Battle of the Dishes: French Toast
Few foods remind us of our childhood as much as fluffy, thick french toast. On Saturday mornings when we'd been especially good lately, Mom would soak some leftover bread in thick, eggy batter and serve french toast piping hot with cinnamon sugar or maple syrup, depending on our mood. It was wonderful.
This week, we tested the french toast at two East Valley breakfast spots to see if either version comes close to Mom's.
In One Corner: Bacon
4175 N. Goldwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
The cute little piggie on a Paul Frank bicycle sitting outside of this Scottsdale breakfast joint give you a good idea what their most popular foodstuff is: bacon. And sausage and ham and any other pork product. Inside, the place is part coffee bar and part dive-y diner, with a touch
Sparely placed wooden geese and toy farm trucks add whimsy to the decor without being too kitschy, and the huge chalkboard near the open kitchen is always decorated with some fun tribute to the restaurant's food. Nothing says "VEGANS BEWARE" like a chalk drawing of a chicken, pig and cow tanning on the beach until they become fried eggs, bacon and steak, respectively.
Our french toast arrived in four super-thick triangles dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of the pig product of our choice (we picked ham). A drizzle of raspberry compote completed the dish. As we bit into the bread, childhood memories came flooding back.
This is exactly how Mom used to make it. The toast was perfectly browned, with a sweet, rich taste and hints of vanilla and cinnamon. You couldn't taste the egg, which is how we prefer a sweet dish.
"Personally, I think it could use more cinnamon," said our dining companion. "But I like the raspberry compote. It's better than syrup."
We agreed. The cinnamon was so light that you could barely taste its presence. The inside of the french toast was overly dry, a common problem with thick french toast. The raspberry compote added a sweet, tangy zing, but wasn't enough to moisten the thick bread. It was either use the syrup or chase each mouthful with a drink (perhaps the restaurant's signature Bacon Bloody Mary?).