Growing up, we had a tradition of a big pancake breakfast on Sunday mornings. Which developed my personal tradition of a good cry on Sunday also. The sugar overload (and eventually the added girl hormones) made me unpleasant company for a few hours midday Sundays.
Like all traditions, we tend to carry them on without thinking about it. So when I’m feeling nostalgic, I’ll order pancakes when we go out for brunch on Sunday. Or French toast, if it’s good.
I wasn’t raised eating anything with eggs, as we were on the more conservative side of vegetarianism. So I missed out on years of fried bread and egg products such as French toast. I hear it can be a horrible train wreck of a dish if you don’t know what you’re doing. And of course, the internet being the educational tool that it is, I am a little nauseated to find out what passes for French toast in parts of the world. For the sake of argument, I’m only taking about the bread dipped in egg mixture, fried, then doused in sugary goodness.
I’m partial to the French toast at Leonardo’s 706, and it looks like it’s pulled right from a cooking magazine cover. But I adore the ugly stepsister that they serve at The Top. This is not pretty sliced bread, fried to look like golden lace, and daintily dressed with powdered sugar. This is knobby wedges of coffee cake, syrup-soaked and lumpy, with tasty, crispy bits and chunks of fruit. It’s warm and dense. It’s not particularly pretty, even decorated with banana slices. And on the side are a few slabs of The Top’s house-made seitan bacon, looking suspiciously like leather. This is a French toast that would cut a bitch if she had to.
The Man may or may not have figured out the connection between the French toast and seven cups of coffee, and the sulking and pouting I am prone to on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe he’s just into that kind of punishment. Or maybe he just chalks it up to general “women’s issues”. Because there’s never a hint of reproach in his voice when he asks me if I’m going to order the French toast. Although, later on, he does offer to head-butt me until I stop crying. Isn’t love grand?
Vegan French Toast [with Seitan Bacon]
Sunday Brunch menu only, $8-10