Best French Toast

I spend approximately 70 nights a year away from home. Part of my travel koan is to eat a good breakfast, because lunch often reduces to Altoids mints and a Starbucks coffee. I have become a self-proclaimed connoisseur of french toast, a veritable gourmand du pain frite, which is appropriate no matter how bad your Francophone accent.

So based on nothing more than my personal recollection of taste, texture and desire to eat several hectares worth of the stuff, here are my Global Toast ratings:

  • Cinnamon Bun French Toast, Ko'Sin restaurant, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass hotel, Phoenix, Arizona. It's so good I woke up at 5:30 am to enjoy it even though I knew there was a free breakfast coming up the same day. It is precisely what it sounds like, topped with prickly pear butter. In terms of caloric content, cholesterol and other bad stuff, it's the french toast equivalent of uranium. But worth it.
  • Vanilla Bean French Toast, Black Bear restaurant, Lake Placid, New York. Yes, it's worth the four hour drive from New York City. Well, maybe not in the snow, but if you do venture up there before the annual melt (in April) buy a dozen or so servings to go in case you get stuck on the way home. Or not. It's that good. Supposedly the vanilla bean and cinnamon bread used as the base comes from a local bakery that has some unique intellectual property in the bakery biz. You can enjoy your breakfast, walk across the street and see where Miracle took place.
  • Thick-sliced French Toast, Ritz Diner, Livingston, New Jersey. I'm slightly biased, because the Ritz has the home field advantage. They make an amazing challah bread, enhanced even more after being egged on and fried to give it that uniquely Jersey diner look & feel. Yes, it's the blue/green diner where parts of the Sopranos fifth season were filmed. Start your day with high-density carbs and a "How you doin?".
  • French Toast, House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. The best-kept secret for hangover-less breakfast in Sin City. And it hasn't been touched by that guy who just handled $65 in nickels at the slot machine before getting in the buffet line.
  • Comments:

    Of course, very little beats making it yourself on a BBQ.

    Posted by Alan Hargreaves on October 05, 2004 at 05:26 PM EDT #

    a better french translation for "gourmand du pain frite" would be "gourmand du toast grill´┐Ż". Funny enough to note that french much more prefers baguette (the one you carry under your arm) or croissant for breakfast.

    Posted by bbr on October 05, 2004 at 10:30 PM EDT #

    Hal,

    And when you stated 'because lunch often reduces to Altoids minds and a Starbucks coffee', did you really mean Altoid mint or is there a new Altoid product out that I need to be aware of? :)

    dl

    Posted by Dan Lacher on October 06, 2004 at 12:47 AM EDT #

    I'm sorry Hal but, your "Global Toast ratings" are from Arizona, New York, New Jersey and Nevada?
    Where is the global?
    By the way, if you ever go to France, I think you'd like to ask a croc (it's read a bit like crook ) messieur (or, if you like a fried egg on top, a croc madame).

    If you ever came to Portugal, ask for a "tosta mista" (I wont even try to came up with a English equivalent :) )

    Posted by Jaime Cardoso on October 06, 2004 at 10:45 AM EDT #

    That's a great idea to rate toasts! I think I should try some of this food to check if you're right... lol

    Posted by Dan on October 18, 2004 at 06:19 AM EDT #

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