It must be hard for toast. Always being passed up for his more decadent French counterpart. While toast must settle for being someone's à la carte, French toast enjoys the full satisfaction of taking centerstage at the most important meal of the day.
And though no two French toasts are the same -- what with the many fruit, syrup, and bread accompaniments -- one thing is certain when it comes to this egg battered beauty: in the battle of the breakfast dishes, all other competition is, well, toast.
Getting up before noon on a weekend is a nuance many of us have never experienced. And because being a breakfast person doesn't necessarily mean being a morning one, we late-comers can thank our luck star-shaped fruits there are places like Orange Table serving up the sweet and savory staples of the a.m. further into the p.m., including the bananas fosters French toast. Take you basic egg battered toast and then top it with with thick cut bananas, pecans, and rich Spicebox whiskey sauce. Whiskey and sugar for breakfast? You bet your sweet tooth.
Hard to believe that one of the heartiest French toasts on this list is also the healthiest. Pomegranate Café is vegan/vegetarian mecca tucked away in an unsuspecting Ahwatukee strip mall. While the organic veggie-based lunches are a safe bet for herbivores and carnivores alike, it's their brunch menu French toast that gets us out of bed (and out of downtown Phoenix) in the morning. Using banana nut bread as the foundation and topping it with candied walnuts, whipped cream, pure maple, and even more bananas, Pomegranate Café delivers a fresh take on French toast, literally.
Like most of its Coronado counterparts, the Wy-Knot Café is cute, cozy, and more often frequented by the the neighbors who can get there on foot. Although that's not to say that French toast-lovers won't make the trek from the other parts of the Valley to try their cinnamon swirl special. This signature variation of a breakfast basic features cinnamon swirl bread stuffed with vanilla cream cheese and covered in butter-caramelized bananas with toasted walnuts. Simply put, it's the Hulk of French toasts.
Between the live music, special menu items, and daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. happy hour, Postino's weekend brunch is well-worth the morning wake up. And since nothing soaks up those mimosas better than bread, a breakfast-drinker's best bet is to order the ciabatta French toast. In this dish, thickly sliced ciabatta bread is dipped, griddled, and decked out with house-made preserves, almonds, and vanilla crème fraiche. Finally, you can enjoy wine and breakfast together without being judged.
Leave it to Kevin Binkley to bring you French toast with a twist. The Bink's Midtown French toast is served up in a piping hot skillet, topped with cider glazed prunes and ricotta. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, this griddle spin off is more eggy than most but no less satisfying. Mark your weekend calendar because this Sunday-only dish deserves sampling.
For the breakfast lover, Over Easy can be overwhelming. Offering egg and griddle essentials plus healthy choices, entrees, and more, it makes choosing the most important meal all the more difficult. But a good place to start is the caramelized banana and pecan brioche French toast. A tricked out version of Over Easy's original griddle, this banana French toast is basically a balanced meal -- fruit, nuts, carbs, and -- well we're sure syrup must be good for something.
Love him or hate him, Guy Fieri knows how to pick 'em. Take Perk Eatery in Scottsdale. This busy breakfast destination made the spotlight in Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives for a few featured menu items, including the Wine Country French toast -- French toast stuffed with brie and topped with roasted red grapes and red wine rosemary syrup. Ditch all your assumptions about French toast because this dish is a game changer.
Past patrons of Dick's Hideaway know that brunch at this New Mexican restaurant means canceling your plans for the rest of the day. The small space serves up dishes and drinks that don't mess around. Even their French toast could feed a small army with four mammoth slices of egg-battered bread, a half dozen strips of bacon (or sausage), and three eggs any way you like them. It's a morning entree that makes moving afterward difficult and planning your next meal impossible.
Although the French translation of pain perdu (a.k.a. French toast) is "lost (or wasted) bread," the diners of this Vovomeena dish leave no trace left behind. Banana bread pudding is the backbone that makes this take on French toast truly stand out, but the added sides of whiskey caramel sauce, bananas, and breakfast meats-- well, those are just added bonuses.
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Finding the right time to fit in breakfast at this Tempe bakery is as much of an art as the food itself. While patrons might be hard pressed to make it to the café before the lunch menu starts at 10:30 a.m. on weekdays, braving the crowd of hungry pastry fans on the weekend can be even more challenging. However if you do manage to make the small window of opportunity at this popular dining spot (with a Phoenix branch on the way soon!), you will not be disappointed by the French toast. Essence's signature brioche bread is the perfect building block for this breakfast treat, complimented further by fresh fruit and a caramel sauce with toasted hazelnuts. Synchronize your watches -- or better yet, send someone else to pick it up for you and hit the snooze button.