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Sep 11, 2006 08:00 PM

Toast Restaurant in Noe Valley

Toast Restaurant on Church Street in Noe Valley is now open in the old Hungry Joe's space across from the former Mikey Tom Market. I believe the cross street is Day Street. We saw it was open and nearly full as we were picking up our Friday night easy dinner from Deep Sushi. We decided to return the next day which was presumably their first weekend service. They were completely mobbed and very overwhelmed. Our take out order was supposed to take 30 minutes, but we ended up waiting another 30 minutes after that. I'm sure they're still working out the kinks, but they're going to do just fine and I'm sure folks in the 'hood are happy to have yet another new place to eat. Food was decent, but has the promise of being really good once they have their act sorted out. For example, they pretty much forgot to toast the toast (ironic, no?) and the fries were pretty limp. It's open daily until 9pm every day except Sunday, when they close at 4pm.

They have a variety of scramblers, omelettes, breakfast specials likechicken fried steak and corned beef hash. They also have deli and grilled sandwiches. They also have a kid's menu with mac and cheese, PBJ, etc.

We tried the reuben sandwich, which was tasty, but not very grilled as it had stated on the menu. The meat was nice and full of flavor, though. Good ratio of dressing, saurkraut and cheese. We also tried Hash Brown Hill, which is kind of like the spuds o rama from the old Spaghetti Western on Haight or Boogaloo's. It's a round pan fried cake of hashed browns topped with plenty of melty cheddar cheese, sour cream, scallions, and olives. This one was delicious with crispy potatoes and tons of scallions. Also had a grilled cheese on sourdough. It was supposed to have cheddar cheese AND pepper jack, but I didn't detect any pepper jack which would have been nice. This was actually more grilled and pretty good -but when is grilled cheese really ever bad?! Fries on both sandwiches were fairly soggy. We also had a "delox" egg white omelette served with hash browns. Big omelette with plenty of smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese, and tomatoes. This was actually quite good. I love places that have hash browns (vs. home fries or skillet potatoes.) These were o.k., but needed to be crispier for my taste. I think they were just so crowded and new that things didn't stay in the oven/fryer/griddle long enough and their ovens may not be on full blast! However, it has good bones and I will definitely return.

Oh, we also tried a cup of their chili. Nice blend of kidney beans and ground beef and well-spiced. Topped with a good amount of melty cheddar and scallions. That was also a winner. They served it with a small hunk of sourdough baguette. It had a good flavor and chewy crust.

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  1. Thanks for the report. I'm a shredded has brown person too! I'll try it out !

    1. We had a terrible experience there on Saturday. The waiter (guy with dreadlocks -- avoid him like the plague) wrote down our order incorrectly (when we stated our order, he looked at us like we were speaking in some alien tongue and we pointed it out to him on the menu, then he wrote it down . . . wrong -- both of our dishes!). So, everyone around us who had come in after us got served, and then he told us that since he had written down our orders incorrectly, our corrected orders had to go in AFTER everyone else's. WTF?

      The food was absolutely the bare minimum of what a breakfast place can turn out. Exactly as vespaloon stated, the toast was "raw." The scrambled eggs were done that quick flat, dry, omeletty way that I absolutely despise. The hash browns (rare in SF) were dry and tasteless. Terrible chicken fried steak.

      A breakfast at Boulevard Cafe in Daly City on Sunday was stellar in comparison, with golden, delicious, crispy hash browns.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Atomica

        I have to give Boulevard Cafe a try. Did you have much of a wait on Sunday?

        1. re: susancinsf

          I've never experienced a wait at Boulevard Cafe, but we generally are there by 9:00 or 9:30. I have no idea what the after-church crowd is like. It's a big place, so if there were just a few parties waiting, the wait would probably be very short. From Bernal it takes us just 7 minutes to get there. Then we do some shopping at Trader Joe's and World Marketplace right down the street. I should mention that they use Yukon Gold for their hash browns, which their AM chef told me not many places do. I think the service there is awesome as well--very efficient and friendly. For parents of little ones, I noticed this last week that they have upgraded their highchairs from the ubiquitous uncomfortable wood chairs you see in almost every restaurant, and which my child will not sit in for more than 5 minutes. She hung out in the new highchair for almost the whole meal.

          I don't want to imply that Boulevard Cafe is "gourmet" in some way. It's just very solid.

          Here's the Toast menu.

      2. How are the prices? Drove by the other night, and it looked as if it had been spiffed up since it was Hungry Joe's: if that also means higher prices and longer waits I can't say that I am that excited to see it in the 'hood...

        1 Reply
        1. re: susancinsf

          Items were around $5-7, if I recall correctly.

        2. So, wait, you're telling me you waited over an hour for take-out Reuben, grilled cheese, an omelette & hash browns? Sounds like this place need more than just time to work out the kinks.

          4 Replies
          1. re: foodiegrl

            Technically we only waited an additional 30 minutes since it was a take out order and we were told to come in 30 minutes.

            Did you ever see the TV show The Restaurant? Although that place never recovered for other reasons, it was like that, just completely mobbed.

            I still *would* give them a second chance. If it was your 3rd day or so being open and the place was packed with people sitting inside and outside and twice as many people spilling out onto the street, you'd be pleased but completely overwhelmed, in my opinion. I have a hard time being harsh on them in the first few days. Plus, their computer wasn't working - that isn't so unusual for a new place?

            1. re: vespaloon

              Our 2 breakfast entrees did take an hour, since our order was basically booted out of line by the waiter's incompetence. I think the quality of the food was quite poor, so I will try once more to see if it's better, and that's it. Seriously, if they can't toast toast or make a real scrambled egg, forget it. I can go to Al's for that.

              1. re: Atomica

                Al's can at least toast toast, with no wait....

                1. re: susancinsf

                  Totally agree- and let's not forget about Tyger's!!!! : )

          2. The place was so swamped on Saturday ~10:30 AM that it made Chloe's look like an easy bet. Food coming out looked good, but I my expectations are always guarded when a place has such a huge menu.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bernalgirl

              I completely agree that they seem to want to be all things to all people. I hope they can make it work... the clientele is there!