True loaf at TOAST, a Distillery District pop-up: Toronto
Every morning on my way to work, I walk past what has to be the busiest dermatological clinic in Toronto. People are literally waiting for the doors of AvantDerm to open at 8am to get an appointment in their prime Distillery location.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I strolled by and saw a pop-up restaurant in the space that is usually a waiting room.
TOAST popped open its doors the first weekend of May, the brainchild of three women — media producer Amrita Singh, designer Lindsay Agnew and Chef Jo Lusted — who fell in love with the concept on a toast tour in San Francisco (it’s really a thing, residents of the Golden City are going crazy for golden brown bread; even the New Yorker has written about it).
I won’t lie, when I first saw the excellently executed sandwich board for TOAST, the anti-trend pessimist inside me groaned at the clicheed hispter nature of the spot and the possibilities of overpriced bread. I was late to hop on the avocado-on-toast trend taking over the world and my Instagram feed, but this is just so much more; the breads, the spreads, the yum.
The space is modern, sparsely decorated in the trendiest kind of way with emerald green accents and succulents decorating the marble tabletops. You would never know this place wasn’t actually a restaurant if you just happened upon it on a walk through the Distillery District.
This is how it works: you choose your bread, you choose your spread, and enjoy.
Feeling breakfasty this past Saturday morning, I opted for the cheddar chunk ciabatta (say that three times fast) and the huevos diablos: The 416 combo ($6).
The bread was soft and moist, even after the perfect time spent in the toaster, and the chunks of cheddar were huge, and complimented the egg salad piled high and topped with hot sauce. The only thing that went a little a-rye is the egg salad was a little too cold, cooling off the toast quicker than I’d have liked, but you gotta keep those huevos fresh, right?
Adam went with the 905 combo ($6), with pumpkin seed rye bread and pudina cream cheese. This one was absolutely delicious, India on toast. The freshness and savoury pudina chutney blended perfectly with the cream cheese, and the little extra crunch on top with the sweet chutney was the perfect balance of flavours.
The ladies also brought over a small sample of the dark chocolate sourdough bread with ball park peanut butter and a little Maldon salt. The perfect last bite, and I was head over heels (and I hate the heel of the bread).
TOAST is set up for it’s last weekend at 45 Mill Street next Saturday and Sunday, and while the ladies are already talking about continuing, you’re best bet is to head down next weekend before this pop-up is toast.