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Aug 21, 2013 08:03 PM

Toast is Toast in Asbury Park [not closed]

Have been to Toast in Asbury Park a couple times this summer and found it to be a nice luncheonette type place offering a limited but tasty offering of breakfast and lunch, with both inside and alfresco seating. Food was well prepared and the service always seemed friendly and helpful.

I brought a friend who is a lifetime local resident and owns a home that overlooks Deal Lake from Wannamassa. Today seemed to be a great time to sit on the shady side of Cookman Ave and enjoy a midday meal.
This seemed the best idea given that it was pretty full inside and the noise level was fairly loud. We requested a table out front and were led outside and seated with a couple menus.

Time passes. 10 minutes. Nobody comes and offers drinks or anything. Several other outside tables are brought their orders.

Time passes. 15 minutes. Nobody comes and offers drinks or anything. Several other tables have drinks refilled.

It is obvious that Waiter Guy has seen us sitting at the table with menus and no drinks.

Time passes. 20 minutes. Nobody comes and offers drinks or anything.
Other tables have bills brought to their tables.

Time passes. 25 minutes. Nobody comes and offers drinks or anything. As waiter guy collects bills & credit cards from other tables, we decide to bolt, and had a nice meal down at Old Man Rafferty's.

This friend had heard good things about Toast, and had been looking forward to trying it. She is a lifetime local in the area and has a lot to say about the local dining scene to many friends and family. She is now resolute in never having anything good to say about Toast in Asbury Park

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    1. I know the feeling & as the clock runs, we get more aggravated. I think in a situation like this, we should at least try to mitigate before it gets to the point of just leaving. You already had contact with the person that seated you. Did you try & speak with that person before leaving? How hard did you try to get the attention of the Waiter Guy? After 25 minutes, I probably would have lost my appetite & wanted to leave also. If I was with my DW, we probably would have stayed & I would have watched her eat, not touching a morsel.

      9 Replies
      1. re: wizard2

        Not my job. Besides, I don't see any reason or desire to encourage a member of the waitstaff to start doing their job when it has already been determined that they would not be getting any tip. Easier to walk a block and reward Kaitlyn, who obviously deserved it.

        1. re: wizard2

          Wiz2, you would've paid for a meal that you wouldn't touch for 'principle's sake'?????

          I guess you missed my post on Izu in West End (earlier this summer) after enduring same (and same time period waiting). I did approach staff, looking for owner (who had just left) with the office manager pleading with me almost to the point of fellation. They lost my business after this being a repeat of 'common sense service, courtesy and professionalism' from my previous visit.

          Let's call a spade a spade here. Oftentimes, staff is hired based on 'looks' and a 'bullsh!t rap' to the owner or GM. Both of my sons (in their 20's) who are extremely handsome, couldn't get decent wait jobs (SeaGrass, Mr. C's (karma for for that no good bastard after sandy and him not paying my son after training (working) for 2 shifts), Rooney's, etc a few years back --- as they don't fit the above profile of all 'flash and no substance' - what they do bring to the table is honesty, being articulate, courteous and extremely hard working.

          You want a good breakfast? Go to Franks. Go to the Waterside Cafe (Oakhurst), or Amy's (LB). Go to the Buttered Biscuit (BB). Foofoo elitists like Toast will always be there for the fools who have $$$ to piss away and rave irrationally about so so food

          1. re: JustJake

            Just Jake, I wouldn't have ordered anything for myself. I would've just paid for my DW's meal.

            I did catch your post from earlier this summer & thought that it was very well written & informative. If I recall, the thread's title didn't have the restaurant's name in it, nor did you ever mention the restaurant's name directly. Since I am local, I took the time to figure out what place it was.

            My son is heading back to college this week after finishing his third season at Rooney's. First 2 were as a busboy & this year a runner. I couldn't think of another restaurant for him to work at that I would have felt more comfortable.

            1. re: JustJake

              I'll add two off the beaten path spots in AP to Jake's list. A very solid breakfast for a reasonable price can be had at either Chat & Nibble on Asbury Ave. or Sunset Landing on Sunset Ave.* Neither has corned beef hash as good as the one at Toast, but they each deliver quality fare across the board without the Cookman Ave. vibe or cost.

              I will respectfully disagree with Jake about Amy's, however, as that place is just too damned big, crowded, and nouveau Long Branch for my taste. Better off hittin' the Inkwell in that area (which sadly, seems to have lost some of it's nostalgic allure along with the nicotene stains).

              * I'm a tad nervous about disclosin' this one since (a) it's small and (b) I haven't been in a while but plan on going next Tuesday. It's been there for a long time and most folks never notice it.

              1. re: MGZ

                While your portrayal of Amy's is accurate, I still like it and it's extensive menu for breakfast.

                I was last at the Inkwell a two years ago for a late night / early morning breakfast after an inebriated evening at the various Long Branch watering holes. All I remember is the culture shock of having been out of the 3am breakfast scene for a coupla decades.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  Yeah, I guess I used to eat breakfast later when I was still in my lowercase days. Sadly, French fries, black coffee, and a pack of Camels would have been my first meal of the day.

                2. re: MGZ

                  Every time I've tried going to Sunset landing they've been closed...literally every time. I've given up on that place.

                  +1 on Chat n Nibble...I don't even think about getting CBH there because their huevos rancheros is excellent! Don't forget to add chorizo.

                  Or you can go to Bradley Cafe and get some chilaquiles!

                  1. re: MGZ

                    Is Chat n Nibble the little place on the opposite side of Jimmy's as your driving towards the down town Asbury Park, just past Jimmy's? If so, I have noticed it several times and really questioned how it did business in it's location. Might have to give this a try based on your and Joon's recommendation.

                    1. re: jrvedivici

                      That's it. We drove by the other day and it was crowded. The house I own was once owned by the woman that originally opened Chat n Nibble

              2. The title of your post is misleading - it suggests that Toast in AP has closed. And I find it very difficult to respect a poor review when the customer hasn't fulfilled their responsibility to communicate. You could have given everyone involved a very pleasant learning experience if you had just spoken up. It's situations like this where entitlement gets in the way of simple and civil social intercourse - and common good decency is lost.

                6 Replies
                1. re: jrzcat

                  Wow. Entitlement? It is the customer's job to sit down and be waited on. That's not entitlement, it's the purpose of visiting a sit down restaurant, to be seated and served food. How can the customer communicate if no one is there to ask or listen? Who are they supposed to tell their order to? Should they just shout it out? The restaurant or at least the server failed here.

                  Would I personally have attempted to get the server, or any servers attention? Yes, but that is not MY job or responsibility.

                  1. re: Jerseygirl111

                    I'm curious as to how many tables were both inside and out this place has. It clearly stated it's busy on this particular maybe a under staffing problem? If I'm reading correctly, food is dropped off, refills are given, bill is dropped off and money is collected in 15 minutes total time for most of the outside diners.. I would have made at least one attempt to flag down a staff member to tell them I was ready to order before deciding on leaving ....I say this only because the OP indicates his prior experiences were good for both food and service....and the fact he was looking to enjoy a midday meal. I'd be a little more understanding for an extra 15 minutes lapse in service to allow them to catch up. Maybe the other diners indicated they needed to be out within 30 minutes and they did their best to accommodate them...unfortunately though at the OP's expense.

                    I think jrzcat's opinion of entitlement has to do with the fact the OP made no effort to get anyone's attention, but instead, has exerted more effort and energy here on this thread to express his experience. The use of the word *job* in this case is condescending.., as well as the mention of no tip...even if they were to perform their job.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      Regardless of where the OP decided to put his energy, the restaurant is wrong and entitlement has nothing to do with it. He was snubbed or overlooked or forgotten about but it whatever you call it, it was terrible customer service.

                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                        Here's where we get service at the pace of the restaurant. Others were seated first and taken care of first. Should EM have been ignored...obviously not....but anyone's belief that the service can operate faster and expect to be more efficient than it's capable of at any given time just wishful thinking....Certainly you have to choice to walk out....but jrzcat's point was simply the problem could have been corrected by speaking up.

                        as for entitlement.... maybe the comment about no tip had something to do with it. It wasn't necessary or important to the story.

                      2. re: fourunder

                        Place was maybe half full; inside and out.

                        We were seriously ignored by waiter guy serving other tables. We were never approached at all after being seated. We attempted all the normal, polite methods for getting attention to no avail. There is only so much hand holding up and eye contact that can be attempted before it is obvious that we were not to be acknowledged. After nearly half an hour we got the hint. The obvious disrespect was why I posted this in the first place.

                        You can babble on all you want about the "effort" we had to make to get attention, but as a customer that is NOT OUR JOB. It's a service industry. If an establishment is unwilling to provide me the service, then to me they are toast.

                    2. re: jrzcat

                      Why should they communicate that they need their order taken? Doesn't that go without saying? How is expecting to have an order taken in a reasonable amount of time being "entitled"? That's like saying I'm a spoiled entitled brat because I anticipate that the guy at the gas station is going to pump my gas or the employee at ShopRite is going to check out my groceries.

                    3. Folks, if you have your own experiences at Toast to share, even if they're different than the original poster's, please go ahead and share them. But at this point this thread is turning into a referendum on whether people think the OP's actions were or weren't appropriate, and that's not really a good direction for it to go -- rate chow, not chowhounds!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                        In that case, I'd like to note that, the last two times I was at Toast, I found the Corned Beef Hash, topped with a coupla poached eggs, to be a mighty tasty plate.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          I too like the hash here, my wife wanted some of the hash today so we went by about 11:30 and there was no one sitting outside in such a beautiful day. We went inside and asked to sit at one if the open tables outside and were told it would be a 30 minute wait. I asked why it would be a 30 minute wait as all the tables were open and only three people were waiting inside to be seated and they just said it would be 30 minutes.
                          The first time we went here the service was not great and this was my " give it a second chance" and I will not be returning.

                        2. re: The Chowhound Team

                          I happen to love their Smoked Salmon Omelete!

                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                            I love their breakfasts but not so much their lunches. On the whole if I am making the trip to Asbury I am usually headed for At The Table or Porta.

                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                              I've eaten at Toast 4 times for breakfast and 2 times for lunch over the past 2 years - each time we allowed the host to seat us and were served in good order. It's never been a problem - even when the place was super busy - which is most of the time (in my experience)! Some menu items have disappointed, but I know my faves and stick to them. I like the atmosphere and the vibe here. Peace, Love and Pancakes!