Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Jul 23, 2011 10:57 AM

Toast - Asbury Park

Only open for about a week we decided to give them a try for an early breakfast and glad we did. Occupying the old Market In The Middle space on cookman Avenue they bring their Montclair menu to the Jersey shore.

Me an order of delicious blueberry pancakes and my wife a delicious spring roll egg wrap both washed down by an excellent brew of coffee. Opening at 7:30 AM they will be doing breakfast, brunch and lunch here seven days a week. The service provide by Tom our waiter was both friendly and very efficient.

Toast looks like a nice addition to the Asbury dining scene.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have family up in Montclair and this is their favorite breakfast/lunch place...they say the pancakes are out of this world! _ glad to hear that they have brought the same standard down to AP with them...looking forward to trying it out!

    When MIM closed down it left a major hole in the brunch scene in AP and surrounding towns...although I have to say The Buttered Biscuit in Bradley Beach is quickly becoming a new brunch fav ...but I will leave that review for another thread!

    23 Replies
    1. re: stack_c

      Sorry to say that this visit is an update is for lunch only and specifically for their Cuban sandwich which they brag about. It was not good and actually not worth my drive over there. To make matters worse they serve those lousy french fries that are twice fried and sort of crunchy on the outside, and they do sweet potato fries in the same manner. This was neither creative nor enjoyable - everyone is doing the same these days.

      1. re: JerzeyShore

        I don't know Jerzey but it sounds like they are cooking the fries the right way. As far as I understand the first round cooks the potatoes and removes some of the water and starch, while the second crisps the exterior. As for the fries not being creative, as long as it's done the right way, who care's if its "creative"? What would you suggest they do with french fries? BTW, what did you think of the sandwich? I hope to make it over to Toast soon as I've been hearing good things.

        1. re: bgut1

          Sorry bgut1, but I call it like I see it - not sure if anyone remembers what good french fries are like but they are not twice fried. It's not a process to remove water or starch but simply a process to save kitchen time by batch processing. Even McDonalds has not resorted to this process. As far as the Cubano it was a disappointment, just OK bread, wrong ham, mediocre pork and just OK taste overall. A (6.5) on a ten point scale - not terrible but I would not order one again.

          Bottom line - we liked the breakfast very much and just maybe the sandwich was a one off bad meal that day so I suggest you go for lunch and order a Cubano and report back to us and be sure to tell us what you think about those fires. :-)

          1. re: JerzeyShore

            I'm sorry to disagree with you, but bgut and joonjoon are right. Twice frying is the standard method for cooking crisp fries at home or in a restaurant. Whatever issues you may have had with your meal in this case isn't a result of their attempting to do something innovative.

            1. re: JerzeyShore

              Lets ask Google about twice fried french fries.


              Bingo. Over 900,000 hits. Frying twice is a widely recognized way of producing fries that are extra crispy.

              1. re: JerzeyShore

                Twice cooked fries are labor intensive to produce and are widely accepted to be more exceptional than the frozen variety. They are not a way to "save time." That distinction is pretty much for the frozen variety.

                One doesn't "resort to" twice cooked fries. One aspires to twice cooked fries.

                1. re: JerzeyShore

                  OK already, I give up - my bad. But I still hate twice fried french fries and thank you Five Guys, BK, Wendy's and Micky Ds for lacking aspiration and doing things the old way ...

                  1. re: JerzeyShore

                    I believe Five Guys serves twice fried potatoes.

                    I also believe that the fries at McDonalds are cooked partially in a factory, and fried again at the store. Twice cooked.

                    1. re: tommy

                      Tommy - You are correct. Here is an article from Serious Eats which confirms that McDonald's fries are fried at the factory and then frozen for re-frying at the franchises. I also provide a link to a website that does a scientific analysis as to why the double fry method is the best for cooking french fries. Sorry Jerzey. I don't mean to pile on.

                      1. re: bgut1

                        The difference is that they are freezing them and cooking from that frozen state. The results are clearly different than a true twice-fried french fry. But I thought I'd mention it as a point of interest.

                        1. re: bgut1

                          Good links bgut. McDonald's fries also have a subtle but distinct flavor that their competitors do not have. They win most of the head to head fry tastings.
                          Side note, fries are also the most profitable item on their menu by a wide margin.

                          1. re: tom246

                            Sugar. I prefer my fries to taste like potatoes! Although I do like McD's fries when they are executed well, which is more often than not not the case.

                            1. re: tommy

                              Hey Tommy, are you saying their secret ingredient is sugar. Its not what gives their fries consumer preference but they do taste like potatoes.

                              1. re: tom246

                                What gives their fries the consumer preference? What is that "subtle but distinct flavor"?

                                Their fries contain dextrose, a sugar. I'm pretty sure that's part of that deliciousness that people across the country seem to enjoy so much; people respond favorably to sugar! Or maybe it's that "natural beef flavor."

                                1. re: tommy

                                  Lets just say that the amount of dextrose in their fries has virtually no effect on flavor but does help appearance (browning).
                                  Your getting warm with that natural beef flavor ;)

                                  1. re: tom246

                                    Can you provide a citation regarding the amount of dextrose and if it is detectable in the flavor profile?

                                    1. re: tommy

                                      I could but then I would have to eliminate you and we love ya too much for that. Lets just say I have some inside info and leave it at that.

                                      1. re: tom246

                                        Tom I do not want to be eliminated. So I will take you at your word, although I'm not sure what either of us is talking about at this point. :)

                            2. re: tom246

                              Wendy's and Five Guys beat out McD's in the latest Consumers' Report taste test (Aug '11).

                  2. re: JerzeyShore

           friends who know decent food haaaaate the one in Montclair. I do hear that the coffee is good, though.

                    1. re: JerzeyShore

                      I haven't been to Toast but from what I understand, twice-frying fries is standard process in many top fry-shops.

                      1. re: joonjoon

                        The manager is extremely rude and demeaning to her staff. Her behavior left a bad taste in my mouth. Breakfast was decent. Don't order the $16.95 lobster is microscopic and not very good.

                        1. re: dannan

                          In the past I have lamented the lack of good breakfast restaurants in Monmouth County. Not anymore. I finally had a chance to make it over to Toast this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed my meal. The menu had more than an ample selection of breakfast items. Deciding to go the sweet route my choices where between the Nutella french toast or the red velvet pancakes. I went for the latter and was very happy with the choice. The dish comprised of three ample sized pancakes, a small pitcher of real maple syrup, butter and a ramekin of what appeared to be whipped cream. Upon further inspection, the whipped cream was in fact cream cheese icing. This was not only clever but was the perfect accompaniment to the pancakes. My request for sliced strawberries was obliged. Combined with a mason jar (?) full of fresh squeezed OJ and I was in breakfast nirvana. My DW ordered a spinach, feta and mushroom omelet. Her breakfast was also very good. I was struck most by the attention to the freshness of the ingredients. Even the multigrain toast served with the omelet appeared to be homemade. All in all, Toast is an excellent find and I hope to eat there regularly. Good Luck.

                  3. Knowing I would be in the area today & being Bradley Cafe is closed on Tuesdays & having a big breakfast craving for Huevos Ranchero of which they make the best, my buddy & I decided to try Toast in Asbury this morning. i saw that they also had Huevos Ranchero on their menu so I said to my self I'll try that as a substitute even knowing it couldn't be as good as BC........and I was right of course!! let me first start with parking was no problem this time of year as i hear they are packed with a line outside in summer months so that was a plus getting a spot right out front ....we were warmly greeted and seated at a nice table of our choice. My friend wanted Belgium Waffles and eggs & sausage....being they didn't have a combo like that it would have t be ordered ala cart which would of cost a pretty penny but the nice serer said let me see what i can do and arranged with the kitchen a nice Waffle/Egg/Sausage breakfast combination dish which was very nice. So far so good and my buddy enjoyed his breakfast........I ordered the Huevos Ranchero with they also offer a vegetarian no meat version also,...not knowing what to expect when my dish arrived it looked wonderful as pictured, but that's where things changed. I love it hot & spicy and this was far from it, more like a Tex/Mex style, then anything resembling authentic Mexican......pretty much tasteless and void of the authentic Salsa Verde or Roho.....yes the tortillas were crispy but not home made, the Machego cheese was good on top,
                    the Chorizo if you want to call it thata wasn't even orange colored, & lacked any spices, it was more like cut up breakfast sausage, and the beans had no flavor at all,...I had to dowse it with Hot Sauce ( of which they have their own label?) & S&P to enjoy it. I was a bit disappointed but realized in no way am I sitting in a Latin Restaurant, and in no way does this even come close to Bradley Cafe's food in any way shape or form. I guess to the untrained American Palette it would suffice....Lesson learned!!
                    Out of a 1-10 rating I would have to say...

                    Service 9

                    Cleanliness 7 1/2 restroom needed help.

                    Food 7 1/2

                    Atmosphere 8

                    Would I return?...possibly again,.... but would order something else & more traditional for breakfast. For $25.00 for breakfast for 2
                    I expected more,....just sayin'... Thank you for your time.


                    18 Replies
                    1. re: Tapas52

                      I've been to their place in Montclair and I just don't see what the big deal is. Their coffee, as I recall, was v good, but their food was totally average. In AP, I'd much rather have brunch at Porta! Creative menu...

                      1. re: Curlz

                        Porta on my list is it?

                        1. re: Curlz

                          Having just finished another brunch at Porta, I will concur that it's the best spot for that meal in the area. Menu changed again, a bit, but they still have the pancakes you like. The "Truffle Shuffle" seems to be the highlight addition (it even blew my oft curmudgeonly Dad away). Plus, even early on a Sunday morning, it's a drink hard crowd - beaten only by the Broadway in Point Pleasant for the actual championship..

                          1. re: MGZ

                            Nice, glad you enjoyed your brunch with dad. I'm still not a big Porta fan, although I have never been to their brunch. If I'm in that area on a Sunday morning my car takes me to Johnny Mac's. Today, I had breakfast with my father at Rivers Edge Cafe, formally from Red Bank, currently in Oakhurst. It's a good diner alternative for a good breakfast, I think it's a bit sentimental for him, Mom use to enjoy going after Church on Sundays when they were in Red Bank. Enjoy your day.

                        2. re: Tapas52

                          I personally haven't been to Toast. A very good friend in the food business has, and he was appalled by the lack of service. It could have been an anomaly. I've talked with him a few times about it (whenever Toast gets mentioned) and I've chalked it up to young pretty faced bobblheads who don't have a lot of common sense (I see that alot in Asbury). Btw, he doesn't look for the 'bad' either. He rewards those who know what they're doing, like what they're doing and with that tips extraordinarily well (30% or more) for good service.

                          That being said, I no longer can do breakfast for two with a $25 tab. That's why I don't do Amy's anymore either (I really never cared for their 98 different kinds of omelettes much anyway, and I prefer an omelette that's 'soft' and they could never get it right).

                          I happen to really like Franks (for their corned beef and poached eggs), but most of the time find myself putting together better omelettes, Huevo Rancheros, or my own twist on breakfast (sweet potato home fries, with chorizo, and fresh spinach melded in at the end is a favorite side dish of late) better at the house. And it's much more enjoyable - not that I don't like getting served. I can play my Sunday music, cook at my own pace, read the Times, and enjoy the beginning of the day in peace, and the view out onto my gardens aren't too shabby either.

                          But back to Toast. I've yet to find much in the way of value anywhere in AP. Then again, food costs are up astronomically. And it's not getting any better.

                          I'll be up in the Poconos' in a few weeks, and I so look forward to a good ol fashion 'truckers breakfast' at Mullers (? sp) as that's where our hosts want to eat breakfast Sunday morning (our treat) after having them feed us equisitely over the weekend (he, a former deli/caterer who puts out seriously simple and delicous food). There's value, cholesterol, and a full stomach. lol.

                          1. re: JustJake2

                            I really don't get the appeal of going to places like Franks and getting eggs. The markup is like 20x for these things and they're not going to cook them any better than you do at home.

                            If I go to Frank's I'm getting roast beef. They do it better than anyone else in our area. Similarly, I almost always go for the pastrami at Richard's. These things aren't easy for me to make at home so it's a treat to get them out.

                            If I 'm at a place like Bradley Cafe, you can bet your ass I'm getting something Mexican, even if I decide to get eggs with it (their steak in red sauce is awesome with eggs on top).

                            1. re: joonjoon

                              joonjoon.....I agree on BC always fresh made to order just delicious....Their Tacos are amazing there also. Try them with their salsa verde too.

                              1. re: Tapas52

                                When I go to BC I can't stay away from their chilaquiles...but man that huevos ranchero looks bangin!!

                                1. re: joonjoon

                                  joonjoon try the HR next time at BC you wont regret it!!

                                  and the tacos also...

                              2. re: joonjoon

                                Exactly Joon. The only thing I ever order at Franks is their corned beef hash (as a deli, they do make it fresh and it's what I do for breakfast should someone poke me into going out with them. And trust me, they're corned beef is as good as Richard's). I have it with poached eggs atop them and fresh OJ. And that's but a couple of times a year at best.

                                Don't mean to be a downer or anything, but there's far better things in spending one's money on than breakfast in this life. (IMHO).

                                1. re: JustJake2

                                  Corned beef hash and poached eggs must truly be the Breakfast of Champions!

                                  For what it's worth, that's the best plate offered at Toast.

                                  1. re: MGZ

                                    No offense to Toast, or any of your other collective suggestions for corned beef hash, but none of these meet my requirements for a place to serve good corned beef hash. In order for me to even consider ordering corned beef hash two of the following criteria need to be met;

                                    1.) Short order cook, yes cook there are NO breakfast "Chef's" must be named; Hank, Carl, Frank, Ralph or George. If not he must respond to nick-name like to; Lefty, Smitty, Ax, Diesel, Ox, Hog or Heffer, One Eye. He must walk with a limp, which he earned in a war prior to any of the US Involvements in the middle east.

                                    2.) There has to be a waitress who has been employed there since prior to the Bush administration. No, not George W., Poppa George, we're talking pre-1992. She must have a name-tag which say's; Shirley, Ginger, Betty or Flo. She must carry a scent which is comprised of equal parts Avon's Charlie Perfume and Virginia Slim Menthol Lights.

                                    3.) The establishment MUST only have a conditional department of health approval -or- a C grade if you live in an area with a letter grading system.

                                    4.) Their coffee must be stronger than Mike Tyson and blacker than the great black-out of New York City in the summer of 77'. (scared ya' with where I was going with that one didn't I!!!)

                                    5.) A hair found in your food is nothing to be grossed out about, but a thing of honor. Although it is short and curly it is known to be from the unbuttoned shirt of the war hero (insert appropriate name above).

                                    6.) At least one florescent bulb must be twitching on and off struggling to stay lit. No matter how many times the bulb is changed, new or old, it twitches. A fair warning to anyone suffering from seizures.

                                    7.) The toast is served soaked in butter, no margarine, butter real salted butter. If you ask for dry toast that just means you only want butter on one side, not both.

                                    8.) The establishment is open 24/7-365 including Christmas and all holidays.

                                    9.) When you go up to pay your bill, there is a glass bowl of those jelly filled sugar "mints". Sans a spoon, you gotta dig right in with your greasy lil digits and pull one of them out. With any luck it's the licorice flavored one.

                                    10.) The background music is Marty Robins gunfighter ballads.....playing through speakers fed by an 8-track.

                                    Those are the requirements for me to order corn beef hash at a restaurant/diner.

                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                      Somehow, that made me quite hungry. I'm dying to try their CBH. I bet the chili's great too.

                                      1. re: MGZ

                                        Don't get me started on the type of place I will only order my chili from!

                                      2. re: jrvedivici

                                        My friend and I just peed our pants reading your list JR! Her response was "I'm pretty sure I've been to that place." LOL!

                                        Holy shit this is genius and needs to be published somewhere.

                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                          Fantastic post. Love all 10 items, but #7 had me rolling.

                                  2. re: JustJake2

                                    We go to Toast on the rare occasion we have more than four people in our party. Normally would hit Franks or Porta or Pascale and Sabine.
                                    The service at Toast has never impressed me

                                  3. What's the status of the Red Bank Toast? When the Broadway Diner closed they said it would take 8 weeks. That was more than 8 weeks ago.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ebchower

                                      Doesn't look like there is much progress at all. They have been "working" on it for awhile but visually there is very little progress that can be seen. (I passed it this morning)