Valentine’s Day is to restaurant lovers what Black Friday is to shoppers or New Year’s Eve is to drinkers. It’s amateur night.
It’s often the busiest restaurant night of the year, when people who never go out to eat suddenly decide they must woo their lover, Hallmark-style, and feverishly book a last-minute 5 p.m. reservation in an already overbooked restaurant.
What if, this year, we postpone our intimate celebration for a more relaxed time — the food and service will be better, trust me — and choose instead to woo the other loves in our life? These people deserve a Valentine too — the children, the grandparents, the friends. And what if, instead of white wine and white tablecloths, we took them to a really fun, really nice breakfast?
Five minutes away from Toast Montclair, we learned the impossible: Toast advertises a ridiculously appetizing brunch menu without mentioning that the restaurant is BYOB. Our brains go into overdrive. It’s official, we about to attend Runch, brunch without the “B.” The “B” in brunch referring to booze instead of the beginning of breakfast, clearly. Don’t get us wrong, we love BYOB. What we do not love? Getting blind-sided by a BYOB. Just give us some warning, people! Word for the wise: if a brunch menu does not list its boozey drinks, it probably doesn’t have boozey drinks.
Enter Merit Wines to the rescue. About a block away from Toast, we were able to pick up a bottle of champagne to pour over some orange juice. Given the usual 30-40 minute wait time for a table, it’s completely reasonable to walk down the street and peruse for your preferred libation. While we did not take that chance and bought our champagne prior to putting our names in, we are also here to spread some extra words of wisdom (or at least, experience).
Celebrate Pancake Week at one of Jersey’s Premiere Breakfast Places
Breakfast, lunch, and brunch hotspot toast doesn’t mess around when it comes to pancakes. While this comfy restaurant has been recognized for its French toast, eggs, salads, and wraps, toast’s pancakes really draw the crowds. It’s not uncommon to see people eagerly waiting for a seat at 700 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, or toast’s second location at 516 Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park, for a chance to indulge in some morning (or early afternoon) flapjacks. Toast offers unique pancake options like Bacon Buttermilk, Carrot Cake, and Red Velvet, but it’s owner Amy Russo’s devotion to the food that really sets them apart. After all, Russo’s personal mantra is “Peace, Love, Pancakes.”
“I try to make every pancake taste the way my father’s did,” explains Russo. He’s been using the recipe for 20 plus years before I took it over. His pancakes made me happy then and they still do now. My family recipes, great ingredients, and actually caring about making a delicious pancake does the trick. Loving what you do in this business is so important, and at toast, we love to make delicious pancakes and everything else you see on our menu.”…
Toast firmly believes in ‘Peace, love, pancakes.’
If you have strolled down Bloomfield Ave. on a Sunday morning, or driven down during a lunch break in the week, then you are bound to have seen one of Montclair’s favorite restaurants, Toast. Despite only being open for seven hours on any given day, there is a rarely a time that the restaurant doesn’t have hopeful and hungry customers waiting outside for a table.
Toast was created in 2007 when Amy Russo Harrigan decided to bring her mantra “Peace, love, pancakes” to life, in the form of a delicious and stylish breakfast spot. While it has become renowned for its ability to provide light, unique dishes, the restaurant invokes many of the feelings that New Jersey’s traditional breakfast havens, diners, so desirable. There is comfort and camaraderie to be found within the walls of 700 Bloomfield Ave…