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Boston's Best Toast?

I just read an article about some exceptional toast in San Francisco and wondered if there is anything close in Boston. I'm happy to make my own and I suspect that's the best way to go since it's so much cheaper and you get it hot, but I thought it was worth throwing out there. To be clear, I'm not talking about French toast, just regular old toast.

Here's the article: http://www.bonappetit.com/restaurants...

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  1. If you want to pay $10+ for a basket of toast, Hi Rise in Cambridge will accommodate you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: black_lab

      I see they also have two slices for $4. Maybe I'll give it a try some day.

    2. It's harder than I imagined to find a truly good toaster (even, crunchy golden brown not dried out, etc.) -
      That said, I I think some the finest toast we make is using When Pigs Fly New York Rye or the dense standard white bread they sell at the Asian bakery in Lexington Center (this is ideal for cutting into soldiers for dipping into soft boiled fresh eggs from Pete and Jen's Backyard Birds with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt - what a treat!)

      11 Replies
      1. re: rlh

        I haven't found a good toaster yet that didn't toast un-evenly, which saddens me. When I make home made bread, it tends to run on the denser side (in a good way, it's no brick, and I get good bubble) and toasts very well. I've found home made bread browns quicker ....I wonder what they are putting in commercial breads that retards browning.

        1. re: devilham

          I read somewhere that the more sugar in bread, the faster it browns. Maybe that explains it?

        2. re: rlh

          I should have included a request for toaster and bread recommendations in my post. Thank you for giving them! My parents have a Breville toaster that cost a ridiculous amount of money but does make a damn fine piece of toast. I think this is it: http://www.brevilleusa.com/smart-toas...

          Any other recommendations would be appreciated.

          1. re: wandergirl

            That is indeed one slick toaster - and it should be at that price - wonder if the exterior is "cool touch" so as not to burn curious felines circling it? I hope to see it in action at some point.

            1. re: rlh

              I asked my father about the exterior and he said it gets warm but not hot. I don't think the link I gave is the actual toaster they have. They got theirs at Crate and Barrel for about $130 I believe.

              I thought they were insane when they told me what they were spending on a toaster. But then I used it. Now I covet it. I'm considering splurging and getting myself one. (It even has a really well designed plug if you can believe it. It's just a pleasure to use all around.)

            2. re: wandergirl

              I received a Breville Mini Smart Oven for a holiday gift and I can tell you its a great toaster and a helluva toaster oven, so much so that as I am single, I haven't once turned on my regular oven since arrived.


            3. re: rlh

              soldiers? gee, i must have missed that one when i was a kid. One of my first babysitters made us Butterfly sandwiches which thrilled us, but i've not heard of these soldiers....

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                It's very much a British sort of thing. Cutting buttered toast into little strips that are the right size for dipping into an egg in an egg-cup. Preferably with Vegemite!

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  I expect that would be Marmite. Vegemite is beloved in Australia.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Very true. I just got back from Australia so it was top of mind. BTW, for Marmite lovers, if you can get your hands on either the Guinness Marmite or Marmite XO varieties, they're pretty terrific.

                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                      otter, don't worry, your marmite stash is safe with me. If I had a natto stash i'd happily give that to you as well :-}

            4. Clear Flour Pain de Mie plus toaster = the best toast I've had, and continue to have!

              1 Reply
              1. re: kimfair1

                I bet that would make fantastic toast. It's been too long since I've been to Clear Flour. This is a perfect excuse, thank you.

              2. April 1st is still a few days away right...?

                1. The highlight of any late night breakfast at the New Yorker is the plate of scali toast.

                  That said, the $50 Dualit we got at the Williams-Sonoma outlet in Wrentham serves my need for toast quite nicely.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                    I was so sorry to hear that the W-S outlet in Wrentham closed but I'm glad to hear a good review of the Dualit (sounds like you got a bargain too).

                  2. I appreciate the thick-cut toast (in many varieties) served at The Friendly Toast. They had curry-cheddar toast when I was there last week, and it was pretty great.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                      I hadn't been too impressed the one time I went to the Friendly Toast in Portsmouth. Now I feel I ordered badly.

                      1. re: wandergirl

                        I've only been to the one in Cambridge, and it's very hit-or-miss. Especially during peak times, service can be abysmal. Food's a bit pricey for basically being sloppy diner-style plates, but there's a lot of tasty stuff on the menu -- their pancakes, omelets, benedicts, and egg dishes are all decent. Love the fries with bleu cheese and strawberry-habanero sauce. Don't get the huevos rancheros, though. Horrible.

                    2. The story of the woman at the root of the San Francisco "artisan toast" trend is truly amazing. At first face, I also found the fancy-toast trend risible, but this sprang from something distinct from typical hipster food dorkiness: http://www.psmag.com/navigation/healt...

                      The same person's story is told by This American Life in Act III of this podcast: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio... I found it very moving; well worth a listen.

                      I haven't seen anything like SF's toast boom in Boston yet.


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        I just heard that This American Life recently, and kind of hope the toast thing never gets here, as it sounds goofy, but that story was pretty interesting.

                        1. re: devilham

                          I loved the story on This American Life--very heartwarming. The upscale toast craze is basically a footnote to it.

                        2. re: MC Slim JB

                          A wonderful story, thank you for linking it.

                          I have mixed feelings about the idea of artisan toast. My first reaction was to scoff at it. But I actually really appreciate good toast and it's something I can't reliably produce in my own kitchen (getting a crisp exterior while maintaining a soft interior) so if I can pay someone a few bucks for it, I'm willing. Meanwhile, I'll try to upgrade my bread and toaster in the hope of controlling my own fate.

                        3. Tamper in Medford has a nice toast. Not sure where they get their bread. Go with the apricot jam. I've been liking their food in general and want to put in a plug for them- the owners are such friendly earnest guys and they put up with our kids running amok while we sip coffee. (Not really amok. Just some general running about early in the morning while the space is largely empty. We never let our little hounds cross the line into poor behavior in an eating establishment)

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Parsnipity

                            Thanks for the recommendation, I'll try to check it out. It sounds like a nice cafe and it's not far from me.

                            1. re: wandergirl

                              We always liked the anadama bread toast at Friendly Toast in Portsmouth. Havent tried the Cambridge one yet

                              1. re: chompie

                                That sounds great, thanks for the lead.

                                1. re: wandergirl

                                  The toast is, as far as I can tell, the same between the two locations. I like the anadama bread, but if you haven't gone yet, the cayenne-cheddar toast is basically my favorite bread product on this side of the Atlantic.

                            2. re: Parsnipity

                              Tamper looks awesome. I have been looking for a good tofu scramble since since Washington Square cafe (?-pre-The Fireplace place).

                            3. I don't know if it's "artisanal" but Spot Cafe in Watertown has excellent toast. I think they import it from somewhere? (They have a sign up saying where their bread is from, but I haven't been there in a while and can't remember. France? Montreal?)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Pia

                                I don't get over to Watertown too often but I would really like to try Spot Cafe, I've heard great things. This is extra incentive, thanks!

                                1. re: Pia

                                  The Spot Cafe does have very fine bread that makes for great toast, sandwiches, French toast, etc. They buy frozen dough from Au Pain Doré, a French bakery in Montreal, and bake it on-site.

                                  (Good pancakes, Belgian waffles, omelets, soups, fresh fruit, crumb cake, and baklava, too.)


                                2. My fav 2 toasts are both from Pigs Fly: Sauerkraut Rye (which they've lately only stocked once a year, and which is in their stores now!) It is so moist and robust- very deep flavor with tang of sourdough and sauerkraut. I could eat a whole loaf of it, toasted and buttered.

                                  The other is sweet- their blueberry lemon bread with sugared crust- like eating a piece of cake but with tang of sourdough, and sturdy structure.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                    These both sound delicious! Thanks for the tip.

                                  2. my absolute favorite is nashoba brook's harvest -- sourdough with apricots, figs, cranberries, pecans, walnuts, and candid ginger -- followed by their whole wheat.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: wonderwoman

                                      I love NBB's seven grain - the slight sweetness that comes from the dates is great. I always keep a loaf in my freezer. Sounds like that'll be part of dinner tonight!

                                      1. re: addiez

                                        And I love their olive bread. It has some caramelized onions in it for some extra savoriness.

                                        1. re: bear

                                          if only i like olives:). but, their rosemary garlic is one of my few non-whole grain treats.

                                        2. re: addiez

                                          can't say exactly why, but i've always preferred straight whole wheat to seven or multi grain.

                                      2. Boston's best toast? That's easy: "Slainte."

                                        (Couldn't resist.) :-)

                                        1. Mate, I have looked all over the world and found no toast better than what my mother makes at home with Pepperidge Farm country white bread and whatever toaster she has at hand. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I cannot replicate it; I've never found anyone who can replicate it; and good lord, it is something special.

                                          I personally have very good luck at home with Whole Foods' Seeduction bread - horrible name; beautiful toast - and pretty much anything from Fornax in Roslindale.

                                          1. Couldn't help but share Serious Eats' writeup on fancy toasts that are worth their price: http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2014/04...

                                            Not quite Boston, but closer than SF!

                                            1. It breaks my heart that I wasn't able to get a photo, but I swear that this is true: someone pulled a terrific April Fool's Day hack this morning in Brookline Village. As I passed on the bus around 7:45, I spotted a big poster proclaiming "Coming Soon - Todd English's Toast!" with photos of TE himself and a slice of toast, in one of the ground-floor windows at 202 Washington Street (next door to the former Japan Village Mart, a 3-story brick building that was supposed to really have a restaurant "coming soon," about 2 years ago.)

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Allstonian

                                                Todd English is now officially in Poe's Law territory: hard to tell parody from the truth.


                                                1. re: Allstonian

                                                  allstonian, that's really a riot! He does sell just about everything else...
                                                  Wondergirl- did you ever get to Friendly Toast?

                                                  1. re: chompie

                                                    Not yet, chompie, but it is still on the list! I'll let you know what I think when I make it there.