted by neighborhood patrons sipping coffee and chatting at the outside tables in the dreary Portland weather. I entered the incredibly quaint, yet bustling, restaurant and put my name on the list with our party's headcount. 

As I grabbed a menu and a tiny, vacant chair by the door, I couldn't help but take in the ambiance of the place. Toast is the epitome of a cozy, neighborhood haunt complete with one room of, I'd say, enough chairs to seat about 40 eaters, a counter that surrounds the kitchen and resembles the classic neighborhood diner, and a restaurant owner who ensures everything is running smoothly - from what's hopping in the kitchen, to making certain that those waiting at the outside tables continued to have fresh, hot coffee in their mugs. 

As, one by one, our party began to arrive, I was visibly concerned about our wait time, and Donald, the owner, could see it. He was quick to put me at ease that we'd be seated as soon as possible, and that they do accommodate groups from six to ten people on a regular basis. Basically, they make it work. He also offered to get drinks started (and by drinks I mean Toast's famed Bloody Mary's) for those who were eying them from the get-go. 

An hour-and-a-half after my arrival, we were seated. And we were so excited! The menu looked amazing, and even though we had all that time to look over it and decide, we were all still undecided on what to order. Our server, Tiffany's, explanation of a special brioche roll with homemade caramel sauce was enough to get us started, then we each did our own heads or tails and got a move on with ordering our chosen dishes. 
 Toast Bellinis for...toasting

Housemade Brioche roll w/housemade caramel sauce

 Benny and the Mets; Toast's version of Eggs Benedict w/homemade English muffins

Housemade Brioche rolls w/ground sausage and scrambled eggs

Dismal Times - though I think not

The Occasional Hedonist - that's a sweet onion tart under there

Honestly, I forget the name but believe it was a pork special for the day

When the group finished devouring the unforgettable eats, I did have to ask them all one questions: Was it worth the wait? I received a resounding, "Yes" from the entire crew. Yes...it was worth the wait. 

Some other things I just loved this week...
  • Happy Hour with the girls at Departure atop The Nines hotel. Departure is decidedly so not what people expect in Portland, but I look at it as a breath of fresh air. And I can't wait until the sun decides to make an appearance again along with it's most complementary friend - warmer weather. This place delivers an amazing view of the city and a prime location to sip cocktails and dine on artistically presented Asian cuisine while seated on top of the world. Ok, on top of the Rose City.
  • The receipt of my April issue of MIX magazine: Portland's magazine of food + drink. I opened up the April issue to find inside three articles from three of my most favorite Portland food writing Dames: Lizzy Caston, Ashley Gartland, and Andrea Slonecker. All totally original and inventive stories. Nice work, Dames. 

1 comment:

sparrow said...

i had the caramel brioche at toast this weekend and almost died from taste delciousness! i split this with a friend and loved EVERY bite!

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